Church closes after 145 years

Arthur Foot, Joan Donovan and Stella Daniels attended the service on Sunday.
Arthur Foot, Joan Donovan and Stella Daniels attended the service on Sunday. Julie-ann Carson

A CHAPTER in history has been closed with the final service of the Springsure Presbyterian Church held last Sunday.

Former parishioners returned to the ‘house on the hill’ to listen to moderator Gaius Goh deliver the last service.

The attendance registry, which shows every week of every year since March 3, 1940, saw 84 parishioners through the doors including former minister Bruce Harrison and wife Liz, Bill and Stella Cheetham, Noel and Mary Hughes and the Bierman family.

Bruce, the last settled minister of the charge in Springsure, and now minister of Gordonvale and Babinda churches said of the closure: “I had hoped to be here for the 150, it’s sad to see it close at 145.”

Siblings who attended the church regularly are Joan Donovan, Stella Daniels and Arthur Foot.

Joan will turn 92 in June and has been attending since she was 15 years old.

“I don’t like it,” Joan said of the closure.

“But everything the minister said in the service today, he was right, there is too much emphasis on the church and not enough worship. It’s a shame to see it close”.

Stella has lots of sentimental memories, as does Arthur.

“I was confirmed and christened here, went to Sunday school and got married in the church,” Stella said. “Weddings and funerals were our play games, we had lovely times... Dad rang the church bell for many years,” Arthur added.

Lorna Smith, who was baptised and married in the church was more forthright: “It’s a sad day in Springsure’s proud history.”

Ray Cullen, an elder in the church and member for 30 years agreed.

“It is a sad day. Six months ago the church was in difficulty and we said we’d give it six more months, we aren’t able to support a pastor... It is sad, but that’s not to say it won’t open again in the future and we trust the parishioners will find a spiritual home somewhere.”

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