Windermere Church Forever

About Our Group


Funding the future

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About Our Group

WCF Inc – Windermere Church Forever Incorporated – is a group of Tamar Valley residents whose goal is to ensure the long term future of St Matthias’ Church at Windermere, Tasmania.

We formed originally as a result of the scheme imposed by the Anglican Church Diocese of Tasmania to address the issue of the victims of child abuse receiving redress (arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse). The need for WCF to help raise money for redress has now passed, with the announcement on December 1, 2018, that St Matthias’ had been removed from the Synod’s list of properties proposed to be sold. See: Churches Saved.

However, despite the redress target being met, the Anglican Church of Tasmania has made it clear that a viable long-term future for Windermere Church depends overwhelmingly on continued community involvement.

Thus, our two broad aims are:

  1. To raise money over the longer term to contribute to restoration and ongoing maintenance of the church building and grounds.
  2. To support St Matthias’ as an ongoing community asset.

WCF is community-based. However, we will work side by side with the Parish of Holy Trinity with St Matthias’ to achieve these goals.

Please help us save Windermere Church forever.

To make a donation: Donate

Note: This section “About Our Group” updated 5 December, 2018.

St Matthias’ and the Community

All residents of the Tamar Valley – whether churchgoers or not, whether from Windermere, Swan Bay, Hillwood, Dilston, the West Tamar or anywhere else – have a stake in St Matthias’ future. And so do the residents of the rest of Tasmania and the rest of Australia.

The church is an award winning heritage building, in a beautiful location, with graves dating from the 1840s and an active columbarium wall. This iconic building, graveyard and site is part of many people’s daily lives. It is also a major tourist attraction.

Like many other rural Anglican churches, the land and building at Windermere were gifted to the community in perpetuity. The church and grounds have been maintained by the community for 175 years. The graves and niches contain the remains of ancestors and loved ones of many in the community.

A Plan for a Sustainable Future

WCF will work with the Parish, local community and state and local government to establish a sustainable future for the church and its grounds.

We believe that a plan for the church’s future must, as a minimum, ensure protection of the integrity of the current historic building and site, the graveyard and vegetation, unobstructed views from the river and roads, and continued public access to the entire property.

Given an assured future, funds could be used consistent with the approved Conservation Management Plan for the property, for items such as:

  • Long term care and maintenance of the building and stained glass windows
  • Restoring and completing the columbarium wall containing the niches for funeral urns
  • Care of graves and tombstones
  • Developing an interpretive centre about the church and the Tamar Valley communities
  • Documenting in detail the history of St Matthias’

Fundraising, Donations and Membership

WCF, as an independent group recognised by but not affiliated with the Parish, provides an avenue whereby the community can contribute to Windermere Church’s long term existence as a community asset without contributing directly to the Church.

WCF will raise money through fundraising activities and by direct donations.

The group has received official approval from the Tasmanian Department of Justice to solicit for charitable purposes. The group is officially an incorporated association under the Department of Justice,  incorporation number IA12311 .

WCF will not hand over any funds without sufficient and on-going assurance from the Anglican Church of Tasmania for its support of St Matthias’ in the long term.

However, it is recognised that the future of Windermere Church must be a cooperative effort between the Church and the community. It is anticipated that some of the fundraising activities and events arranged will be jointly organised by the Parish and WCF.

Through our fundraising or by direct donation or by joining WCF as a member, you can help to ensure the future of St Matthias’ in a way that is acceptable to the community and to society in general.

Please help us save Windermere Church forever.

Donations to WCF are not tax deductible.

To make a donation: Donate

To become a member: Download our Membership Application Form.

Contact Us

President – George Chandler
Secretary – Fiona Ferguson
Treasurer – June Burnet
Public Officer – Jennifer Chandler
Vice President – David Burnet

Phone: (61) 0419 544 266
Postal Address: 165 Windermere Road, East Tamar, Tasmania, 7252

Send us a message: Click on the “Send us a message” link below to message us from this website.

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Become an active member of our group

Email or phone us, or send a message using the link below.

Any kind of support, including professional support and volunteers, would be greatly appreciated.

More about founding group members

George and Jenny Chandler: Residents of Windermere since 1967.

June and David Burnet: Residents of Windermere since 2012.

Fiona Ferguson: Resident of Windermere since 2005.

More about St Matthias’ and the Tamar Valley

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Become a member of WCF

To become a member of WCF: Download our Membership Application Form.

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Photos on website provided by residents or property owners except as listed below.

DiscoverTasmania website: Photo of graveyard and picket fence.

Music for video. Source: MUSOPEN