On the 8th August, 2018, the Holy Trinity Anglican Parish, Launceston made the following announcement on their Facebook page.
“We are delighted to announce that our efforts to raise the contribution to funding redress payments and save St Matthias’ Church from possible closure and sale have been successful. Our fundraising target has been comfortably exceeded, with the extra funds now being set aside for future conservation work on the St Matthias’ site. While the formal decision will be made in December, the Diocesan Council recently resolved in principle that an alternative proposal for raising the equivalent amount of money would be sufficient to automatically remove a property from the list of those being considered for closure and sale. The fact that we have the money in hand now makes that outcome certain. Thank you to all who have contributed so generously.
But while the pressure to raise money has been alleviated, a viable future for the church will very much depend on continued community involvement. It has been a great joy to see so many come together in support over the past few months and we look forward to the Church continuing as a centre of community life. All are most welcome.”
By chance, yesterday the first spring daffodils began to bloom in the church grounds. The photo below was sent through by a local resident.
Our group, Windermere Church Forever – WCF – absolutely agrees with the victims of child abuse receiving redress (arising from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse). We wholeheartedly congratulate the efforts of all concerned in achieving the target. None of the funds WCF has raised will be needed for redress and can be earmarked for restoration and ongoing maintenance of the church building and grounds and supporting St Matthias’ as an ongoing ministry in the community.
What does reaching the redress target mean?
The Anglican Church Diocese of Tasmania offered parishes the chance to raise the funds for redress by means other than selling property. In the case of St Matthias’, the parish and community were asked to raise slightly more than $45,000 in order for the church to be removed from the Synod’s list of properties proposed to be sold.
Decisions on which properties will be sold will be made by the Anglican Church on the 1st December, 2018. From their Facebook statement, now that the required amount is in hand, the Holy Trinity Anglican Parish is certain that St Matthias’ will be taken off the for-sale list.
Our group, and the community, look forward to such an announcement in December. But we, along with regular members of the church’s congregation, also expect an assurance from the Anglican Church that St Matthias’ has a long term future.
However, WCF accepts that there will not be a long term future for Windermere Church unless the community becomes involved.
The Parish has not announced the full amount raised, and possibly more funds will be contributed. The Parish has stated a number of times that any excess will be “set aside for future conservation work on the St Matthias’ site.” Thus, continuing contributions to the Parish fund and to the WCF fund will be invaluable in ensuring that St Matthias’ survives.
The Parish statement says “… while the pressure to raise money has been alleviated, a viable future for the church will very much depend on continued community involvement.”
St Matthias’ is both a religious institution and a community asset. WCF recognises that and our goal, as an independent group recognised by but not affiliated with the Parish, is to provide an avenue whereby the community can contribute to its long term existence without contributing directly to the Parish.
We intend to continue to raise money and provide other forms of assistance well past the December 2018 announcement. Our support base is growing and at this point of time we wish to thank the following local businesses for their support:
- Rosevears Hotel (Rosevears)
- Steen Wiberg, Tamar Excavations
- Begents (Launceston)
- Bean in the Country (Windermere)
- Petrarch’s Bookshop (Launceston)
- Salamanca Inn Battery Point (Hobart)
- Tasmanian Food & Wine Conservatory (Sassafras)
- Bronwyn Sellers Photography (Hobart)
- Jill Dixon Photography
- Milkbar Cafe & Workshop (Launceston)
- Olive’s Cottage (Windermere)
Windermere Church Forever will work closely with the Parish to achieve the joint goals of a sustainable religious institution and a sustainable community asset. Please check this News and Events page for upcoming fundraising activities and events. Also check these Facebook pages: WCF – Windermere Church Forever and St Matthias’ Windermere.