St John’s Church was built in 1929 as a result of a great deal of effort by the local parishioners and the story is set out in two articles from “The Southern Argus” published at the time of the laying of the foundation stone and the dedication of the church which are set out below.
NEW ANGLICAN CHURCH AT LANGHORNE’S CREEK
FOUNDATION STONE LAID BY SIR J. L. STIRLING, K.C.M.G.
From “The Southern Argus”, Thursday 13 June 1929.
In bleak and showery weather but in the presence of a very large crowd, in which all classes and creeds were represented, gathering from many parts of the State, Sir J. L. Stirling, K.M.C.G., on Saturday afternoon last, June 8th, laid the foundation stone of the Church of England which is being erected just at the north entrance to the township.
The building will have an inside space of about 38 feet by 22 feet, with an apse extending several feet beyond the rear wall, and a towered porch will front the edifice. Four windows on each side will amply light the interior in day time, and near the porch lead-lights will add to this provision. Limestone with brick facings, is being used in conjunction, and a pleasing general effect will result, the advanced stage of the edifice already giving a good idea of the ultimate appearance of the church, the foundation memorial stone of which occupies a centre position in the facade.
The usual ritual was observed prior to Sir Lancelot’s task being performed, the Venerable Archdeacon W. J. Bussell (a former rector of the parish), in the unavoidable absence of the Lord. Bishop of Adelaide, having charge of the proceedings, with the Revs. H. Woolnough, B.A. (rector), T. P. Wood (previous rector), T M Boyer, B.A., and G C Tyrell being in attendance, together with a combined choir, Miss L Wenzel being at the organ.
The arrangements had been made some time ago for Sir Lancelot to lay the foundation stone, but by an oversight the date decided on by the local committee was miscalculated when the lettering on the stone was ordered and it was found necessary to postpone the ceremony for a week owing to Sir Lancelot’s unavoidable absence from the State, and the ‘June 1st’ which appears therefore antedates the actual ceremony until the necessary alteration is effected on the marble block, if it is thought necessary to alter it.
After the usual preliminary proceedings had been carried through, Mr. C. A. Whittlesea, chairman of the building committee, handed to Sir Lancelot a handsome silver trowel, suitably inscribed, and asked him to lay the stone, which was then done, after which the honored “amateur mason” addressed a few brief words of congratulations to those who after so many years of arduous work and patient effort were at last realizing the consummation of their ambitions and desires with regard to having a church of their own to worship in. He hoped that their interest would not wane with the completion of the building, but their loyalty to the church itself grow warmer with time, and their little temple prove a source of gratification and joy to them in the years to come.
Mr. R. L. Potts, who has been for many years the main spring of the committee, and ceaseless in his efforts to achieve for the township the building now being erected, then read a statement regarding the history of the movement and the financial position, after which a collection was taken up, which totalled the splendid sum of £134/10/-, Mr W Ward, a pioneer of the district heading the list of contributors with a £25 donation.
An adjournment was then made to the Oddfellows’ Hall, where the ladies of the church and friends served a delightful afternoon tea to all who cared to partake of it, their generous and extensive hospitality being highly appreciated.
Amongst the big crowd present, as invited guests were the members for the district (Hon. G. R. Laffer. and Messrs. P. T. Heggaton and H. S. Hudd), the mayor of Strathalbyn, chairmen and clerks of various district councils and numerous other guests.
The Ven. Archdeacon Bussell, Mr Laffer and the Rev. T. P. Wood gave brief congratulatory addresses and all referred sympathetically to the inability of the Parish Rector (Rev. H. Woolnough, B.A.) to take any part in the day’s proceedings, owing to his severe throat trouble, which, however, it was understood would very shortly be surmounted by the slight operation which had been delayed at his own wish so that he might be with them that day, although unable to address the gathering.
Thanks were expressed to all who had helped to bring about the realization of the church people’s desires, Mr Ray Potts deservedly coming in for special, and thoroughly deserved commendation. It was mentioned that it was expected to have the new church ready for dedication by about the middle of August. Mr. C. E. Boyce, A.A.S.A., of Tranmere, is the architect; Mr. E. Mattinsin, Kilkenny, the contractor; and the Building Committee comprise — Messrs C A Whittlesea, H Perry, W Fisher, S Borrett, Mesdames W Craig, F Potts, Harrowfield and Miss L Wenzel.
The following interesting particulars were given in the secretary’s report— For many years past Anglican services have been conducted at Langhorne’s Creek, in Oddfellows’ Hall. In the year 1913, the Church Committee, who had accumulated a small sum of money, decided to purchase a block of land, on which to someday build a church. A meeting was held late Feb, 1913, with the result that a block of land was purchased for £30. The present building is being erected on this same block. The land was duly vested in synod and the title deeds are held by the church office. This left the committee with a credit balance of £53 odd on 31st March, 1914. From then on for nine or ten years very little progress was made, little more than enough to pay the rector’s salary, being put by.
In Dec. 1924, the committee decided, to renew efforts to increase their bank account, which was then £134. From then till the present time over £100 per year was made. A small portion of the amount was from donation, but the greater part was derived from annual fairs and periodical euchre parties, dances, etc., until the present amount £750 was reached. The building now under construction will cost about £1200, so another £450 or so will be required. It is hoped to have a considerable portion of this to hand by the time the church is completed. Application has been made to the attorneys of S.P.G. And Thanks Offering Fund, from which some assistance is hoped for. If it is necessary to raise any more it is hoped to borrow from B.H.M.S. or Barker Fund. Credit balance March 31. 1914— £33 /18/ 8 ; 1924— £121; 1929— £747 / 3 / 1.
The foundation stone was presented by Mr A W Stewart, Monumental Mason of Torrensville.
Saturday’s collection brings present credit balance to £890 odd. The contract price (not including furniture is £1029.
From “The Southern Argus”, Thursday 7 November 1929
The congregation filled St. John’s Church, Langhorne’s Creek, and overflowed beyond the doors on Saturday afternoon last [2 November 1929], when the church was dedicated by the Bishop of Adelaide [The Right Reverend A. N. Thomas].
A well-attended working bee had been here during the previous week, when the heaps of stone and sand, which had gathered around the building were removed with the aid of scoops, and deposited in lower lying parts of the grounds; the land graded and smoothed and spread with rubble; and all was in good order within and without the building.
Punctually at 3 o’clock the procession of clergy entered the church, and preceded by the male members of the building committee — Messrs. C. A. Whittlesea, R. A. Potts, A. Perrey and F. W. Fischer — proceeded to their places during the singing of the processional hymn.
The Rector, the Rev. H. Woolnough conducted the opening portion of the service. Canon Murphy, organizing chaplain of the Bishop’s Home Mission Society, read the first lesson, and Archdeacon Clampett, Archdeacon of Strathalbyn, the second. The Rev. W. A. Terry, of Murray Bridge acted as Bishop’s Chaplain, and the Rev. R. V. S. Adam, of Mount Barker, was also present.
After saying the prayers, especially appointed for the occasion, the Bishop dedicated and blessed the building, and Sir Lancelot Stirling read the Deed of Dedication. The Bishop preached an inspiring sermon, speaking of the place which a house of God should play in the lives of all who worshipped there.
At the conclusion of the service, afternoon tea was dispensed by the ladies of the church to all present, who included visitors from Strathalbyn and Milang, and also some from Mt. Barker, Macclesfield and Murray Bridge. Mrs. Thomas, the Bishop’s wife, also paid her first visit to Langhorne’s Creek,
The collection taken at the service amounted to £4, and the following donations of furniture—two sanctuary chairs Mrs. Oliver and Miss Borrett; lectern Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Wenzel; altar rails, Messrs. C. A. Whittlesea and H. Perrey; credence table, Mrs. B. Potts; and hymn board, Mr. R. L. Borrett; making a total of £78/18/6.
In addition to the above, the following gifts had already been given—Pair of candlesticks, Lady Stirling; brass altar desk, Mrs. F Potts; 4 brass vases, Mrs. Blake and Miss L. Wenzel; bible for lectern and communion cruets, Rev. H. Woolnough; brass altar cross, St. Agnes’ Church Grange; matting runner for the aisle, Christ Church, Strathalbyn; and a pair of offertory plates by Mr. Jones. Mention should also be made of a cheque of £25 from Mr. W. Ward.
The Bishop and other visitors expressed their admiration of the church, both the building and furniture, many of them being surprised to find it so completely finished and furnished in all details. They congratulated those who had worked so hard and who may justly be proud of their church.