Sackville North Methodist Church

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The former Methodist Church at Sackville, built c.1869 [SHRB.15]

On Saturday 26th December 1868, Mr. John Ducker of Richmond laid the foundation stone of a new Wesleyan Church at Sackville Reach. Constructed of sandstone and measuring 32 feet long by 20 feet wide, the site chosen for the new church was a short distance ‘up the hill’ from where the old chapel once stood before being swept away in the 1867 flood.
OPENING OF THE NEW WESLEYAN CHAPEL  – On Thursday, the 23rd September 1869,  the ceremony of the opening of the new Wesleyan chapel at Sackville Reach took place. The event was regarded with much interest, being made the occasion of a holiday amongst the inhabitants of that neighbourhood, and much rejoicing. The old chapel, it will be remembered, was washed down by the great June flood of 1867, and, with its contents, swept away by the torrent. Since that time the want of a suitable place of worship has been much felt, and there seemed but little prospect of raising another chapel for some years on account of the impoverished circumstances of the people. However, the Rev. J. Phillips, the superintendent of the circuit, nothing daunted, and, with a zeal and energy that will ever redound to his credit, resolved to make an effort for the erection of a new church. He, accordingly, made a personal canvass amongst friends in Sydney and elsewhere, and so far succeeded as to justify him in commencing the erection of the present building, the foundation of which was laid some eight months ago. The building is now completed and was opened for Divine worship on Thursday last, in presence of some hundreds of people from all parts of the district. The Rev. J. Fletcher preached at 11 a.m., and at one o’clock in the afternoon a picnic tea meeting took place, attended by upwards of 300 people. A public meeting was afterwards held in the chapel, presided over by Mr. W. Dean. of’ Windsor. The proceedings were opened with praise and prayer. The chairman offered a few congratulatory remarks on the auspicious opening of the new place of worship, and then called upon the Rev. J. Phillips to read the financial statement. This showed that the building had cost £365, towards which, including the profits on tea meeting and collections, the sum of £330 had been raised, leaving a small debt of £35. The chairman then said he thought, considering the circumstances of the parishioners, that the present was the best time to make an effort to clear off the balance, and suggested that another collection be made. This was accordingly done, and the required amount was raised in a short time. The meeting was afterwards addressed by the Revs. R. Sellers, D. Moore, and J. Fletcher. A vote of thanks was passed to the ladies who had presided at the tea, and to the collectors. A vote of thanks was also awarded to the chairman, and the meeting was thus brought to a close with great success. Few present anticipated such a result, which, combined with the pleasant weather and beautiful scenery of Sackville Reach, rendered the day a most agreeable one, and one that will not soon be forgotten. The chapel is a neat stone building, shingled, 32 x 20, and furnished with substantial cedar pews and an elegant rostrum and communion platform. It is capable of seating comfortably one hundred and twenty persons. The architect was Mr. Thomas Rowe, of Sydney; and the builder, Mr. James Chandler, of Windsor. [SHRB.15]