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Carapooee Closing Service

Photos by Kevin Spokes

On Monday 31st May 1869, the foundation stone of St Peter’s Anglican Church, Carapooee was laid by trustees Mr V N Mogg of Swanwater, assisted by the Rev. J B Stair, one of the pioneer clergy of the Parish of St Arnaud to which St Peter’s Carapooee has always been attached.

150 years and two days later (Sunday June 2nd) it was our sad task to close and deconsecrate this beautiful little church. With only 30-40 people supporting the Parish we can no longer maintain 4 church buildings and 2 halls.

Heritage Victoria describes 'The Pebble Church' as an important landmark and a fine example of architect Leonard Terry’s work. The structure, standing on a granite plinth, is faced with quartz rubble, set in pink mortar. Opening surrounds are face brickwork. The steep roof is clad in iron. Features include Lancet windows and corner buttresses.

It has been at least 40 years since regular services have been taken at this church, but in that time there have been many weddings and occasional services.

A lovely bonfire was built for those who braved the cold weather to gather early for lunch. Bishop Matt Brain led the service with the church filled to overflowing. Each part of the church was remembered and fare welled – the pews where so many had sat, the lectern where the word was read and sermon’s preached, the font where many were baptised, the altar where the Eucharist Feast was set Sunday by Sunday and the Memorial Plaques remembering brave soldiers from WW1 among others.

Rev’d David Thompson our Uniting Minister played the old peddle organ beautifully and the hymns were sung enthusiastically.

There were laughter and tears as stories were recalled by the many families whose lives were once bound up with this church as the centre of their small community. Long-time guardian of the church Joan Harman cut the cake with just enough time to distribute a piece to everyone before tears rained down from the heavens.

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