From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, Friday 23 April, 1869, page 2
St. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, AXEDALE.
This church was opened on Sunday last, by the Rev. J. Nish of Sandhurst, who took his text from Malachi 3rd chapter 8th verse, “Will a man rob God,” from which he preached an excellent and impressive sermon, and was listened to with great attention by a full congregation of earnest worshipers, and no doubt will be long remembered in this district, where the Protestant population have not before had the privilege of worshiping God in a house set apart for his service.
On Tuesday evening, a tea meeting was held in connection with the opening services; after tea, which was served in the Foresters Hall, the people retired to the church, when the meeting was opened with praise and prayer. The Rev. D. Renton, (the pastor of the congregation), then took the chair, and reported the various steps that had been taken towards supplying a want long felt by a portion of the community, viz., that when he first came to the district, in July last, he called a meeting of those favorable towards providing Axedale with a Presbyterian church, at which a committee was formed and subscription lists opened, and after a little exertion they found they were warranted to call for tenders of the comparative cost of a building of blue stone, of brick, and of wood.
When the tenders came they chose blue stone with white brick facings of the windows and door, and they accepted contracts for labor only, the committee themselves undertaking to provide all the materials, which they promptly commenced about the beginning of September, and the foundation stone was laid by the Rev. J. Nish, of Sandhurst, on the 30th of the same month, and here the chairman remarked that but for the energy and zeal put forth by the various members of committee, the building would not now have been what it is, as they freely gave of their means, and spared neither time nor exertion in obtaining the needed funds to carry on and complete the church-a building which would be an ornament to any country district.
The amount at their disposal has been £258 4s. 6d., leaving a debt of £51 1s. 2d., which it was hoped would almost if not altogether be removed by the proceeds of the opening services. The total cost of the building being £309 5s. 8d. This of course does not complete all that is necessary, as a vestry, a stable, and fencing are still required, which no doubt will be had in due time.
Interesting addresses were then delivered by the Rev. J. M. Abernethy, of Eaglehawk, Rev. J. Westacott, (of the United Methodist Free Church) Heathcote, the Revs. G. Taylor, and J. Nish, of Sandhurst; and some sacred music was rendered by Messrs. Adamson, Alsop, and Foyster, of Heathcote.
We have not learned what was realized from the opening services, but from the large attendance on both occasions, it must be something considerable towards reducing the debt. We most heartily congratulate the Protestants of the Axedale district on their new church, which is very finely finished, and certainly one of the neatest country churches we have seen for some time.
Its dimensions are thirty-eight by twenty-one feet, and has seat accommodation for 110 people. It has four stained glass windows on each side and one in the end gable behind the pulpit, which are in beautiful harmony with the other parts of the structure, the pews are all stained and varnished, the pulpit and doors dark oak, the walls of stone color, the roof a delicate blue; the whole reflects great credit on the architect and workmen; and we have no doubt but it will prove a blessing morally, intellectually and spiritually to the district.
ST. ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, AXEDALE. (1869, April 23). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 10, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article93694133
St. Andrew’s Uniting Church, Axedale, 150th Anniversary Celebration Booklet 10 March 2019,
*Please note: Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading
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