Church As Island: St Thomas’ Anglican Church, Condah

This appealing stone church is set back off the Henty Highway at the locality of Condah, between Branxholm and Heywood, on the way to Portland. It is entirely surrounded by a ‘sea’ of pasture, bringing new meaning to the term ‘pastoral care’. It appears to have been decommissioned, and naturally I have daydreamed about living in it! 

Fujifilm X30, edited with Snapseed app. 

Succulent and Gargoyles: a splendid village church

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A last-moment left turn took me up past a wonderful, volcanic stone church in a tiny village along the Glenelg Highway today. Circling round the back, I was surprised to pull up beside a very long established, spiky, succulent crouching by the front.

Looking up, I was delighted to see a crowd of gargoyles circling the tower.

Destroyed by Fire: Wesleyan Methodist Church ruins, Tarnagulla

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This charred shell of a grand old country church sits on a low rise in the Goldfields town of Tarnagulla, west of Bendigo.

The foundation stone was laid in October 1864, and the church opened in 1865 with a seating capacity of 300. It was damaged by fire in 2000, and is now privately owned – presumably by someone with a sense of humour, as there is a flock of pink plastic flamingos posted around the front.

A Religious Experience: church without the churchianity

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Years ago, when I was a churchgoer, our minister had a term I liked: churchianity; I guess it referred to all that’s destructive about organised religion. (Please don’t think I’m passing comment on personal faith – it’s personal, and people are entitled to believe and worship whatever and however best suits them, me included.)

In another church in my past I came to love one (and only one) particular hymn, and when I picked up a hymnal in this little Uniting Church nestled beside a lake, I dug around in the index of first lines to find it – it’s pictured at top right. I always thought I’d love to have it played at my funeral.

In this church, I was there to admire the architecture and soak up the blessed serenity of the space. And take one or two photos.

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A Quiet Interior: country church at rest

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Though I am not religious, I am partial to traditional church buildings. My earliest memory of being in a church is around age four, in my childhood town’s tiny white weatherboard Catholic church. As I grew up, I longed to have that church for my very home, but it was not to be: after its doors had remained closed for some time in my late teens, it was sold at auction to people who moved it to a seaside town and painted it a hideous landscape-sensitive colour, where it is now self-contained accommodation.

The church pictured here is situated beside a lake, and I long to have it for my very home, also! Inside, on a quiet, sunny spring afternoon, the ambience was serene and comfortable.

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