Tasmanian Times

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No more delays

Christian Garland

But some comments in the CMP are very worrying. The building is structurally sound at present but cracking of corner stones is increasing significantly and poses an obvious threat. The organ, the oldest of its type in Australia, is at serious risk from damp which could cause $100,000s of damage. Inexplicably, senior Anglican leaders have ignored advice for the organ to be played regularly by volunteers since the church was closed last year. They have also neglected to repair the large external door damaged by fire a year ago. The need to remove two badly eroded spirelets in July this year is further evidence that restoration and re-opening of the building should not be delayed any longer.
AFTER r 8 months of hard slog, the conservation management plan (CMP) for Holy Trinity Church has been finalised. Congratulations to Hobart City Council for funding it, to the consultants for their detailed research and to the special interest groups who have contributed information. The CMP is a fascinating read and beautifully illustrated. We understand it will be publicly available very soon, including on council’s website.

The CMP states Holy Trinity is one of the most heritage-rich and historically important churches in Tasmania, indeed in Australia. The architecture is outstanding – and remarkable – in that although badly weathered in places, it is basically unchanged since the 1840s when it was constructed. Few buildings exist with their original external features intact like Holy Trinity.

In contrast the interior has changed greatly, but this is also remarkable in that the changes reflect so many periods in Australian life and social attitudes. The church still houses the original communion silverware, cedar choir stalls, carved chairs and bells; the ANZAC windows commemorating the fallen in World War 1; and various furnishings and plaques reflecting the Depression, World War 2 and modern times. A grand piano which marked a major change in worship style in the early 1980s, has been removed – hopefully only temporarily.

But some comments in the CMP are very worrying. The building is structurally sound at present but cracking of corner stones is increasing significantly and poses an obvious threat. The organ, the oldest of its type in Australia, is at serious risk from damp which could cause $100,000s of damage. Inexplicably, senior Anglican leaders have ignored advice for the organ to be played regularly by volunteers since the church was closed last year. They have also neglected to repair the large external door damaged by fire a year ago. The need to remove two badly eroded spirelets in July this year is further evidence that restoration and re-opening of the building should not be delayed any longer.

We understand the Anglican parish of WellSpring will soon call for expressions of interest in the future of the church. We say the sooner a committed organisation takes responsibility for restoring Holy Trinity and opening it up for community uses, the better!

Dr Christian Garland
(chair, Holy Trinity Support Group, Hobart)

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. The Oracle

    August 29, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Who decreed that ornate edifices were necessary for worship? Its interesting to that when the god-botherers send missionaries out to the godless natives of 3rd world countries it seems good enough to conduct proselytizing (sp ?) under the trees yet the wealthy 1st world soft-heads need a roof over their heads in order to reach out to their gods.
    Who GIVES a shit? Tear the joint down and build cluster housing for the homeless.

  2. Dismord

    August 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Until and unless the hierarchy of the Tasmanian Anglican Church cease their obscene attempts at becoming another Hillsong this situation will not change.
    “Give unto The Lord the glory due unto his name;bring an offering, and come before him; worship The Lord in the beauty of holiness”
    1st Chronicles Ch19: V 29.

  3. John Biggs

    August 28, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    The Hobart City Council is to be congratulated on their efforts to save Trinity, but what is incredible in this sad story is how the Anglican hierarchy has been so irresponsible as to allow such a precious resource to fall into such a state, especially when a bequest was specifically made to preserve the fabric of this unique part of Tasmania’s heritage! The case of the organ is symptomatic. Here is a valuable instrument, one of the finest of its kind, being allowed by neglect to fall into serious disrepair, when all it needs to prevent this happening is that someone regularly play it. But the church authorities won’t allow this. They won’t allow anyone near the place as far as I can make out. The citizens of Hobart — for whom the Church was originally built and substantially financed with public money — deserve an explanation. Are the authorities in the grip of some extreme Cromwellian fervor that sees beauty as a support for worship as the creation of the devil? That great architecture, traditional church music and the standard liturgy that gives spiritual comfort to so many, are Satan’s instruments of seduction? There must be some other explanation. I thought at first it was sheer neo-liberal greed — sell off your assets and to hell with heritage — but that hardly squares with allowing those asssets to depreciate so badly. Just what is going on here?

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