Glen William church deconsecrated

SAD DAY: Parishioners and friends outside St Thomas Church following its deconsecration on March 31, 2019.
SAD DAY: Parishioners and friends outside St Thomas Church following its deconsecration on March 31, 2019.

There were as many people outside as inside St Thomas when the tiny Glen William Anglican Church celebrated its last service.

The regular parishioners took an active role in preparing and presenting the service, which was led by Assistant Bishop of Newcastle Sonia Roulston.

Congregation spokesman Steve Gorton said the service was filled with many moving words, prayers and songs, most of which were chosen by parishioners.

"At the conclusion of the service, Bishop Sonia read the official Declaration of Closure, and many cherished donated items were handed back to families," he said.

The Honour Roll, which has for decades hung in the church, was presented to the Clarence Town ANZAC Committee, who will place it on public view in the Clarence Town School of Arts as an ongoing reminder of the service given by men from the Glen William District in the theatre of war.

Di Bennett (left) on behalf of the Clarence Town ANZAC Committee, receiving the Roll of Honour from Parishioners Kay Bagnall, Steve Gorton and Sue Flannery.

Di Bennett (left) on behalf of the Clarence Town ANZAC Committee, receiving the Roll of Honour from Parishioners Kay Bagnall, Steve Gorton and Sue Flannery.

"Following the service, a group photo was taken outside and a much-needed cuppa was had," said Mr Gorton.

"The day concluded in brilliant Autumn sunshine with a final Harvest Auction.

"The produce and cooking was plentiful, bidding was brisk, and the auction raised in excess of $1,400.00 for the overseas and Australian mission work of the Anglican Church."

Despite the sadness of the day, the many past and present community members felt that it was a fitting farewell to this much-loved little church, Mr Gorton said.

"As the conclusion says in the History Book that was prepared for the day: St Thomas will never be forgotten. Vale St Thomas.

Newcastle Anglican Diocese is currently negotiating with an interested party in regards to the future of the St Thomas building.

Even though worship will no longer be held on the site, the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle has determined that the cemetery can continue to be used as a burial site into the foreseeable future.