Greenwith Uniting Church
Celebrating 140 years
1863 – 2003
Greenwith Church began as a Primitive Methodist Chapel in 1863. Before the chapel was built services were held in the cellar of the home of Thomas and Hannah Roberts.
One of the early settlers of Golden Grove was George Robinson who was associated with the Salisbury Primitive Methodist Church.It was the people of that church who were the instigators of building a church in the Golden Grove area.
The first meeting of the Trustees of the Greenwith Primitive Methodist Chapel was held on the 9th of June 1863. Paul Roberts of Greenwith Farm, son of Thomas and Hannah, donated ½ an acre of land and it was agreed to build a chapel with inside measurements of 30 feet long x 18 feet wide and 14 feet in height; two Gothic windows on the east and the west and a door to face north. The Roberts family named their farm after Greenwith in Cornwall U.K. which is still pronounced Green-with..
Hannah Roberts laid the foundation stone at a service and tea meeting on Tuesday 30th June 1863. Unfortunately this stone was never written on…
The tender by George Robinson of 2/6d per yard for the masonry work was accepted.He carted stone for the walls from nearby creeks and members of the Salisbury Church carted bricks for the quoins by bullock dray at 2 pounds per 1000. Although unfinished, opening services for the church were held on 15th and 22nd of November 1863. The total cost to this time was 173 pounds. It was over twelve months before the church had a ceiling. The building wasn’t completed until 1868, which was the reason for that year being written on the front of the church. (This date was changed to 1863 some time ago.) The church was used as a school from 1864 – 1869.
The chapel experienced hard times in the 1880s and was closed for some years, re-opening in 1893. This was a period of growth with the church being full and at times over flowing.
Greenwith was part of the Salisbury Primitive Methodist Circuit until Methodist Union in 1901 when it became part of the Modbury Methodist Circuit.
The centenary was held on the 29th September 1968. Around this time it was discovered that the church actually began in 1863. For some years attendance was small with services being held quarterly. From May 1980 monthly services were held, from February 1981 there were fortnightly services and regular weekly services commenced in the mid eighties.
The original slate roof was replaced in September 1930 with an iron roof at a total cost of 10 pounds 15 shillings and 4 pence. The iron was replaced in December 2002 with the help of a Heritage Grant from the City of Tea Tree Gully Council.
On 22nd June 1977 the inauguration of the Uniting Church took place and in January 1979 the Greenwith Congregation was welcomed into the Golden Grove Uniting Church Parish.
The building has been well preserved and remained almost unchanged until the nineteen eighties when a meeting room and toilet block were added and also the front porch. During this period the local people showed their characteristic foresight by purchasing additional land.
People saw the benefit of being a separate congregation for mission in the area, so on the 26th of October 1998 Greenwith became an independent congregation with a part time minister.
Morning services began in September 1999 and a Sunday school commenced in May 2000 with two children. The Sunday school soon outgrew the back room so a tent was used until a transportable building was erected. This room has been very useful for other functions as well as the Sunday school.
For most of it’s life Greenwith was a small rural church in a farming area. It is now a growing church in a fast growing suburban development.
Thank you to the Greenwith Uniting Church for the above information.
Greenwith Uniting (Methodist) Church