Christmas services, weddings, christenings – In it's 135-year history, North Pine Presbyterian Church has hosted them all.
Built for the sum of 142 pounds by pioneering local builder and landholder James Foreman, the church was situated on land donated by Captain William Townsend at 57 Old Dayboro Rd, Petrie, in 1884.
It was opened on June 8 by the Reverend Alexander Macintosh at a ceremony chaired by Tom Petrie, who was elected chairman of the church committee at the event.
Before then, the Presbyterian congregation was ministered from Bald Hills, and services were held in homesteads and the old slab school building at Sweeney Reserve.
The historic building was moved to North Pine Country Park, now known as Old Petrie Town, in 1985. It is believed to be the oldest church in the district and is protected by the Queensland Heritage Register.
Nicholas Dodd of Old Petrie Town says it would have been fairly typical of a country chapel in those days and would have been both a community hub and a place of worship.
Interestingly, the church now stands next to James Foreman 's Old Petrie Town cottage and My Spirit House, which he also built. James Foreman settled the land upon which Old Petrie Town sits.
Nicholas says doors from Tom Petrie’s home were added in about 1911, around the same time the North Pine township was renamed Petrie. The ceiling was added during World War II.
“It reflects the early pioneering times – that’s what they would have had for births, deaths and marriages. There’s no waste, there’s no pretentiousness about it. It’s been built really well, so it’s stood the test of time,” Nicholas says. While he’s not certain what timber was used, he says hoop pine was the building material of choice during the period in which it was built.
Nicholas says that he’d love to re-establish the historic bell as a part of a restoration of the chapel in the years to come.
While the church may sit among other historic buildings in a different location, it is still being put to good use, hosting Lutheran community services every Sunday and weddings.
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