St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Tungamah
The brick Gothic revival Anglican Church in Barr Street Tungamah was built in 1889. Tungamah is 48kms NNW of Benalla.
Extract from Colin Campbell’s book: ‘Just About Tungamah 1875-2002’
During 1888 a local newspaper article read as follows:- “Divine services were held in the State School room to celebrate the formal opening of an organ procured for use of the Church of England congregate worshipping in that building.”
Around that time Mr. Frederick Seidel donated one acre of lands the site for a church on the condition that upon its completion, it would be made available to the Lutheran community to use as their place of worship. An appeal for donations to a building fund met with strong support and construction was quickly under way with the memorial stone being laid by the Venerable Archdeacon Herring on 30th May 1889.
The Moira Independent published the following detailed report of the opening which took place later that year:
“St. Alban’s Church of England, Tungamah, was opened on Sunday, 20th October 1889 The Rev. Vaughan of All Saints, St. Kilda and the incumbent of the church the Rev. R. H. Potter officiating.
A very large congregation assembled at the opening service at 11 o’clock. Notwithstanding that extra seating accommodation had been provided many people were unable to obtain seats and remained standing throughout the service close upon 200 being present including a contingent from Yarrawonga who drove over in a couple of drags and several buggies.
The building is a handsome brick edifice neatly plastered throughout with a lofty roof and varnished Kauri pine ceiling from which depend three handsome lamps each containing three illuminators. At the east end of the church is a temporary platform of two tiers carpeted with crimson cloth; the upper platform being railed off, forms the sanctuary and in this is placed the altar, covered with a beautifully embroidered altar-cloth in crimson and dead gold, the reading desk and lectern of carved Kauri pine, being placed at either side of the lower platform.
At the west end under a handsome window of cathedral and stained glass stands the fontal of Omoru stone presented to the church by the guardians. The pews are of neat cathedral pattern excited in plain white wood. The building has been erected for the committee by Mr. T Farr at a cost of about 500 pounds, exclusive of furniture. Handsome as the building at present is the original design is much more beautiful, as kit includes a highly ornamental chancel at the east end which the committee hope to see erected ion a few years or as soon as funds are available.”
Taken from Colin Campbell’s book: ‘Just About Tungamah 1875-2002′ Published on behalf of the Tungamah Historical Society, November 2002. Colin Campbell – is a member of our Parish – and was the Shire Engineer.
The foundation stone of this church was laid by the Venerable Archdeacon Herring on 30th May, 1889 and the opening and consecration service was conducted by the Reverend Vaughan of All Saints, St. Kilda on 20th October, 1889.
Extensions to the building were commenced in 1912 with the consecration being carried out by Bishop Armstrong of Wangaratta on 23rd February, 1913. He was assisted by the Venerable Archdeacon Potter, the incumbent priest when the church was first commenced.
Unfortunately, falling attendances led to the discontinuation of services during 2012, but the building certainly holds continuing and lasting memories for many who have worshipped here.
De-Consecration of St Albans 16th November, 2014
A sad day for the Parish of Yarrawonga, when Bishop John declared the building of St Alban’s in Tungamah – deconsecrated and secularised. Bishop John Parkes reminded the congregation,
What makes a Church is not the building, however where people gather to worship God…. A day of memories to be celebrated.
With low attendances at Tungamah, over the past years, locals now travel to St. James or Yarrawonga to attend Church.
Memories: Bill Church proudly boasted having been confirmed in the church nearly 80 years ago, whilst Betty and Stirling Jones have found memories of playing the old organ for nearly 40 years.