Theses are photographs taken in the 1980s of the Gembrook Union Church and the Gembrook Catholic Church, Sacred Heart. The Union Churches have always interested me - they seemed to have been built in small communities, with a eucumenical spirit. There was one built at Yannathan in 1890, which was used by the Anglicans, the Presbyterians and the Methodists.It was used until 2011, when it closed down and was sold. There is also a Union Church at Officer. This was built in 1929 after 500 pounds was raised from members of the public. Previous to this, church services took place in the public hall.
The Gembrook Union Church, taken in the 1980s.
According to Bill Parker in his book Forest to Farming, the Gembrook Union Church was opened on April 6, 1879. The land, on the corner of Ure Road and Mountain Road, was donated by the Reverend John Bromby on the condition that the building could be used by all denominations. The property was 'owned' by the Pastoral Aid Society, a union between the Church of England and the Presbyterian Church. The first services were Anglican and they were conducted by the Minister at Berwick. Later services were Presbyterian. The church is now the Gembrook Uniting Church. In 1905, an Anglican Church was built in Gembrook, St Silas. St Silas was closed around 1994 and is now privately owned, though it does still seem to be used for some services.
Another view of the rather austere Gembrook Union Church, taken in the 1980s.
The third church built in Gembrook was Sacred Heart Catholic Church, built in 1921. Bill Parker writes that it was built by a Mr Twyford, 'a skilled carpenter and devout Anglican'. It is in Main Street in Gembrook and still operates today. It is pictured above, in a photograph taken in the 1980s.