Saturday, 1 August 2020

St Paul's Anglican Church in Clyde

The Clyde (1) area was until a few years ago a strictly rural area and in common with most country areas the significant community buildings consisted of the School, the Hall and Churches. This post looks at the history of St Paul's Anglican Church. Most of the early history comes from A Clyde History website (see here). The Church was located on the east side of Berwick-Clyde Road, between Patterson's Road and Hardy's Road (2), on land donated by the Ridgway family (3). The early history is a bit hazy - Anglican services were held in either the School or an earlier building on the site (4).  There is evidence that the early church was called St John's (5). A new Church was erected in 1887 and officially opened on May 1, 1887 (6) and as 1887 was the Golden Jubilee year of Queen Victoria's reign the Church was called St Paul's Jubilee Church (7). 

The building was destroyed by a bush fire on February 21, 1906. This was a devastating loss to the community but they were fortunate that the fire did not cross the road and burn down the school which was sheltering 50 children.

Report of the fire that destroyed the Church

The people of Clyde worked quickly to replace the building and the new Church was opened by the Archbishop of Melbourne, the Reverend Henry Lowther Clarke on December 15, 1906 (8). The Church served the people of Clyde for many more decades - not only Church Services and Sunday School but a venue for the milestones of life - weddings and funerals. I have included two reports below.

Report of the wedding of Lorna Collins of Clyde to Jack Duncan of Cardinia at St Paul's, Clyde.
Dandenong Journal, October 21, 1945

Obituary of Mrs Ann Hardy (nee Poole) of Clyde North. Her funeral was at St Paul's.

Times changed and the Church closed. In 1999 (9) it was relocated to Beaconhills College in Pakenham. These photos show the Church shortly before it was relocated. They are part of the Casey Cardinia Libraries collection.

St Paul's Anglican Church, Clyde, c. 1999.

St Paul's Anglican Church, Clyde, c. 1999.

St Paul's Anglican Church, Clyde, c. 1999.

Gone! Site of  St Paul's Anglican Church, Clyde, c. 1999.

Trove List 
I have created a short list on Trove of newspapers articles connected to St Paul's at Clyde, access the list here. All articles referred to here are on the list.

(1) This is an explanation about the naming of Clyde and Clyde North. It was named after the River Clyde in Scotland. The name was originally given to a watercourse that divided the Mayune and the Garem Gun runs. Apparently, a shepherd named James McKay, who worked for Alexander Cameron (1813 -1896) had cut the name on a tree whilst watering sheep, the name was then used for the creek and then the town. Clyde was initially based north of the existing town along Berwick Road, basically between Patterson Road and Hardy’s Road. When the railway went through in 1888, the town which developed around the railway station became known as Clyde and the original town was called Clyde.
(2) This early history of the Church comes from Campbell, John A Clyde History: Public Hall and Mechanics’ Institute Jubilee (Back to Clyde Committee, 1978. John Campbell's book forms the basis of some of the material on the Clyde History website which is researched and maintained by Joan Vanderhorn. Joan and John are siblings. See the website here   You can read the full entry on St Paul's here - The location of the Church comes from this map from the website
(3)  Campbell, John A Clyde History: Public Hall and Mechanics’ Institute Jubilee (Back to Clyde Committee, 1978) The pages are not numbered.
(4) Campbell, op. cit.
(5) Two examples of the use of St Johns - South Bourke & Mornington Journal November 16, 1881, see here  and  South Bourke & Mornington Journal May 30, 1883, see here.
(6) Campbell, op. cit.
(7) Campbell, op. cit.
(8) Campbell, op. cit.
(9) The date of the removal of the Church comes from the website. You can read the full entry on St Paul's here -

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