HERITAGE LIVES: Holy Trinity Church, A Long-Time Part Of The City’s Faith Community

Main entrance as seen from Division Street, 1905. (Supplied photo)

By Terry Hughes

Our postcard dated 1905 shows the “Church of England ” known today as Holy Trinity Anglican Church in its original form on Division Street, for which it abandoned its original location in the Irish Ward on Smith Street. This postcard image bears little resemblance to its present appearance.

/File photo

In 1912 a bell tower and new entrance were constructed. A beautiful window of the Holy Mother replaced the main entrance to the interior and provided a location for the baptismal font.

The interior of Holy Trinity gives off a warm and comfortable feeling. Colourful stained glass windows telling the Biblical story enhance the walls along with rich panelling throughout. The archway at the end of the nave as you approach the altar has some handsome carvings. Here, the choir benches and organ are located along with the pulpit and the place where the gospel is read.

The altar is enhanced by a beautifully carved image of the Last Supper and cross where the Eucharist is celebrated. A railing still exists at the place where people receive the host and wine.

And looking down on his place of worship, a magnificent image of Jesus Christ is seen.

While attending Holy Trinity, the clergy who ministered to the parish during that time reflected a variety of what the Anglican community refers to as high, middle and low church. Canon Davis was a fired-up and emotional speaker and you never fell asleep during his sermons. In contrast, Father Harold Bagnall was more ‘high’ church and offered a less radical approach to his ministry. Archdeacon Hill was somewhere in between. 

The service begins with a procession led by a person referred to as the crucifer carrying the cross followed by the choir and priest. Don Reilly often headed that procession as crucifer. Playing the organ was long-time choirmaster Harry Cawthorn who worked with the senior members and boys at eleven o’clock service while the girls  were involved at the ten o’clock service.  

The addition of the gymnasium in 1968 (parish hall building) expanded the services that the church offers to the community. In the present day, the monthly fish and chips dinner, served in that space, has become very popular with a huge following in the community.

Editor’s note: This should not be read as a complete history of Holy Trinity, whose storied presence here goes back to 1857. The original Holy Trinity on Smith Street was opened in 1859, and the move to the current site was made in 1878.

Next: Bonus column, Heading back to school after summer holidays in the ’40s.

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(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His opinion column, Heritage Lives, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)

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