St Barnabas Church is well known in the South Arm area. A landmark built and maintained by the community, now owned by the community.
In February 1892 a building committee was formed to establish a church at South Arm. The church was completed and dedicated in July of the same year. St Barnabas was consecrated on Saturday 8 April 1893. St Barnabas is built on the site of a pre-existing cemetery.
Burials had been carried out long before the construction of the church. The first burial took place in 1858 of convict Joseph Wilmore aged 71. The head stone of Elizabeth (nee Bellette) Alomes is dated 1866. Others are dated Caroline Louisa Calvert 1868, John Musk 1866, Jeanot, Alice and Janet Alomes 1864 and 1865. It would appear that it was a part of the early land leased from Gellibrand.
Prior to the church being built, Anglican services were held in a local schoolroom.
The Calvert family donated the stained glass windows behind the altar.
The inscription reads “To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Hannah Calvert a devout worker for 54 years.” Born 15/3/1858 died 6/8/1947.
Church Warden for 40 years Alfred Gibson Calvert, Born 20/7/1881 died 4/4/1951.
In 2018 St Barnabas was listed for sale but the future of the church seemed secure as the Anglican Diocese agreed, in principle, to sell the church, cemetery and the Gellibrand Hall to the South Arm Community and the buildings to be retained as a community church. A management committee was formed to facilitate the purchase and handover of the church to the community by the end of 2020.
In August 2021, the Anglican Diocese reneged on the agreement to sell St Barnabas Church and Cemetery to the community. Following the re-establishment of the sale process in late November 2021, a number of conditions were required to be met before the Church could be handed over. These conditions have now been satisfied and the Church is now owned by the Community.
For more information check out the St Barnabas Church website.
Also blog of Churches of Tasmania, No 768 St Barnabas Church, South Arm