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The Methodist Church Bodangora 1939

The Churches of Bodangora

The first church in the Bodangora district was the Catholic Church known as St. Joseph's, built near the Kaiser crossing on Mitchell's Creek around 1877. A Methodist Church was dedicated in 1881, situated several hundred metres north of the present day schoolhouse, a Baptist Church in 1897 near the entrance to 'Gold Mine' and a Church of England sometime prior to 1907, on the opposite side of the road set back one block.

The Methodist Church continued operating until the 1940's, and in 1958 was transported whole, by low loader to Geurie, where it was opened as a church hall in 1960. The Baptist Church was shifted to Wellington after it ceased to function in ? , and became the hall for the Baptist Church there. The Church of England was rebuilt after being flattened during the cyclonic storm of 1907, and was still standing in 1939 when the pic opposite was taken.

The Church of St. Joseph after its removal from Kaiser, with a porch added.

Before its official opening, the Church was flattened in the cyclonic storm of 1907. The convent is clearly seen in this pic behind the remains of the church, apparently escaping damage.

The Catholic Church

The original Church of St. Joseph, from Kaiser, was shifted to Bodangora township around 1905-06, but before it was officially opened, was flattened by the aforementioned cyclonic storm in March 1907. The Catholic parishioners decided to build a new church which would withstand any similar storms in the future, and the result was the Church of St. Pauls which still stands today (2007), and will for many, many years to come.

The following from the '75th Anniversary St Paul's Bodangora' booklet.

'The 'Laying of the Foundation Stone' was a gala occasion. Cardinal Moran came by train to Maryvale where he was met by many parishioners who escorted him in a procession of horse-drawn vehicles to Bodangora. In the official party were the Cardinal, the Bishop of Bathurst, Dr. Byrne, Mon. Long and several priests, including Fathers Cooney and Loneragan. Mr Sylvie Sullivan had the honour of reading the Address of Welcome to the Cardinal. The building of the new church was undertaken by a firm from Orange with William Daw as supervisor. It was constructed of blocks of blue-grey granite, hewn locally, with polished wooden altar and gallery, and polished wooden beams in the high ceiling - the wood being New Zealand Kauri. The new church was officially opened in 1909'.

St. Pauls was used for twice monthly masses until 1964. After this year, only occasional masses were held, and St. Pauls has been mainly used for weddings.

St. Paul's - Bodangora

These images of St. Paul's Bodangora were taken in 2006. Many thanks to Rex England for showing me inside.

Sources & acknowledgements
Sheila England
75th Anniversary St. Paul's Bodangora - booklet
Rex England