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Grace Primitive Methodist Church

From Mallala
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Fast Facts
Type of organisation: Religious
Also known as: Primitive Methodist Sabbath and Day School

Town or locality: Mallala
Date established: 1865
Ceased operation:
The date "unknown" was not understood.
Established by: Methodist Primitive Methodist adherants in the Grace Council District.
Business or purpose: Providing a place for worship and religious education and a day school.
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The following article is compiled from various news paper articles published in 1865.

The South Australian Register published on 12 June 1865, stated: "Mr Roe, on behalf of Mr Phillip Butler, (who had given the acre of land on which has been built the Primitive Methodist Church) promised another adjacent acre of land on which to build a school master's residence for the teacher in the day school. This speaks well for an out of the way place such as this."

The South Australian Weekly Chronicle 10 June 1865 adds this information: "The neat stone edifice, intended to answer the double purpose of a day school and a Primitive Methodist Church on the site, was opened for divine worship last Sunday, when sermons were preached by the Rev. J.G. Wright and Mr. Kinner.

An excellent tea was provided for the visitors on Tuesday, and a very interesting public meeting was held, presided over by Mr. Forbes. The secretary read the report, which showed that the building (which is not completed) had cost about 210 pounds. A debt of 100 pound remains on the building. The meeting was subsequently addressed by Revs. W. Wellington, J. S. Wayland, and J.G. Wright.

Considerable energy and union of spirit has been shown by the settlers, and immediate steps are about to be taken for the formation of a Sabbath and a Day School."

The South Australian Advertiser on 1 July 1865 reports the following:

" Our small community is showing some signs of life. Until this year we have been very few in number, but since Mr. Butler has let part of his land for agricultural purposes, we are gradually increasing. True to the British race, we are exerting ourselves for the spiritual and intellectual improvement of both young and old.

Within the last few months we have built a chapel which is also to be used as a school (invested in the Primitive Methodist denomination) and at the present time we are doing our best to build a teacher's residence. We had a meeting on the 13th instant, for the purpose of getting the school set going. There were over 20 children guaranteed for the first year, and subscriptions were received for half the amount of the proposed building. I have not the least doubt but attendance of children will be doubled at certain seasons of the year.

Our chapel cost a little over 200 pounds, one hundred of which will stand over until after harvest, when, if we are favoured with an ordinary crop, we expect to be able to pay it off.

There is also a Sabbath School to be opened in connection with the chapel, under the superintendence of Mr. E. Gale, which we hope will do a great deal of good."

From the Adelaide Observer 21 September 1867: Monday the 16th September was the anniversary of the opening of the day-school held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel. The children were examined by Mr. William Storr of Port Gawler, who expressed satisfaction at the progress the scholars were making. He highly complimented Mr Lawson, the master, on the general state of the school. Though the weather was very bad and many children were kept away through sickness and other causes, there were between 30 and 40 children present.

In the afternoon a tea meeting was held in the school room, when a large number of children and their parents did ample justice to the good things provided - Mrs Forbes, Mrs Marshman and Miss Umpherston officiating. The children amused themselves with a variety of games outside despite the inclement weather. In the evening, not withstanding the poor condition of the roads, Mr W. Cavenagh M.P. made his appearance according to promise and delivered a most interesting lecture in the school room on "Ceylon and its inhabitants". There were about 80 people present which speaks well for this scattered district. Mr Storr was voted to the chair and introduced the speaker. The interesting speech included many anecdotes with many being from his personal experiences.

A call was later made for subscriptions and with the money from the tea meeting, it was sufficient to pay the interest on the debt still due on the teacher's residence. The amount of the principal, 65 pounds, was also promised and a list opened with money due to be paid after harvest. This debt has hitherto been a great drawback, and we rejoice that at last means have been found to wipe it out. Some items were given and following a vote of thanks by the chairman the meeting separated with all highly delighted with the evening's entertainment."

Additional information about the district:

On 1 July 1865 the editor of the South Australian Advertiser adds this paragraph to the article: "I have only a few words to say on the farmers' never failing topic - the weather; and that is that the present dry weather in very injurious to the crops and has altogether stopped the growth of the grass. The lambing in this district will be very poor this year. I do not understand how Goyder's valuations and these dry seasons will correspond, but as you are a great advocate of them perhaps you can explain it." The Editor adds: "Goyder's valuations must be taken on an average of seasons; not the very worst, nor the very best."

In 1900 church union occurred between the Bible Christians, the Primitive Methodist and the Wesleyan Protestant Churches and formed one church known as the Methodist Church of Australia.

Related Articles


  • South Australian Weekly Chronicle 10 June 1865
  • South Australian Advertiser 1 July 1865
  • Adelaide Observer 21st September 1867
  • South Australian Register 12 June 1865

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