MONTO CHURCH MOVES TO NEW HOME
Off to new home at Cania
MONTO’S Anglican Church hall has been removed after standing proudly in the town for almost 100 years.
The hall was taken apart piece by piece two weeks ago with the intention to be reassembled elsewhere.
The decision came after years of debate from the church committee over what to do with the old building, which had become inundated with problems.
The hall hadn’t been used as a church since 1964, when the current church was built, and had been overrun by white ants as a result of disuse.
Reverend Jeff Balnaves, the Anglican minister for the area, said it was the right call to make.
“It’s sad but necessary. I think they’ve made a sensible and wise decision,” Mr Balnaves said.
The quote to fix the hall is thought to have been about $90,000.
Church committee member Chris Forsyth said the decision to demolish the church was not made lightly.
“We’ve been talking about this for a few years now,” Mrs Forsyth said.
“We even tried to apply for a gaming grant to cover the cost of fixing it, but they told us there were already enough halls in the area.”
The committee opted to let returning Monto resident Jaiben Baker take the church into his own hands.
“Basically it was a liability to them,” Mr Baker said.
“I went through the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane to do the formal contract.”
Mr Baker moved out of Monto roughly 20 years ago but came back to live with his family in March.
Monto church warden Theresa Pattie said use of the old hall had dropped off in the past two to three years.
“Not a lot of people are using the church so it didn’t seem like a good idea to spend all that money on it,” Mrs Pattie said.
“We had had a lot of trouble with white ants and the foundations had got shaky, but the cost to fix that was beyond our means.
“The only way around it we could see was to offer it for removal.”
The church hall is slated to be rebuilt on a property at Cania Springs near the entrance to the gorge, where Mr Baker hopes to turn it into a functional community space.
It’s sad but necessary. I think they’ve made a sensible and wise decision. — Rev Jeff Balnaves