Damaged church open again
WOWAN Uniting Church held it’s first service this month after being swept away in the 2012 floods.
The historic building will also be celebrating 95 years next month.
Wowan Uniting Church, or Wowan Methodist Church as it was known back in the day, had its stumping ceremony in 1923 and was the very first church erected in the community.
In the 2012 floods the church was severely damaged when it was undermined, and the porch and steps were pulled away from the church.
It was thanks to one Wowan local that the church was able to reopen and hold its first service since the flooding.
“There was a lot of work to be done and the congregation didn’t have the money, so they came to the conclusion the church was to be demolished,” Wowan and District Museum curator Dot Nutley said.
“I knew it was the first church in Wowan and I didn’t want to see it demolished.
“They told me it was going to be bulldozed and dumped.
“I was approached by some parishioners of the church and they asked me if I would take it. I said ‘Yes please’.”
Taking the church without hesitation, Ms Nutley knew
❝I knew it was the first church in Wowan and I didn’t want to see it demolished. — Dot Nutley
she had a hard road ahead of her, as the church needed a lot of work.
“I have had a lot of help along the way,” she said.
“The insurance paid to get it moved across the road to the museum and it was thanks to Jupiter’s Casino that we got the ramp.
“A couple of years ago, a bus of 42 Brisbane University students came through town and renewed my faith in the younger generation.
“They hopped off the bus, I had all the cleaning gear ready and they just got stuck in.
“They pulled the carpet up and cleaned all the walls, inside and out.
“They were absolutely fantastic.”
Ms Nutley has also applied for and been successful in receiving a number of grants and funding opportunities.
“It is still a work in progress,” she said.
“We are raising money to finish it off.
“I have put in for a fund to get power in the church and another to modernise the kitchen and make it workable.
“There’s still work to be done but it has its charm.”
The community couldn’t be more pleased with the reopening of the church, with a “nice” turnout at the first service.
“Banana Shire Council Mayor Nev Ferrier even came along and said ‘I’ve never seen it looking so good’,” Ms Nutley said.
“Everyone is quite pleased with it.
“There is even a couple here looking to renew their vows at the church.
“Hopefully in the future it will be well used again.”
The first service was conducted by Donna Muston, who is the minister in Biloela. The parishioners of the Uniting Church will hold a service every month.
HOUSE OF THE LORD: Dot Nutley inside of Wowan Uniting Church, which held its first service this month after being severely damaged in the 2012 floods.
Wowan Uniting Church is now located at the Wowan and District Museum.