Sparing wealthier churches does not justify fire sale of the others, Senator Martin says

Tasmanian Anglican bishop Richard Condie’s partial backflip on property sales is cold comfort for parishioners and supporters of the dozens of regional Tasmanian churches that remain on the chopping block, according to Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin.

“I note Bishop Condie said most of the properties removed from the list were where parishes had raised the funds equivalent to their redress contribution,” Senator Martin said.

"In other words wealthier communities were able to buy a lifeline for their place of worship but if you can’t send enough cash to Hobart, you have to kiss your church goodbye.”

“The redress money is important but this is a short-sighted and highly questionable fund raising strategy, particularly when 75 per cent of the proceeds won’t be used for that purpose.”

“I have received heartfelt pleas from people all over Tasmania, like one older lady desperate to save the beautiful St James Church in Colebrook.”

“As she wrote to the Bishop, it features a stained glass window in memorial to soldiers of the Great War and ‘if we lose our history, we lose part of ourselves’.”

“Unfortunately, she was unable to change the Bishop’s mind.”

Senator Martin said numerous people had signed his petition at saveourchurches.com.au and pledged he would not give up until the ink dries on the last sale deed.

“The rest of Australia should pay heed because if the Anglican hierarchy gets away with this in Tasmania, they’ll likely follow suit on the mainland,” Senator Martin warned.

Tasmanian Anglican churches facing sale and closure

All Saints Church, Melton Mowbray; All Souls Church & Cemetery, Patersonia; Christ Church, Low Head; Church of the Ascension & Hall, Lilydale; Church of the Good Shepherd, Hadspen; St Alban’s Church, Pipers River; St Andrew’s Church & Hall, Lenah Valley; St Anne’s Church and Hall, Lutana; St Augustine’s Church, Macquarie Plains; St Barnabas’ Church & Hall; St Barnabas’ Church and Hall, South Arm; St Bartholomew’s Church, Forest; St David’s Church, Riverside; St George’s Church & Cemetery, Gagebrook; St George’s Church, Mathinn; St James’ Church & Hall, Northdown; St James’ Church and Hall, Montague Bay; St James’ Church, Colebrook; St James’ Church, Jericho; St James the Less Church, Osterley; St John the Baptist Church, Buckland; St John the Baptist Church, Branxholm; St John the Evangelist Church, Lower Marshes; t John’s Church & Cemetery, Franklin; St John’s Church & Cemetery, Plenty; St John’s Church, Railton; St John’s Church, Ross; St Luke’s Church & Hall, Latrobe; St Luke’s Church, Judbury; St Mark’s Chapel of Ease, Bellerive; St Mark’s Church & Hall, Bridport; St Mark’s Church & Hall, Launceston; St Mark’s Church, Cressy; St Martin’s Church & Hall, Chigwell; St Martin’s Church, Dunalley; St Mary’s Church, Gretna; St Mary’s Church, Hall & Burial Ground, Kempton; St Michael’s Church, Kimberley; St Olave’s Church, Stony Rise; St Oswald’s Church & Hall; St Oswald’s Church, Tunbridge; St Paul’s Church & Hall, Stanley; St Paul’s Church/Hall, Myalla; St Peter’s Church & Rectory, Fingal; St Peter’s Church, Blackmans Bay; St Peter’s Church, Hall and Rectory; St Stephen’s Church & Hall, Sandy Bay; St Thomas’ Church & Cemetery, Tea Tree; and St Thomas’ Church, Avoca.