Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Copmanhurst Church closes after a century of services

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Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent

Copmanhurst Church
The Church of the Holy Apostles in Copmanhurst is to be closed and put on the market.
Image: Contributed.

Since the early 1900’s it has stood on the hill, welcoming parishioners and offering them a safe and sacred place of worship.

But now, the 106-year-old Church of the Holy Apostles in Copmanhurst is being permanently closed and sold as part of a wider restructuring plan for Anglican mission and ministry on the North Coast.

Describing it as a moment of great sadness, the Very Reverend Dr Greg Jenks, Dean of Grafton, confirmed the news in a letter addressed to the public, stating the Diocese of Grafton had recently advised the Parish and the local Anglican community of the decision to close and sell the church.

There have been no services at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Copmanhurst since March 2020, due to restrictions enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Jenks also revealed, “during the past four or five years while I have been Dean, there have been no baptisms, funerals or weddings in the church and prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, an average of three or four people were attending Sunday services there.”

“As a Parish and as a local Anglican community in Copmanhurst, we now need to begin working through the implications of the decision,” Dr Jenks said in his letter.

“Apart from the significance of the church itself in the Copmanhurst community, it is also the repository of numerous personal and community memorials.”

Former Copmanhurst resident Kath Hill has a long and proud family association with the church.

Her great aunt Esther McKee attended services at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Copmanhurst more than 40 years ago, two of her children were christened in the church and two of them also had their confirmation there.

As a child, Mrs Hill also attended Sunday School at the church and said it is very sad the building will no longer be operating as a holy building.

“It’s a beautiful church,” she said.

“It’s really lovely and I think its closure is very sad for the Copmanhurst community.”

Mrs Hill said she was made aware of the closure via Facebook and said the closure was a big decision.

“It is a sign of the times, more churches and more buildings are closing,” she said.

Dr Jenks said the Parish Council will form a small working group to “assist us working through all the actions which we now need to address.”

Anyone interested in serving on the committee is invited to contact the Christ Church Cathedral office on 66 422 844.

Clarence Valley Independent 19 May 2021

This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 19 May 2021.

Related story: Small church to hold a service before closing

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