Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent
It is widely admired and loved by many, having served the Copmanhurst community and surrounding districts for more than a century.
Strong family connections and lifelong memories have been formed, along with an intense interest in its history and preservation.
And it has also generated plenty of interest in the property market.
Recently deconsecrated by the Bishop of Grafton, the Church of the Holy Apostles in Copmanhurst will be auctioned on October 16, and a new chapter in its 106-year history will begin.
Describing the closure of the church, which has not held services since March 2020 due to restrictions enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, as “a moment of great sadness”, The Very Reverend Dr Greg Jenks, Dean of Grafton, issued a public statement earlier this year, stating the Diocese of Grafton had advised the Parish and the local Anglican community of the decision to close and sell the church as part of a wider restructuring plan for Anglican mission and ministry on the North Coast.
Dr Jenks said while he has been Dean for the last couple of years, 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.
Memorials and other special items within the church have recently been distributed, with a majority of them either placed into the care of the Copmanhurst Historical Association or given to people connected to the families which originally gave the items to the church.
Officially opened in February 1915, The Church of the Holy Apostles holds a special place in the hearts of many current and former residents of Copmanhurst and the surrounding districts.
Many of them have recently expressed their sadness at the church’s closure and imminent sale, including former resident Anne Brooks who was married in the church in 1972.
“I was shocked when I heard it’s being sold,” she said.
“It’s a beautiful church, and I can remember going to Sunday School there when I was seven.
“I also had my first communion there, and my parent’s funerals were held in the church in 2007 and 2009.
“The church has a very close history with my family, and many other local families.
“We all have a lot of strong memories of the church.
“It’s very sad it is no longer open as a church for the community.”
Some current and former residents of Copmanhurst had previously expressed suggestions on social media of turning the church into a community hall or museum.
Ms Brooks said she agrees with both.
“That way it would still be a part of the community, for the people,” she said.
“I think it’s a pity that Copmanhurst is losing the church.
“I’ll never forget it.”
The auction of the Church of the Holy Apostles is scheduled to begin at 10am on Saturday.
This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 13 October 2021.
Related story: Copmanhurst Church closes after a century of service