HomeHistoryLocal church has a rich history

Local church has a rich history

The Uniting Church building was moved to its current location at Macrossan Street in Childers having served as the former Methodist Church in Horton from 1886. Photo: Natasha Harth

The current Childers Uniting Church has a rich history as the first dedicated church in the Isis district, initially constructed as a Methodist Church in Horton in 1886.

The building, situated in Macrossan Street, is important in demonstrating the evolution of the region’s history and is listed among Bundaberg Regional Council’s Heritage Places.

Horton was named after an early selector in the area, William Horton, and was located close to Doolbi and Abingdon, and was established before Childers.

Horton purchased a second-hand mill in 1892 and opened the Isis district’s first sugar mill – the Doolbi juice mill which opened earlier, only produced juice, not raw sugar.

The mill closed in the late 1890s but the district continued to sustain a sizeable community, which was reflected in the unveiling of the Doolbi-Horton war memorial in 1922 and dedicated to the men who had served in World War I.

The church at Horton was serviced by a minister based at the Methodist Church in the near-by region Howard, as part of the Howard circuit which serviced the surrounding districts.

Due to the growth of the Isis district and the increasing number of Methodist churches, the Isis circuit was formed in 1901 with its base located at Horton.

The Horton Methodist Church was later moved to Childers and became a Uniting Church, formed in 1977 as a union between the Methodist Church of Australasia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia and the Congregational Union of Australia.

Traditional timber construction

The (former) Methodist Church is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of early timber churches in rural localities in the region in the nineteenth century.

The church building is clad with weatherboard and features a circular leadlight window on the gable above the porch. Photo: Natasha Harth

It occupies a rectangular levelled quarter acre block on the southern side of Macrossan Street, a short distance southwest of the Childers CBD.

There are three buildings on the site; the church fronting the street, a rectangular hall facing the same direction and an adjoining building placed lengthwise.

The church consists of a weatherboard clad tall timber structure on low concrete stumps, with a protruding corrugated iron clad gable roof and roof lanterns.

The main entrance is accessed through an enclosed single storey weatherboard clad porch with tall narrow windows and tiled semicircular roof.

Access is from both sides via steps on the left and a ramp on the right through pointed arch timber doors.

A circular leadlight window is located on the gable above the porch and the side elevations feature four pointed arch windows.

A weatherboard clad annex with skillion roof is attached at the rear of the church with access via some steps through a single door from the western side.

At the rear are two sash windows with curved metal window hoods.

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