End of an era with Anglican church up for sale for $65,000

EVERY time Lyn Ferris drives past the Anglican Church at Bororen she remembers her wedding day.

Those thoughts are more poignant right now as the church is being offered for sale at a new bargain basement price.

The idea of the sale is making Lyn's memories more vivid. It was June in 1968 and she was wearing a floor length ivory gown with a beaded bodice and a big satin bow, which her mother made, fixed to the back of the dress.

Lyn and Victor Ferris married in the Bororen Anglican Church in 1968.
Lyn and Victor Ferris married in the Bororen Anglican Church in 1968.

The now large Poinciana tree, which has featured in just about every wedding photo taken there, was only a sapling back in those days.

On the big day the church itself had been decorated with roses and coloured sashes and she was surrounded by 65 of her, and her husband Victor's, family and friends.

It was a quaint wedding, Mrs Ferris had just one bridesmaid - her husband one groomsman.

Mrs Ferris, 66, has lived in Bororen all her life and for her the church has always been a part of the town.

But it might not be there for much longer.

It's been on the market since April last year and now the price has dropped from $129,000 to $65,000 real estate agent Deardrie Keleher has had quite a bit of interest.

For Mrs Ferris - it would be the end of an era.

Her son was married there too and every single one of her children were baptised at the church.

"It's a shame it's being sold because once it's gone it's gone forever," Mrs Ferris said.

"The church is a part of the history of the town.

"When I was a kid growing up there weren't many houses around in that main street - only five or six, and the church."

The town of Bororen was founded in the late 1800s.

The post office opened in 1898 and the school followed two years later.

In 1901 there were just 121 people living in the town but by the time the Anglican Church officially opened on July 2, 1931, that had grown to more than 300.

And although it wasn't the only one in town - The Presbyterian Church was brought from Clyde Creek to Bororen in 1923 - it was well attended in the earlier years.

However, that changed over the decades and there hasn't been a service held in the Anglican Church for the past five years.

Bororen Church on Dougall St.
Bororen Church on Dougall St.

Reverend Steven Schwarzrock said interest dwindled as the core group of parishioners moved on or passed away.

"The congregation was fairly aged on the whole," Rev Schwarzrock said.

"It got to a point where the core group wasn't really substantial enough to keep holding services."

Mrs Ferris has watched the town of Bororen change from a farming and dairying community to a more urban satellite of Gladstone.

The dairy farm she grew up on doesn't exist any more and the once strong dairy industry has collapsed. There are only a handful of dairy farmers left around Bororen and Miriam Vale.

It's impossible to know what might happen to the church after it's sold.

There has been some speculation it could be moved to a new location and turned into a home - a popular trend in re-purposing churches.

Mrs Ferris is hoping it will stay in town.

"It would be nice if someone could buy it and use as a halfway house.

"Somewhere for people to go if they just to talk to someone.

"It's sad that no one goes to church anymore. People don't seem to have the time."

Looking back

DAIRY farming families in Bororen and Miriam Vale suffered great losses in the 1950s after bushfires swept through the drought ridden-country. The Courier-Mail reported on the devastating bushfires on Friday September 21, 1951.

Men had been forced to head out and look for labouring jobs and the paper reported that 70% of the dairy herds perished in fires that stretched from Gladstone to Gin Gin.

"While the drought continues there is no hope of recovery. In the Bororen-Miriam Vale section one farmer has lost 200 cattle from a herd of 250."

Topics:  anglican church bororen real estate

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