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Many denominations found a home in Burra.  Here is a list of the denominations which set up a church for their faithful and the parishes for which we have some information and / or photos:-

Selecting one of them will take you to further information about the relevant church in Burra.

General History of Methodism in Burra

The following is extracted from, "Historic Sketch" by W.F. James.

Rev. D.J. Draper opened the first Wesleyan Church at Kooringa in 1847 when there was no other place of worship within 70 miles.  There were three Wesleyan and one or two Primitive Methodist ministers in the colony and the first two Bible Christian ministers arrived three years later.  The work was done chiefly by local preachers and about 60 members were reported.  Rev. John Harcourt came in 1848 and took in Princess Royal, Tothill Scrub, Kapunda and Angaston.  The primitive Methodist and Bible Christian ministers later had a similar area.

Redruth first appeared in the quarterly minute book on 24 June 1851.  No members are listed and the income was 5/4.  Three months later there were 4 members and the circuit income was £1-6-6.  In February 1851 the Kooringa trustees had begun to build a church opposite the police station and £1-17-10 was collected at the laying of the corner stone.  The church cost £228.  £98 was raised by subscription and the Government gave £130.  Soon almost all the men went to the Victorian gold fields and for a while services continued for the women and children, but in 1854 the church was dismantled and the roof, floor, windows, doors, pulpit and seats were used for the Spring Farm Church in the Clare District.  Redruth disappeared from the Burra Circuit.

In 1857 the Kooringa trustees restored the Redruth Church.  Their own church had been enlarged and they utilised the old windows, pulpit and part of the roof in the new church at Redruth.  £20 was raised and £130 borrowed at 10%.  By 1863 the debt stood at £108.  In 1865 £40 was spent on renovation and in 1874 the debt was £84.  In that year the present church was erected.  The old church was then sold for £5 and not a vestige of it remains.

The Sunday school began in a stable near Mr Austin’s store.  Mr B. Preece, who is still alive, was the first Superintendent and Willie Torr, now Dr Torr of Way College, was one of the early scholars.  The Band of Hope was a great success.  Personal reminiscences mention the following people: Miss Torr (now Mrs Dale of Penzance, Cornwall), Mr Sampson of Hampton, Sammy Goss, William Torr, John & Mrs Pascoe, Mr & Mrs Goodrich, George Shirter (a Negro), Mr Davey, Charles Oldham, California Taylor, Dr Stephens, John Boddiner, Mrs Handford, George Sara, William West, A. Bartholomaeus and Rev. J.H. Goss.

31 July 1873 saw a new trust formed.  The church block was bought for £100 and on 4 August it was decided to build a church to seat c. 200 and to cost c. £400.  R. Rees was chosen to draw the plans and J. Tiver to supervise the work.  On 3 March 1874 the tender of J. Pearce was accepted for £600.  Stone laying services yielded £57 and donations totalled £150.  A July bazaar yielded £102 and one in September £40 and the opening service in September £34, to total almost £400 in one year.  The schoolroom, now the transept, cost £265, the seats nearly £100, so that the total was £1,340 of which £900 was borrowed at 7%.  In 1879 the wall between the church and the schoolroom was taken down to make the church its present size, at a cost of £65.  The debt was reduced to £360 in nine years. 

For 23 years the Sunday school was held in the German Chapel.

In 1882 the corner allotment east of the church was bought for a new schoolroom at a cost of £200.  £170 of this was raised by donations and a bazaar.

New seats and other expenditure brought the debt to £530 in 1884.  Reduction of the debt began again and at present it stands at £122 and it is hoped to lessen it by £22 this year.  Twelve years ago £616 was paid for the manse and land for the stable.  £374 has been raised leaving this debt at £242.  Altogether Wesleyan property at Redruth and Aberdeen has cost almost £3,000 and the total debt id £564.

A.H. Forder was treasurer for 25 years and did much to further the successful operation of the trust.  A. Batholomaeus followed in his path for four years.  Thirteen years ago the Burra Wesleyan Circuit was divided and Redruth became a separate circuit.  The Revs T.M. Rowe, J. Hopkins, D.S. Wylie, W.A. Langsford & W.H. Rofe preceded the present minister.  When the circuit was formed there were 98 members and a similar number on union, but the great number of removals has masked much good work done.

Rev. J.G. Write began Primitive Methodist services in the open air at Redruth c. 44 years ago and the church was built soon after.  Its cost was £670 and when it opened £97 had been raised and £570 borrowed. (£150 at 12% and £420 at 12½% to total £78 p.a.)  The following June in a series of efforts to raise money £72 was collected in 5 days.  In 1862 [? The 2 is unclear] the debt was £374 and for many years between £70 & £80 was raised for the trust.  Few churches have been so changed without being altered in size.  About 30 years ago the back and front walls had to be rebuilt at a cost of £86 and subsequently the slate roof had to be replaced with one of iron.  The debt was reduced to £200 where it has remained.  Some years ago the land at the corner of the street was bought for £50, but the proposed larger church was never built.  The Sunday school once had 17 officers and teachers and 100 scholars and there were strong Mutual Improvement and Temperance Societies, but the church was weakened by removals.  Including improvements the Methodist property at Redruth cost nearly £4,000 and its present debt is £564.

On Methodist Union in 1900 the Primitive Methodist Church in Redruth was closed.  The Union involved some reluctance and it has taken the Jubilee celebrations to complete it in people’s hearts.  The addition of Iron Mine and Copperhouse Primitive Methodist Churches to the circuit have strengthened it.  In the 11 years before the Union the Wesleyan Circuit had a deficiency of £267 of which the Home Mission fund made up £142 and ministers salaries fell short by £125.  The circuit since Union has been in credit.  After Union the Primitive Methodist Church was to be the Sunday school, but this was not at once done and disrepair and interest owed both grew.  Action last January saw new trustees take action and the west wall was taken down as unsafe and the building extended 10 feet to accommodate the Sunday school and it was renamed Jubilee Hall.  A tender by Messrs Launder, Griffiths & Pearce was accepted.  On 7 April not 1d was on hand and it was seen undesirable to increase the debt of £200 on the building.  On 7 May six memorial stones were laid and £52 was raised.  Since then £30 more has been raised and the trustees are anxious to receive the balance speedily.


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St Mary's Anglican Church, Interior c 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee celebrations

St Mary's Anglican Church, 1908

St Mary's Anglican Church, 1908

St Mary's Anglican Church in 2004

Another interior view of St Mary's Anglican Church

Original St Mary's Anglican Church
Junction of Ware and Church Streets, Kooringa

The first Anglican services ever to be held in Burra were conducted in a stone building situated in Kangaroo Street.  First services were held in 1849. 

The first Church of St. Mary was erected, after a short period, on a site donated by the Burra Copper Mining Company and stood not far distant from the stone building in which the first services were held.

A proposal to build another church at Redruth was made to meet the needs of the people there and at Aberdeen.  These two localities now form what is known as Burra North.  The work was actually begun and the foundations of the new Church of St. Luke standing in a triangular block of land are still to be seen on the way to the old reformatory.  However, a general desire to have a larger and more central place of worship resulted in the erection of the present building in 1879.

The original Church of St Mary on the hill was demolished and a few treasured possessions were transferred to the new building, namely, the Altar Table, two stained glass windows and the iron cross which surmounted the west end of the old church.  The construction of St Luke's Church was abandoned.


St Mary's Anglican Church
Market Street, Burra

Built in 1879, the new building, under the supervision of Mr G.F. McCleggan of Melbourne as architect was erected at a cost of £4,000, the whole amount being subscribed by the parish.  It was built by the Burra firm of Sara and Dunstan.

The church is rich in memorials commemorating the names of long established and well known families.

The church includes stained glass windows made by Edwards Brooks, South Australia's first stained glass maker, in 1873.  The East window of five lights and the West window of seven lights are particularly fine while the other ten single-light windows in transcepts and Nave are no less deserving of merit.

A 1905 Dodd Pipe Organ is in the church, which apparently is one of the best English organs in Australia.

The Parish Hall was built by parishioners to satisfy Sunday School requirements and other Church activities.  A kitchen was added in 1923.

For many years a Church of England Grammar School existed and flourished particularly well, reaching a high standard of efficiency under the guidance of Rev. Mr Howitt (1874-85).  Eventually this was replaced by a Church Day School held in the Parish Hall, but high maintenance costs made it necessary to discontinue the school during the incumbency of Rev. D.L. Redding (1933-39)

Through the years the early Rectors of St. Mary's gave great missionary-hearted labour to the outlying districts.  As far back as 1847, and even before, we read of long journeys of some days duration - one rector went away on a thirteen days tour outback with a horse and cart, but came back at the end minus both horse and cart.  Those early rectors laid the foundation for the present mission district attached to the Church o St. Mary by their pastoral care and devotion.  Thus we find Hallett and Black Springs Missions established for regular services in 1895, Gum Creek in 1898, Mount Bryan and Booborowie being established at a later date.

St Saviour's, Redruth

There were plans to build St Saviours in Redruth, but the church never came to fruition.  Here is an extract from Ian Auhl's, "The Story of the 'Monster Mine'", p.301 which provides more details:-

Plans for an elaborate church, complete with spire, had been drawn up by Ibbetson* himself and his sketch and design forwarded to lithographers in London.  The foundation stone along from the walls had disappeared, leaving only the foundations.  The foundation stone of a new church, to be named St. Saviour's Church was laid by Bishop Short in September of 1859 and a sum of £400 or so raised.

Except for some pointed questions which appeared in the press in December of 1868 concerning the fate of the 400, little more was hear of St. Saviou'rs.  By that time, the stone from the walls had disappeared, leaving only the foundations.  The foundation stone along with its bottle of Burra ore and an S.A.M.A. money order had vanished too.  Ibbetson had left Burra in 1863 and his successor, the Rev. Lionel W. Stanton could only advise enquirers to ask the Rev. Ibbetson now rector of St. John's Church, Adelaide, for an explanation."

* A copy of the drawings is kept in the Historic Room of St. Mary's Church, Burra.


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St Andrew's Church, Mt Bryan

St Andrew's Church in Mt Bryan in May 2001.  The church is now closed and is privately owned

St Andrew's Anglican Church, Mt Bryan

The land for the Church building was given by Mr A. G. Gebhardt, who with Mr H. L. Hatherly were the first Wardens of the church.

The Foundation Stone Laying and the Dedication Service was conducted by Archdeacon Bussell.  The  actual stone was laid on 29th July, 1914, by Mrs H.L. Hatherly and the Dedication Service was held on 13th January, 1915.  The cost of the building and furnishing was £610 and the debt of £150 was finally paid off on the 4th February, 1921.

The Consecration of the Church of S. Andrew was strangely enough, not carried out until 1933.  This church was the second one built in the Parish.  The Church at Black Springs was purchased from the Methodist Church.

The Church has two stained windows in the Sanctuary.  One in memory of John Hatherly (died 9/3/1915) and the other in memory of Andrew Barker Hooper (died 28/11/1914).

The Altar cross and candlesticks were given by the Barker family at Baldina; the Lectern by the Burr family at Eudunda, while the Sanctuary hangings and Altar linen were made and given by Mrs Boyd (the priest's wife) and Mrs Hatherly. 

Pews were installed in 1960.

The building was renovated twice: once in 1935, costing £95 and later in 1958-9, costing £375.

Services were held in Mt. Bryan before the building of the Church.  There are records of Services being held in private homes, the school and the Institute.

The Golden Jubilee Eucharist on 10th January, 1965.

St. Andrew's has been closed for a number of years and is now privately owned.


Black Springs

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The former Anglican Black Springs Church of the Ascension as it is now - the Trinity Lutheran Church in Black Springs.  Photo taken January 24, 2000

Church of the Ascension, Black Springs

Reference Burra Library LHBLA 1 LU 00001


Through the influence of Mr Hawkes of Koonoona the District Council of Waterloo sold it to The Incorporated Society for the Propogation of the Gospel of Foreign Parts (of Westminster, England). Consequently on 22 Sept. 1898 it was dedicated as the (Anglican) Church of the Ascension.  Services were held fortnightly at 3pm on Sunday with Holy Communion every fifth Sunday.  Sunday School met fortnightly.  It was part of the Parish of Burra.

The font was made by H. Bruse in 1856 and was presented by St. Mary’s Burra. [which suggests it is from the original St. Mary’s?]

1903 & 4 a new alter was erected.

Note however, that John Davenport in “St Mary’s Church Burra- The first 150 Years” says that the Black Springs Church was opened on 19 May 1895 when 80 people attended and one was baptised [The apparent discrepancy may depend on the word ‘dedicated’.  Possibly a dedication service came some time after the opening]  Ownership was later transferred to the Leigh Trust of the Diocese of Adelaide.  The building was renovated in the 1950’s.  Anglican use finished in 1962.

For information on the history of this church before it became an Anglican Church, please refer to Black Springs Wesleyan Church and for information regarding this church once it became a Lutheran Church, please refer to Black Springs Trinity Lutheran Church.


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Information about the Baptist Church, in Thames St, Kooringa is extremely rare.  One fact that is known, is that the old church was used as a council depot for many years.


The following is an extract from the original diary of Thomas Hair.  The extract relates to his time in Burra and the establishment of the Baptist Church.


"In England we all belonged to the Baptist Church but there was none of that persuasion up there, so we mostly attended the Primitive Methodist Church.  Buxton being a good public speaker he was anxious to start a cause at the Burra.

He was told that the Overseen of Works, that is all buildings and carpentry work, was a Baptist, Mr. Philip Santo, so one Sunday afternoon we resolved to introduce ourselves to him.  We were very cordially received by himself and his good wife.  It turned out that Mr. Santo belonged to the Grote St. Church of Christ.  Not being much difference between us, and Mr. Santo being a good speaker the two argued the points of difference between them, but Mr. Santo very soon convinced us thus Christians [Primitive Methodists in this context] walked nearer the truth than the Baptists, so it was suggested that we meet at the Santo's house on Sunday mornings to break bread according to the ancient custom of the Apostles of old, and both of them being good speakers they soon began to preach the Gospel on Sunday evenings and they would get a house full of hearers, first one and then another were convinced, the Hoskins and Pearces families were baptised and 18 received into the Church.  Adam Taylor a shipmate of mine also joined the Church and several others.

And Mr. Santo's house got too straight for all who wished to hear the Word so it was resolved that a Chapel be built with a Baptistry under the platform.  It was not talked about for months before starting the work, but after the resolution was passed it was taken in hand at once.  Hoskin and Pearce were masons, Buxton at this time had left the mine and started as Builder in the town on his own account, Adam Taylor was a quarry man, he found the stone, Brooker, the father of Brooker of the firm of Brooker and Crooks was a Painters so the building was put up cheap.  I think it was opened free of debt or nearly so."

Bible Christian

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The first Bible Christian Chapel in the 1960s, prior to restoration
Remains of the first Bible Christian Chapel in 2004
Second Bible Christian Chapel

Ruins of Second Bible Christian Chapel

First Bible Christian Chapel
Cnr of Paxton Square

The chapel was erected in 1850 and the first sermon was preached by the Reverend James Blatchford.

It closed as a chapel in 1900 with the amalgamation of the branches of Methodism.

Part of the first Bible Christian Chapel and parsonage still remains at the corner of Paxton Square and serves as the reception are for Paxton Square Cottages. 

Second Bible Christian Chapel
Corner of Quarry St and Bridge Terrace

The second Bible Christian Chapel was built by Cornish miners in 1859.  Services were discontinued in 1900 following the union with the Methodist churches. 

Eventually, the decision was made to dynamite and demolish the church as there were structural issues with the building, namely the weight of the slate roof which had caused one wall to bulge.  The church was dynamited in 1909 however this did not prove to be very successful and remained in ruins till the 1930s.



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Hampton in February 2005


A Bible Christian Chapel was built in Hampton, but all that remains of Hampton now are ruins.


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Mount Bryan Bible Christian Chapel, May 2001

Mount Bryan Bible Christian Chapel

The Mount Bryan Bible Christian Chapel predated the town, having been built in 1871.  It was a couple of kilometres to the north-east.  It has long been abandoned.


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Howley's cottage in Paxton Square where Mass was first celebrated in Burra

Knevett's house, Chapel Street, Burra, where Mass was later celebrated

Original St Joseph's Chapel and School in Commercial St, Kooringa, with old convent at rear

Interior of St Josephs, 1888

St Joseph's Catholic Church in April, 2005

St Joseph's Catholic Church
Commercial Street, Kooringa

The original St. Joseph's Chapel and Convent School was located in Commercial Street, Kooringa. 

According to a history of the parish, written by Fr. Kevin Matthews, the Catholic parish of Burra has its origins in a revolution that was spreading through Europe.  In 1848, Revolution, starting in Paris swept through Europe.  In 1848, the "Anti-Jesuit Law" in Austria gave the Jesuits a choice of ceasing to be Jesuits or going into exile from their homeland.  The law was repealed by 1852 but the effects were felt in many parts of Europe.

As per the experience of German Lutherans, German Catholics also objected to interference in religious matters by the Prussian Government.  It was Frank Welkert a prosperous farmer from Silesia, Germany who planned to lead a group of German Catholics to South Australia. 

Two Jesuits, Fr. Maximillian Klinkowstroem and Fr. Aloysius Kranewitter were chosen to open the mission that would eventually lead to the establishment of the parish of Sevenhill and eventually of Burra.

The first Catholic services were held in Burra in 1849 and from 1853, Burra was visited regularly once a month.  Mass was celebrated at Howley's Cottage in Paxton Square or at Knevett's home in Chapel Street.

At the beginning of 1857 a house was bought in Commercial Street and blessed for use as a Church-School in February.  A building was erected near it where the priest could stay on his visits.  A lay teacher, Mr. Fogg, conducted the Catholic school until the 1870s when the Sisters of St. Joseph took over. 

The little chapel soon proved insufficient for the number of Catholics and when a building site was presented to the Church by the South Australian Mining Association, the Catholics sprang into action to build their own Church.  The decision to build a new church was formally made at a meeting held at the School-Chapel on 11th December, 1870.


St Joseph's Catholic Church
Market Street, Burra

The building of this new church was not without its dramas, but it was finally completed in 1874.  According to the "Harp and Southern Cross Summary" (Vol. VI No. 285, Dec. 4, 1874 p 3 & 4):

"The church is 60 feet long in the clear and 32 feet wide.  The sanctuary ... is carpeted with more than the customary magnificence, is 21 feet in width and 17 in length.  The ornamentation of the altar is striking, and the various appurtenances seem to have been well chosen to consort with it.

The walls are 22 feet high, and the roof 21, making 43 from the floor to the highest part of the ceiling.  The top of the cross on the bell tower is 86 feet from the ground, and when the elevation of the foundations above the level of the road is considered, it may be said to stand at an altitude of about 100 feet.

The style of the building is early gothic, and the structure has been constructed to accommodate about 700 persons - 600 on the ground floor and 100 above the entrance in a gallery, which also serves as an organ loft."

Other accounts advise the the seating figures were exaggerated and a total of 300 would be more accurate.  It would also appear that over the years, the altar is no longer as ornate as it once was, simple ornamentation seemingly being preferred.

The official opening tool place on Sunday, November 8, 1874 and the Right Rev. Dr Reynolds, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Adelaide, performed the ceremony.

In 1899 the parish of Burra was transferred to the secular clergy of the Diocese of Port Augusta.  The handover must have been a big event as it was well documented.  Fr. William Doyle was the first secular priest, arriving October 22nd 1899.

The convent and school at the rear were closed in 1970.


Parish Limits

The extent of the Burra parish seems to have varied during the late 1800s and early 1900s.  In 1900-1901 and even as late as 1909 the priest at Kooringa served St. Columba's, the missionary chapel at Renmark.  Although in 1909, Booborowie belonged to the Archdiocese of Adelaide, it was served from Burra by the Diocese of Port Augusta until it became part of the Spalding parish.

Farrell's Flat, Leiton (spelt that way in early writings) World's Eng, Emu Downs and towns along the North East line are mentioned as served from Burra at varying times.


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St Dymphna's Catholic Church

St Dymphna's Church

The Catholic Church Endowment Society Incorporated granted land to the Catholics of the district of Booborowie on September 23, 1896.  By November 1901 the Catholics of the district were working hard to gather funds to build a church. 

St Dymphna's Church was finally built in 1903, much to the jubilation of the congregation who had been celebrating Mass till that point, at the Booborowie Station Wool Shed.  The stone was carted in horse and drays by local farmers.  In the 1920s additions were made - chancel sanctuary and the front porch.  Each year there were St Patrick's Days Celebrations with sports events, followed by High Tea and a Ball.  The sports continued until 1962.  The Parish Priest is now based in Burra.

Congregational / Presbyterian

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Section of an 1848 map of Kooringa

Kooringa Hotel, May 2004

The following is extracted from Ian Auhl's, "The Story of the 'Monster Mine'", p.302:-

Early in 1850 the Baptists and Congregationalists (or Independents) were granted leases of land in Kooringa on which to erect chapels.  A Congregational chapel, sited across the road from the Bible Christian Chapel was completed in September.  Designated the "Union Chapel" it is likely that the chapel, "a good and substantial building of stone, capable of accommodating 200 bearers" was also used by other denominations.

The new chapel was opened in great style on 29 September that great champion of ecumenical principles, Rev. Thomas Quentin Stow of Adelaide.  Costing £300, the chapel was opened almost free of debt.

The first Congregational service in Burra had been conducted in the residence of the mine storekeeper, Thomas Burgess by the Rev. Henry Cheetham in March of 1850.  Cheetham was to be Burra's first and last Congre02gational minister.

Following the news of the discovery of gold in Victoria, miners abandoned the chapels and consequently, the Congregational chapel closed and neither the Congregationalists nor Baptists held services in Burra again.

In 1855 the "Union Chapel" became the home of the "welsh Church".  In 1860, with the departure of most of the Welsh smelters, the chapel was renovated and re-opened as the United Presbyterian Church.

History of Allotment 301 Kooringa


Congregational Church opened by Rev. T.Q. Stow.


Welsh congregation takes over the Congregational Church.


Welsh Chapel becomes the United Presbyterian Church.


Burra Grammar School opens.


Burra Grammar School closes.


Burra Grammar School demolished and the Kooringa Hotel built by E.C. Lockyer who was Managing Director of Burra’s Unicorn Brewery.


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 St Paul's Lutheran Church, Burra North 1904.  The church is the little in the centre right on the edge of the picture

St John's Lutheran Church, Burra -  April 2005

Redruth Lutheran Church

The original St Paul’s Church was on Lot 10.

The foundation stone for St John's Lutheran Church Redruth was laid 27/3/1851. In 1851 the discovery of gold in Victoria saw the German miners join with everyone else in a mad scramble to try their luck.  The Burra Burra Mine closed and the partly completed church was abandoned when the wall about 1 metre high.  Building resumed in 1859 and the church was in use between 1861-1910 when it was destroyed by fire.

The modern church is St. John's Lutheran Church, on Ludgvan St, Burra North.


St. John's Lutheran Church

Ludgvan St, Burra North

The church was established on this site in 1967.


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Site of St Paul's Lutheran Church 1878-1913, Section 49 Hundreds of Baldina.  There are 5 readable headstones all in German

Upper Bright (Baldina) Lutheran Church 

Upper Bright Church operated between 1887 and 1960.  It was located in the Hundreds of Baldina.  There are 41 graves on the site.  The first meeting was held on 12th April, 1887.

The foundation stone of the church was laid on 22nd June, 1887.  Pastors present on that occasion were the late Pastors E. Hornann and J. E. Hanson.

In 1912 the porch was added to the Church and the 25th Jubilee celebrated in August of that year.

Baldina Plains Lutheran Church

St Paul’s which operated from 1878 to 1913 was located in Hundreds of Baldina Section 49.  All that currently remains are 5 readable headstones in German.


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Trinity Lutheran Church in Black Springs.  Photo taken January 24, 2000

Black Springs Trinity Lutheran Church

This church was three different denominations before it finally became the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church:-

  1. Wesleyan from 1869 -1897

  2. Anglican Church of Ascension from 1898 -1962

  3. Trinity Lutheran from 1963 

Reference Burra Library LHBLA 1 LU 00001


The Lutheran Church acquired the building which is 22’ x 31½ with 16’ walls and a roof pitch of 45º.  The Lutherans added a porch (or narthex) and it was dedicated on 28 April 1963 as Trinity Lutheran Church.

For information on the history of this church before it became a Lutheran Church, please refer to Black Springs Wesleyan Church and Black Springs Anglican Church of the Ascension.

Primitive Methodist

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Former Primitive Methodist Church, Thames St (currently a private residence)

Burra Primitive Methodist Church
Thames Street, Burra

The church was erected in 1849, but was extensively modified in 1879.

It was acquired as a Masonic Hall in 1900 when it became surplus after the amalgamation of the three branches of Methodism.

It is now a private residence.



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Redruth Primitive Methodist Church
Redruth Primitive Methodist Church

Former Redruth Primitive Methodist Church in 2004  (later Jubilee Hall).  This site is now privately owned.

Redruth Primitive Methodist Church
Tregony Street, Redruth

Located on portion of section 49 and 50 Tregony Street, Redruth it was built as a Primitive Methodist Church in 1858.  When opened on the 28th October 1858 it was named Zion Chapel.

With the union of the three branches of Methodism, final services took place in February 1900.

A group of trustees of the Redruth Methodist Church agreed to take over the church, which had been declared unsafe.

Six memorial stones were laid at the church on 7th May, 1902, the western wall was demolished and the building extended by 10 feet, this work was completed by the end of May 1902.

The Jubilee of Methodism in Burra was celebrated in June of 1902 and the former Redruth Primitive Methodist Church was from that time known as Jubilee Hall and used by the Redruth Methodists as a Sunday School.

In 1924 a new Sunday School was built next the the Redruth Methodist Church and Jubilee Hall was sold in 1929.  The building, although in disrepair is still standing.


The following account of the Redruth Methodist Jubilee Celebrations is taken from the Burra Record XV, 519, 25 June 1902, page 3.


Redruth Methodist Jubilee Celebrations

The class meeting at 9 a.m. and the prayer meeting at 10 a.m. were marked with great fervour.  The President of Conference, Rev. J. Cowperthwaite, preached at the 11 a.m. service.  At 2 p.m. the keys were given to Miss Reed as Secretary of the United Methodist Sunday School to open the door to Jubilee Hall.  The President and secretary of the Conference then entered with J. Tiver, Superintendent of the Sunday school and then the teachers and scholars.  Rev. H.J. Pope then preached the first service to the children who were also addressed by the President.  An adult service followed at 3 p.m.  The evening service by Rev. Cowperthwaite was followed by a Love Feast when many testified to the saving power of the Gospel.

E.W. Crewes was unavoidably unable to preside at the banquet on Wednesday and his place was taken by the President of the Conference.  At 3.30 he also presided at the Historic Meeting.  Rev. W.F. James gave an historical sketch of Redruth Methodism.  Rev. H.J. Pope, who laboured in the Primitive Methodist Circuit some 30 years ago also gave some reminiscences as did Mr Rabbich and N. Coombe.  May’s barss band played before the tea meeting at 5.30.  The enforced absence of Rev. T.B. Anguin was regretted.



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The disturbed patch in the foreground marks the site of the Douglas Primitive Methodist Church in December 2001

The foundations of the Douglas Primitive Methodist Church in December 2001.  To the left is the Burra-Redbanks Road.

Douglas Primitive Methodist Church

There was a Primitive Methodist Church at Douglas, but it was some distance away from the town site well to the east of the Baldina Creek ford and near the Thistlebeds homestead.  Ruins are all the remain.



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Iron Mine Primitive Methodist Church, built 1871

Iron Mine Primitive Methodist Church and Sunday School

Iron Mine Primitive Methodist Church

Adjacent to the mine site there was a Primitive Methodist Church and tennis courts.  Not far away was a blacksmith. 

Today the church is a private home.



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Copperhouse Primitive Methodist Church

In 1873 there were 14 houses, one of which was probably the former Commercial Inn, and a Primitive Methodist Church. 

There was a school which may have utilised the church building as after 1900 the Education Department bought it and modified it for that purpose. 

Today two houses remain and the school building.



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In this March 2001 photograph the site of the chapel can be identified from the remaining stones scattered here and the slight depression with a slightly greener tinge in the centre of the photo

Springbank Primitive Methodist Church

The only services in the area were a Primitive Methodist Chapel and some tennis courts.  The site of the former chapel is identifiable from the scattered stones.


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  Stony Gap Primitive Methodist Church


Salvation Army

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Salvation Army Band in the 1920s

Former Salvation Army Citadel, Kingston St, Kooringa

The Salvation Army commenced in Burra in February 1884, less than seven years after its formal launch under that name in London. 

After initial opposition, its numbers grew to a point where, in May 1885, members were able to build the Citadel in Kingston Street, Kooringa.

Here are some extracts from The Burra Record in relation to the Salvation Army:-

V, 313, 19 Feb. 1884, page 2

Salvation Army.  On Friday the ‘War Cry’ was heard in Burra streets for the first time.  On Saturday there were reinforcements in the person of Staff Captain Thurmann and several Lieutenants who opened their campaign on the hill near the state school.  The United Methodist Church meeting was held at the pump as usual.  The Salvationists went to Paxton Square.  Rev. S. Knight and other speakers at the pump expressed their willingness to co-operate with the Salvationists at their Saturday night meetings.  The battle was rejoined on Sunday.

V, 314, 22 Feb. 1884, page 2

The Salvation Army has obtained the land on which John Sampson’s auction mart stands and intends to build there a Barracks.  They are attracting large crowds nightly in the square.

V, 315, 26 Feb. 1884, page 2

The Salvation Army have taken over the old Church of England on Limestone Hill and had three large congregations there on Sunday.  They have use of the old building pending the erection of the Barracks.

V, 346, 17 June 1884, page 2

The Salvation Army, not being allowed any longer to rent the old church, are holding their meetings in the open air.

V, 349, 27 June 1884, page 2

Salvation Army.  The article from the Clare correspondent indicates a hostile reaction to the Salvation Army and regards them as a common nuisance in the town: ‘parading the streets, and making night hideous’.

VI, 359, 1 Aug. 1884, page 2

The Salvation Army packed out the Bible Christian Church for a monster meeting last Tuesday.  The object was to raise money for a new Barracks.  Speakers were Major Thurman and his wife from Adelaide, Staff Officer Hendy from Victoria and Staff Officer Jones from Gawler.

VI, 414, 113 February 1885, Page 2

Salvation Army Barracks.  There is a one column report on the laying of the foundation stone for the new barracks last Wednesday.   At 3 p.m. a procession was formed in Market Square led by Major Thurman, Staff-Officer Jones and Captain Prowse and the band and they then marched to the Kingston St site.  After hymns and a prayer the Mayor, John Dunstan jnr, laid the stone.  He was glad the treatment of the ‘Army’ in Burra had lacked the violence and antagonism displayed elsewhere, at least to any great extent.  He then went on to deprecate the ‘despicable action of a certain section of the Clare people’.

VI, 432, 17 April 1885, page 2

The Salvation Army opened their new barracks in Burra yesterday.  The corps marched to the railway station to meet the first Adelaide train and Major Thurman, Staff-Captain Oldham, Staff-Captain Hendy, Lieutenant Ward, and others.  The whole then marched back to Kooringa, band playing and colours flying.  An open-air service followed at the pump and then tea in the new barracks.  The hall was crowded to capacity in the evening.  Staff-Captain Hendy opened the meeting.  The Wesleyans had given them the land and the cost from Messrs Sara and Dunstan had been £582-0-9 and the present debt was £437, but seats and other conveniences would increase that to £500.  The building in Kingston Street is large and substantial, if plain.  The room is 60’ x 45’ x 18’ high.  Acoustic properties seem good and ventilation is sufficient.  The doors need attention.  In the event of fire there are three doors and the hall could be emptied quickly, but they slide and in a panic with pressure against them they would be immovable.

Wesleyan and Methodist  (Uniting Church)

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Original Kooringa Wesleyan Church, Chapel St
Opening Day of the Kooringa Methodist Church 25th March, 1914
Burra Uniting Church in 2004 
(former Kooringa Methodist Church which replaced the original Kooringa Wesleyan Church)

Kooringa Wesleyan Church
Chapel Street, Burra

The first Wesleyan chapel and schoolroom was built on this site in 1847 and was the first church in Burra. 

The church was demolished in 1914.


Burra Uniting Church (former Kooringa Wesleyan Church)
Chapel Street, Burra

After the original Wesleyan church was demolished, this one was built in its place in 1914.

When the three branches of Methodism (Wesleyans, Bible Christians and Primitive Methodists) amalgamated in 1900 as the Methodist Union, this became the main Methodist Church.


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Redruth Wesleyan Church, side view
Redruth Wesleyan Church - with the walls

Redruth Wesleyan Church today (later known as the Old Redruth Methodist Church)

Redruth Wesleyan Church (later known as Old Redruth Methodist Church)
Ludgvan Street, Burra North

The first chapel was erected in 1851 and was subsequently closed and dismantled in 1854.  The chapel was restored in 1857, using material from Kooringa Chapel.

Built in 1874 at a cost of £1,340, it is a rare example of Norman style Gothic architecture and is the only cruciform building left in Burra.



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The World's End Wesleyan Methodist Church, photographed March 2000

World’s End (1889 - 1975)

The building was used as a church and school. The inscription over the door reads WMC 1889 ( Wesleyan Methodist Church built 1889).

The first marriage celebrated in the church was on 8th August 1890 between John Parker and Hannah Irlam.

The church was closed in 1975.


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Baldina Methodist Church

Close up of the ruins of the Baldina Methodist Church in December 2001
Baldina Methodist Church (former Wesleyan)

The Baldina Wesleyan Church was 10km from Burra, on the Morgan Road. 

The original corrugated iron church  (nicknamed the "Tin Pot Church") was rebuilt in stone (called the "Stone Jug Church") in November 1900. 

Davieston / Hanson

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Opening of the church on December 20, 1903

Trustees at the porch opening, 6th April 1904

The former Methodist Church at Hanson, now used as a holiday home.  Photographed
April 2005

Former Methodist Church Hall in Hanson.  Photographed April 2005

Hanson Wesleyan Church

This town lies 13km south-west of Burra and was surveyed in September 1865 when it was names Davies.  The town was generally referred to as Daviestown, Davieston, or Davies Town.  It was decided about 1890, notwithstanding the much later official date of 19 September 1940, that it would be called Hanson.  There is a confusing period from about then to about 1901 when both names occur.  It would not have been nearly such a mess had the name Hanson not at the time been applied to what is now Farrell Flat.

Some history of the church, as detailed in the Burra Record:

1 Oct. 1902, page 3

Hanson Methodist Church.

After worshipping in the Council Chamber for many years Methodists in Hanson have formed a trust to prepare for the building of a church on two allotments of land at the corner of West and South Terraces.  Two-thirds of the outlay is to be secured in cash, promised subscriptions, or labour and materials before tenders are let. 

21 Oct. 1903, page 3

Wesley Bicentenary Church Hanson, Wednesday 14 October.

Bad weather kept some away, but there was still a good crowd at 3 p.m. when Rev. H.J. Pope, President of Conference preached a sermon in the State Schoolroom.  The memorial stone service was preached by Rev. W.F. James.  Mr Jesse Humphrys laid the first stone.  The President then laid the Wesley bicentenary stone.  For over two hours the tea tables in the council chamber were crowded.

Historic sketch by Rev. W.F. James.

Services at Hanson began nearly 25 years ago in the house of the late Mr Rogers and were continued in the Council Chamber.  In 1880 Hanson, Farrell’s Flat, Stony Gap and Black Springs comprised a Home Mission.  After 9 years of struggle even a liberal Home Mission grant couldn’t support the Mission and in March 1888 Farrell’s Flat was joined to the Mintaro Circuit and Hanson and Stony Gap to the Burra Circuit.  When that divided they became part of the Redruth Circuit.  An organ was purchased two years ago.  Some 15 years ago Mr J. Lane gave £20 to the Wesley Jubilee Fund towards new churches at World’s End and Hanson.  The former got built, but the latter was not realised even with a three year extension and the £10 went to other uses.  Three years ago fund raising started for the present effort.  It was begun with £20 from Jesse Humphrys.  Two acres of land at the corner of South and West Terraces were obtained and since then £150 has been raised towards the building. 

Over £40 was laid on the stones at the ceremonies including a donation from the Federal Speaker, Sir Frederick Holder.  The tea and collections raised £10.  This means there is £200 raised of the estimated £250 needed to open the church free of debt.

[Considerable more detail of the people involved in the history of this church is given in the article.]

16 Dec. 1903, page 2

The Hanson Methodist Church will be opened on 20 December.  The total cost will be upwards of £260 and over £210 has been received with £20 promised towards the balance of £30.  [The figures cited suggest this should say ‘leaving a balance of £30’.]

 XV, 620, 6 Apr. 1904, page 3

Hanson Methodist Church

Rev. W.F. James opened the porch of the Hanson church on 27 March and then preached his farewell sermon.  The congregations over Easter were large with over 100 going from Burra to the tea meeting on Good Friday, to bring the total to c. 300.  The new fence was also much admired.  The total cost of the church, porch etc. has now reached £315-16-0 and up to the 23 March £294-4-1 has been received.  Subscriptions, tea-money, and collections have since raised £23-11-5, leaving £1-19-6 in hand.  Rev. W.F. James was presented with a Morocco bound address with two photographs of the church and its office bearers.


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The remains of the Wesleyan Church in Westbury.  Photographed January 2001.

Westbury Wesleyan Church

Westbury is now farmland.  By 1873 there was one house on lots 230-231 and a Wesleyan Church on 232.  These were almost adjacent to Copperhouse and after Methodist union in 1900 the Westbury Church became the Methodist Church, allowing the Copperhouse Primitive Methodist Church to be taken over by the school.  It was as often referred to as the Copperhouse Church as the Westbury Church.  Neither it nor the house remain.


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Leighton Wesleyan Church

Leighton was not a town, but a locality with a cluster of functions.  The Leighton Wesleyan Church was further towards Baldry, which was some 6 km west.


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Opened May 30th, 1937

The Methodist Church in Mt Bryan in May 2001.  The hall is now used as a Community Hall. 

Mt Bryan Wesleyan Church

The township of Mount Bryan took a long time to grow,  The church, council Chambers and Hotel were in one area; the Railway Station and School were further to the south.  Gradually the centre of activity moved to the Railway area.  With quite a large community in this central area, a new congregation was formed, first with Sunday School meetings in the Hall and then with church services.  Before long it was decided to build a new church in the town. 

Land was given for the new church by Mr Jack Smelt, and  wood and iron building lined with asbestos was opened in 1913.  There was some opposition to the new church - known by some as the "Cook house" - as many of the "Old Church" congregation had much further to travel to church than the townspeople.  The numbers at that time were sufficient to keep the two congregations, and each had a large Sunday School and Choir. 

For 20 years the two churches continued as separate congregations, meeting together for the annual Sunday School Picnic and Circuit functions.  Through the depression numbers and finances fell and amalgamation was suggested.  In 1936, the Centenary year a proposal was put to the town church trustees to build a church as a Centenary effort and the proposal was carried unanimously.  The architect for the project was M. Golding, and the builder,  F.M. Pearce.

The Foundation Stone for the new church was laid on January 23rd, 1937 by Rev. W. O. Robinson, and the church was opened on May 29th, 1937.

More information about the history of the church is available in the booklet, "The Mount Bryan Township Uniting Church".

The church had it's final service on the 3rd April, 2005 and the furniture from it was subsequently advertised for sale in the local paper.


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The former Black Springs Wesleyan Church as it is now - the Trinity Lutheran Church in Black Springs.  Photo taken January 24, 2000

Black Springs Wesleyan Church

Reference Burra Library LHBLA 1 LU 00001

Section 2032 Hundred of Stanley was granted to Thomas Tapley 4 January 1851 and the small part holding the church was transferred on 22 July 1870 to the Wesleyan Methodist Church.  The trustees being: Rev. Lawrence Binks (Chairman of Wesleyan Methodist Church of S.A. ), Rev. George Lee of Kooringa, Richard Glasson, William Earle, James Pascoe, Digory Jago, George Williamson, Alfred Trezise, Charles Williamson ( all of Black Springs) and Philip Land and John Ricardo Stephens of Kooringa.


The Wesleyan Church had already been built and was opened 12 Nov. 1869 building later used as the Primitive Methodist Chapel on the Waterloo Road and which was later the Glendore Methodist Church until 1962.   Wesleyanism languished in Black Springs and on 23 April 1884 the surviving trustees transferred the building to the District Council of Black Springs.


It was used as the Council Chamber until the Black Springs District Council amalgamated with the District Council of Waterloo.


Various secular uses including a residence and a wine shop.

For further information on the history of this church, please refer to Black Springs Anglican Church of the Ascension and Black Springs Trinity Lutheran Church.