Following the opening of the new Church of Christ in River Road, Horsham on April 15, Horsham Historical Society has compiled a brief history of the Church of Christ buildings in the town.
It is assumed that, up until 1897, Church of Christ services (started by WD Little) were held in the Roberts Avenue (then known as Splatt Street) Temperance Hall. This building, which also served as a Catholic School room, was later moved by the Presbyterian Church to Stawell Road (Green Park). In early 1897, the former Murtoa Church of Christ building was shifted to Urquhart Street, Horsham. However, during the early 1900s, with increasing membership, this building holding just 80 worshippers was overtaxed. It was sold to the Zion Lutheran Church for £200 and moved to McPherson Street.
In 1915, the Urquhart/Baillie Street north-west corner block was purchased. Fundraising to build a new chapel began but was hindered by the outbreak of World War I. Under the guidance of the builder, Mr C Timmins of Melbourne, construction started in 1917.
The Horsham Times described the new chapel as: “a welcome addition to the buildings of Horsham, differing entirely, from the usual ecclesiastical design.”
The dedication service was led by Missioner Gilbert Chandler on Sunday, June 16, 1918. Over the years the original building had seen alterations, repairs and extensions to its structure. It was sold and demolished in March 2016.
Horsham Times Articles
A sale of work and gifts will take place on Friday and Saturday next, September 29 and 30, 1916 in Tainton’s Mart, Firebrace Street, Horsham commencing at 12 o’clock. Various articles will be offered for sale and afternoon tea, fruit salad and ice-cream will be obtainable. Proceeds from the sale of gifts are in aid of Church of Christ Building Fund. The admission is a silver coin and the proceeds go to the Red Cross funds.
The congregation of the Church of Christ intend shortly to build a brick place of worship on their land at the corner of Baillie and Urquhart streets and, in connection with the erection of the building, Mr C Timmins, contractor, is advertising for bricklayers and labourers.
June 1918: Dedication services in connection with the new chapel of the Church of Christ at the corner of Baillie and Urquhart dtreets will be on Sunday. The services will be conducted by the local pastor, Mr J R Combridge.