Launceston, TAS - St Andrew's Presbyterian

Year Built: 1849

Denomination: Presbyterian

Address: 36 St John Street, Launceston, Tasmania,

Architect: William Henry Clayton

Architectural Style: Gothic

Last Updated: 22/02/2024

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History and Architecture:

It was the second Presbyterian church to be built in the city of Launceston following the Scotch National Church on Charles Street (built 1831).

The land was secured with a petition to Lieutenant-Governor, Sir William Thomas Denison for a lot of land occupied by one of the colony's original watch houses. The Building Committee advertised for plans of a church capable of seating 700 people.

A total of 14 designs were submitted by eight competitors with the winning design, though significantly smaller than advertised with a capacity of only 320, was won by William Henry Clayton of Norfolk Plains who later went on to become the Colonial Architect for the New Zealand Government. Clayton's plans called for a simple Gothic-inspired church built from local bricks rendered over in stucco with sandstone decorations and spire with entrances off both Patterson and St John Streets.

On 16 October 1849, the foundation stone for the new church was laid by Lieutenant-Governor Denison. The Architect was E.S. Wright and the Builder was Paul Bath.

Between 1883 and 1885, a series of earth tremors were felt across Tasmania and Victoria which were attributed to the eruption of Krakatoa. One such tremor recorded on 14 July 1884 caused extensive damage in Launceston affecting mostly chimneys and plasterwork of various buildings around the city. This tremor skewed and shifted a number of the masonry pinnacles surrounding the roof of the church.


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1833 - 1854 Rev John Anderson
1841 - 1842 Rev James Garrett Asst
1843 - 1846 Rev Thomas Hastie Asst
1846 - 1848 Rev Robert Russell Asst
1848 - 1868 Rev R. Ewing
1868 - 1874 Rev J. Gardner
1874 - Rev J. M. Fulton
1875 - 1879 Rev Budge
1879 - 1895 Rev J. Lyle
1896 - 1904 Rev H. Jones
1905 - 1910 Rev W. Beck
1910 - 1920 Rev W. Holt
1920 - 1927 Rev Baird
1927 - 1938 Rev J. Lewis Hurse
1939 - 1946 Rev R. Merritt
1947 - 1950 Rev D. MacKight Jones
1951 - 1956 Rev C. W. Auldist 1986
1957 - 1962 Rev F. Sadler
1963 - 1965 Rev B. Adams
1966 - 1978 Rev R. S. Miller
1979 - 1993 Rev M. Ramage 2012
1981 - 1986 Rev C C. Letcher
1988 - 1992 Rev D. Tsai
1989 - 1993 Rev A. Morris
1993 - 1999 Rev S. Nicholson
1994 - 1999 Rev P. Mercer
2001 - 2012 Rev Peter Thorneycroft
2011 - 2019 Rev Jason Summers
2022 - Rev Michael Eleveld


In 1933, the original organ was replaced with the present-day organ, originally built in 1860 for Dr. Valentine of Campbell Town. Before being installed in St Andrew's Kirk, the organ was used in the Seaman's Mission in Hobart and St Luke's Church of England in Latrobe. In 1961, the organ was rebuilt and enlarged to its current size by Davis and Laurie followed by a 2005 rebuild of its electro-pneumatic action which was installed in the earlier 1961 rebuild.


1. Grace Grit and Glory A Historical Sketch of St Andrews Kirk Lanceston 1850 - 2000. LSC P 285.294511 DIN
2. Wikapedia.
3. Presbyterian Church Launceston Tasmania The Centenary April 9th 1831 - April 9th 1931, Historical Sketch 1831 - 1850. LSC P 285.09946 PRE