St Paul's Anglican Church, Euroa 

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In March, 2017, the tower roof on St Paul's church was finally replaced. There have been concerns for quite some time, as the roofing iron was very rusty and during heavy showers of rain, water would drip into the church, very close to the Heritage listed organ. This work was carried out by Josh Bell and Co. It is a pity that the new roof cannot be seen but it looks wonderful and our parishioners are very glad that this work has finally been completed.


THE LABYRINTH:  The Labyrinth at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Euroa
The pattern of the St Paul’s, Euroa Labyrinth is the labyrinth pattern built into the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France more than 800 years ago. It is the best-known Christian labyrinth design.
The labyrinth is one element to encourage people to experience the rich depths of spirituality found in Christianity.

The first Church of England service to be held in Euroa was conducted at the Seven Creeks Hotel by Rev. Singleton from the Parish of Kilmore in 1854.
Mr J. De Boos a prominent layman at the time conducted a number of services at his home and he also had a Sunday school established in a bark hut at the rear of his home.
Various clergy conducted services while travelling north from Melbourne, particularly on the way to the goldfields at Beechworth.
Prior to any Church being created a Church School building was constructed with a dirt floor on the C of E reserve in Scobie Street. This building later became the first part of the current Rectory.
The school building was also used for Church services by various clergy and lay readers. Bishop Charles Perry, Bishop of Melbourne, visited Euroa in 1848 and conducted a service in the school room.
After many local efforts it was decided to construct a Church and plans were drawn for a Gothic style building in 1884 and the building was completed in 1884 at a cost of 800 pounds, albeit with a debt of 300 pounds.
The Church was opened in 1885 with the first resident priest appointed being Rev. F.L.  Wilson. Even in those early days there was a connection with the Longwood Church of St Andrew but by 1882 the Parish included the centres of Castle Creek, Shean’s Creek and Balmattum.
By the 1890’s the extensions necessary to the Rectory meant the overall debt still remained until the turn of the century despite many fund raising efforts.
During the incumbency of Re. A.A. Wiltshire from 1904-1909 the decision was taken to construct a hall, the final cost being 533 pounds. The first Bishop of Wangaratta, Rt. Rev T.H. Armstrong laid the memorial foundation stone in April 1907.
However tragedy was to overtake Rev Wiltshire when he fell to his death at Charman falls some six miles from Euroa.
Again further tragedy with the death of former Euroa man and parishioner Rev. Charles Christopher Godden, a missionary in Melanesia, who died at the hand of a local tribesman on 16thOctober 1906.
Various priests occupied the incumbency over the next few years. It was during the time of Rev Gordon Nelson from 1923 – 1928 that the Rectory was finally completed.
The mind of the vestry and indeed of the parishioners started to become focussed on the need to include a Sanctuary and Chancel within the Church building.
Prior to this time a temporary timber extension to the Nave had sufficed but was always felt to be inadequate.
Rev. Franks Travers became Rector in 1928, and apart from his influence on the proposed building he also had a great influence of the parishioners in general.
This extension to the Church was started in 1929 after engaging well known church architect Louis Williams.
The plan included a bell tower above the Chancel, and the foundation stone for this extension was laid in November 19 29 by the Bishop of Wangaratta Rt. Rev John Stephen Hart.
This was the time of the great depression and there was much discussion, consideration and debate over the finishing of the building. The actual tower cost was an extra 400 pounds to complete and repayment of the debt lingered for many years.
During these years, and for many years after the war St Paul’s had both an active choir and Sunday school with active participation of the children of the parish. There were also very active men’s groups and ladies auxiliaries.
Clergy during the years included Canon Scott 1932, Rev Selwyn Ide 1940, Rev. Claude Kennedy 1947 and Rev. Albert Strickland 1954.
In 1951 the grounds of St Paul’s were planted out as a memorial garden in memory of Mrs. Ellen Adelaide Stribling. Together with the planting Mr Edward Stribling established a trust fund to maintain the gardens. The trust has been used over the years and is still available for replenishing as required.
Re. Edwin Badger was inducted as Rector in 1959 and he was followed by Rev. Angus Cooper in 1961.
In 1960 after a number of years of a declining congregation the Shean’s Creek Church was closed and removed to the town of Waaia, in the Parish of Nathalia.
In 1962 the Church in Australia adopted a new constitution and became known as “The Anglican Church in Australia” This name was adopted in each state over a period of time.
It was during the incumbency of Rev. Angus Cooper that some major developments took place.
The Stribling family presented the Church with a fine pipe organ built by Mr Stephen Laurie. The organ has since been classified by the National Trust.
Mrs Thea Cooper, the wife of the Rector was a fine organist and music teacher and this stimulated a greater interest in the musical life of St Paul’s through the choir activity and recitals which still continue to this day.
During this time, within the garden, a new section, known as a “Garden of Remembrance” was established.
The current Vestry and a new Baptistry were also built.
1972 saw the arrival of Rev. Malcolm Crawley and his family followed by Rev.K. Edwards.
When Louis Williams had drawn up the plans for the Sanctuary and Chancel he also indicated a small Lady Chapel in his drawings and sketches.
This idea had been a discussion point within the community for many years, and so, in 1978 the Chapel came into being. Built on the west wall of the Chancel it affords a place for small services and quiet times for worshipers.
With some major financial assistance from Miss. J. Sanger the chapel was opened in 1978 and dedicated by Bishop Max Thomas.
Priests over the years from 1978 to the present included Rev J. Selvaratnam, Rev David Nichols, Rev Wayne Ireland, Rev Bill Squire who occupied the position for 1994 until 2002, and Rev Roger Ross 2002.
The devastating bush fires of 2009 caused much tragedy, and amongst the victims of the fires were Rev.Patti Matthews and Rev. Norman Hart.
Having been displaced from their home in Marysville, Patti accepted the incumbency of the Parish of Euroa in May 2009.
Both her Ministry, and also Norman’s has been greatly appreciated both by the Parish community as well as the community in general.
It should be remembered that Priests come and go and the ongoing life of any Parish will always rely on the faith and commitment of the lay members of the parish. This has been evident over the past 125 years with faithful lay people, over all of this time committed to upholding the church and its ongoing life in the Euroa community.
John Sullivan. 2016.