Methodist Church Carmel (Heidelberg)

Miss Agnes Tait

Research by Gordon Freegard

One of the first settlers to take up land in the Carmel area was Edward Owen. He settled in Canning Road in 1893 and founded a Methodist community in the area.

A new building was sanctioned in November 1905 for Heidelberg. Fund raising started in ernest with services being conducted in the local school building in the meantime. Various ministers serviced the area out of Kalamunda including Rev. K. S. Finch (1907), Rev. A. S. J. Fry (1912), Rev. A. R. Flemming (1912, 1913, 1914), Rev. William T. Hudd (1913) and Rev J. R. Elms (1914, 1915).

On Monday evening the 17th March 1908, a highly successful fruit social was held at Heidelberg as an outcome of the harvest thanksgiving festival of the Wesleyan Church of the district held on Sunday last. The Rev. J. E. Scott, of Guildford, presided over the gathering, which took place in the State schoolroom, the building proving too small to accommodate the large attendance. The Chairman, in his introductory speech, thanked most heartily all who assisted in the success of the social, particularly those who had so bounteously given of the good gifts bestowed upon by the plentiful harvest just gathered in. Such gatherings did much to keep members of the Church together. among those who drove large parties out to attend the social were Mrs. J. Anderson, Mrs. Martin, Mr. Brooks, Mr. Schunke and Capt. Tait.

The programme was contributed by the following:- Miss Tait, Miss Schunke, Miss Stirk, Mr. Watson, Mrs. Champion, Mr. Watt, Mrs Jones, Mr. Reed, Mrs. Collins, Mr. H. Weston and Rev. J. E. Scott. at the conclusion of the programme light dainty refreshments were handed round, and the young people afterwards indulged in merry games in lieu of dancing, for an hour or so.

Rev William T. Hudd c1911 and Rev J. R. Elms c1913

The New Methodist Church building was officially opened on 3rd October 1914 by Rev. Brian Wibberley assisted by Rev. J. R. Elms. The cost of the building had been borne, with the exception of a few pounds, wholly by the residences in voluntary subscriptions.

A terrific thunderstorm hit the Kalamunda area on Friday 26th February 1915 creating major damage throughout the district. The houses of Messrs. Brylon and Pritchard were raised to the ground. At Heidelberg Mr. Loaring was perhaps the heaviest sufferer. His losses in exportable fruit, together with damage caused by the washing away of apple, pear and citrus trees, were major. Other sufferers in the Heidelberg Valley were Messrs. Palmateer, Gray and Ashcroft, the Seventh Day Adventist school, and Mrs, Houghton. At Green’s Landing (later named Carmel) the newly erected Methodist church was wrecked and Mr. Gilbertson lost a valuable draught horse which was killed by a falling tree.

A few days later, obviously unaware of the above report, in March, 1915 at the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Methodist Church it was announced that new churches had been erected at Spearwood, Heidelberg, Wickepin, Minginew, Granville, Mullewa, Bruce Rock and Northampton, plus a commodious lecture hall and Sunday School premises at Albany, and a manse at Beverley.

W.P. Cramp conducted services at both the Carmel and Kalamunda Methodist Churches during 1921

In July 1937, tenders were called for the painting of the interior and exterior of the Carmel Methodist Church building, by W. P. Cramp of the Wesley Manse, Kalamunda.

The original building was moved to Lawnbrook Road in 1962 and finally demolished in 1996.

References: Article: Pickering Brook Heritage Group

Images: 1 Peter & Helen Skehan
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Kalamunda & Districts Historical Society