Port Lincoln. The Anglican Church. Governor Young laid the foundation stone in 1849. Built with government funds and a free grant of government land. This system ended in 1851.
Port Lincoln Anglican Church.
The settlement of Port Lincoln was one of the early towns of South Australia and consequently the Anglican Church of Saint Thomas is one of the early churches of South Australia. When the Governor of South Australia offered state aid for churches through the Legislative Council in 1847 there was much opposition to this act. Baptist and Congregational churches opposed the move: as did most other groups except the Anglicans. But some were prepared to accept a free grant of glebe lands, often up to 20 acres or up to £150 for the construction of the church and £50 for the construction of a rectory or manse. The glebe lands were there to provide an income for the church and contribute to the stipend of the minister. Press opposition to the ordinance continued and the scheme was short lived and ended in 1851. A newspaper report in 1848 noted that roughly two thirds of the glebe lands went to Anglican churches which was of course the intention of the Anglican governor of the time. But glebe lands also went to the Catholic Church, the Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Presbyterians. Most received between 10 and 20 acres but Port Lincoln Anglican church received just one acre as the government did not own that town but it also received a cash grant towards the cost of erecting the church, rectory and Anglican day school.
Governor Young, accompanied by Anglican Bishop Short laid the foundation stone of St Thomas Church in 1849 and the church opened in 1852 although it was competed towards the end of 1851. The stained glass windows on the end of the nave were installed at this time and is some of the oldest stained glass in South Australia. In 1876 the church was greatly enlarged and the nave of 1851 became the transepts of the new church which it still is.