One final service will be held at St Paul's Church in Mitiamo on Easter Sunday. The church is being closed after 128 years of use.By Kathleen Tonini
After 128 years, Mitiamo’s St Paul’s Church will hold its final service on Easter Sunday.
The decreasing number of local worshippers is the reason the church will close its doors
Elderly people are leaving the tiny town of Mitiamo for the better-serviced towns of Echuca or Bendigo, while younger people have also left for work and study.
The result has seen the church’s congregation shrink to just a handful of families.
St Paul’s Betty Anderson said the closure of the church would mean Lockington and Milloo were the only remaining Anglican churches in the Parish of Lockington.
Dingee is already closed, while the Milloo Anglican Church mainly runs home services and only holds church services a couple of times a year.
Mrs Anderson, who is organising the final service and collecting church memorabilia along the way, said it was sad to see the church close.
‘‘It’s been an elderly congregation for a few years,’’ Mrs Anderson said.
‘‘The community is just so small and the people who have been keeping the church going have travelled.’’
Though in the past 12 months the Mitiamo church has only hosted a service once a month, before that there was one every Sunday without fail.
District parishioners would make the trip to church, often from outlying farming areas
Mrs Anderson was also involved with the Ladies Guild, before it folded a few years ago.
The guild organised debutante balls and lots of church functions.
‘‘We had great fellowship days,’’ she said .
‘‘It was a very supportive (church) community.’’
Now though, the skeleton of that community must face the closure of its beloved church, organise a final service and plan the future of the church building itself.
Mrs Anderson hopes the building will become a museum of sorts, to be used by the local historical society as a place to house the church memorabilia.
In the meantime though, she is hoping to get about 50 people to the final service, to celebrate St Paul’s history and witness the end of an era.
The service will be led by Bishop Andrew Curnow at 11am with a lunch to follow.
All are welcome.
RSVPs for catering purposes by March 22 to Betty on 5436
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