Significant Buildings
Clyde Methodist Church (1909)
First Public Building In Clyde Township -Methodist/Uniting Church 1909 -1999

The first public building erected in Clyde was the Methodist Church opened in December 1909. Erected at a cost of £183 the building was fitted out with the pulpit, organ and pews from the Wesleyan Church at Clyde (North) which had only been closed for several years.

In 1906 the George Thomas family arrived from Oakleigh to Tuckers Road with their 7 children ranging from 15-28 years

With the arrival of another church-going family, the Funstons, Ridgways, Stewarts, Mullins and others thought there was good reason to establish a Methodist Church near to the Railway Station.
.Previously folk travelled to Cranbourne and Clyde North to attend church services.
The first minister was Mr. Stafford who like many of the ministers to preach at Clyde, came from Dandenong. At various other times Clyde has been under the pastoral care of ministers from Koo-wee-rup, Pakenham and Frankston.

A thriving Sunday School was carried on for many years beginning in 1910 with 27 children. Mr Ray Thomas and later his daughter Miss Elsie Thomas carried the responsibility of Sunday School superintendent. Both Mr & Mrs Dawson, Mrs Hardy, and Mrs Harry Manks taught Sunday School. Former pupils will remember Sunday School Anniversaries, Harvest Festivals, receiving book prizes, take home scripture texts, and pictures to colour.

In the 1950’s Sunday School was held in the afternoon. Teachers of more recent times remembered were Sue Klein, Eric Manks and Rhonda Manks.

The church building had many public uses being rented for Clyde Progress Association, a Tennis Club, Education Department for School No 3664, Polling Days, Clyde Library. Most notably was by Crawford Productions for filming for the Television Series "The Flying Doctors" when the building became the Church at "Coopers Crossing".
Filming took place on a number of occasions from 1986 to 1991 inclusive.

One of our Anzacs, Hedley Thomas, a member of the church, was killed in France in the First World War. Hedley was the youngest son of George & Adelaide Thomas. Can you recall the painted scrolls “God is Love” on the front wall and “Preach the Word” on the back wall. Did you know that these were painted by Phillip Dawson- painter and maintenance man? (Phil Dawson is also credited with painting the scene on the stage wall of the Clyde Public Hall).

Ed and Elsie Kennet, members of Cranbourne Presbyterian Church and Clyde Uniting Church, contributed much as maintenance man and organist. Ed Kennett was among the first students of Clyde Primary School that was housed in Methodist Church.

Some of the weddings celebrated in the churches over the years have been Ray Thomas & Elsie Funston, Lindsay Young & June Ratford, John Holloway & Mavis Thomas, and Trevor Elston & Mavis Gillingham. The last church wedding was that of grand-daughter of a former elder, Irene Odlum – Casey & Mathew Reeve.

In the 1950’s Rev. Norman Thomas (1926-1998), became Clyde’s first overseas missionary serving in Africa for 35 years. His brother Rev. Eric Thomas worked with the Methodist and then Uniting Church in many parts of Victoria. John and Mavis Holloway (nee Thomas) served at a Training Farm for Aborigines near Esperance in Western Australia.

Two of the last funerals conducted from the Church were for Bert Ridgway and Ray Thomas.

The Clyde Methodist Church became the Clyde Uniting Church in June, 1977.

The closing service was held on 28-11-1999 when a brief history of the church was read to the congregation. It had served the community for three generations conducting the baptisms, marriages and funeral services. The Church was sold on 20-1-2002 to a private buyer as Presbytery was unwilling to stand the cost of maintenance on a redundant building.

Family Historians can you help with more recent information about the Clyde Methodist Church?
Any personal recollections from former Clyde folk?

Return to Top>>
1. Rev Eric Thomas – Letters and History of the Church
2. A Clyde History
3. Victorian Heritage Date Base
4. Wikipedia - Flying Doctors
5. The Good Country. p 156