On Tuesday 18 December 2018, The Cherry Gardens Uniting Church provided the annual Carols evening at the Memorial Hall. Thanks go to the church volunteers who distributed advertising, provided the supper, and helped in many other ways. Cherry Church is grateful for the generous support provided by the Hall Committee and the Cherry Chatter Committee each year. Thank you too to Rebekah Nelson, John Penberthy and Tabor Music who donated their time to provide the music, items and carols on the night.
more of our history leading up to our 170th Anniversary in March 2019
The following is a bit more of our history leading up to our 170th Anniversary in March 2019.
During construction of the Church, from 1847 to 1849, £94.10.0 was received from the Treasury. The Colonial Government at that time was providing state aid to help construct new churches. The Church is not easy to find today, but even in the early times, local preachers walking from Adelaide sometimes lost their way, and on these occasions, Mr Luke Broadbent would take the service. The stone stables at the rear of the property were built in 1881. There are mines on three sides of the property, the oldest being silver mine shafts sunk during 1866-1868 across the road from the Church gate. Another is just over the fence near the Middleton graves. The Cherry Gardens School opened in 1859 and closed in 1970. This property later became the home and business premises of our former pastor, Revd. Christine Manning and her husband, Paul.
Harriet Broadbent, widow of Luke died in her 98th year in 1892. There are many letters from Luke Broadbent, son of John Broadbent in Adelaide papers over the years on many subjects, and much commentary on those letters from other writers. Luke would often write as “A South Australian Bushman”.
In an obituary to John Broadbent in 1901, it mentions him preaching his first sermon at Cherry Gardens in 1851 to 100 people, with most staying to the prayer meeting afterwards. There was a prayer meeting after most Church services in those days at Cherry Gardens. He went on to be a Methodist home Missionary and during his life held most lay positions available in South Australia. He did good work at Blackwood during the construction of the Southern Railway line, and afterwards at Kangaroo Island, Ardrossan, Franklin Harbor, Goolwa, Crystal Brook, Wilcannia, and Kingston. John loved to preach; wherever he went he preached, the Clarendon, Willunga, Kadina, Moonta, Port Adelaide, North Adelaide, Gawler, Mount Barker, Gumeracha, and many other circuits enjoyed the benefit of his ministry. Whilst on Kangaroo Island he went blind due to exposure, so the Home Mission Fund paid for him to travel to Melbourne to have successful specialist treatment.
Among the earnest and faithful workers in those early days were Henry Field, Isaac Jacobs, Luke Broadbent and William Brumby and Mr I. Jacobs, being Sunday School Superintendents. The zeal and fervour of the early settlers manifested itself in overflowing congregations, and it became imperative to add to the building. With their usual cheery optimism, the stalwarts of the Chapel, making light of obstacles, during the 1890s the first additions were completed and opened in 1895. Messrs Elijah and John Broadbent (sons of Luke Broadbent) laboured long and earnestly in the cause of religion, earning for themselves the names of "Sons of Thunder" by their vigorous preaching. As a result of the zealous labours of these and many others, the State has benefited far and wide in a manner that cannot be measured in material possessions.
Another early minister of the Clarendon Circuit who preached regularly at Cherry Gardens was Isaac Rooney who with his wife, Annie, served the district from 1890. Isaac had been a missionary for many years previously in the Pacific region, including Tonga and The Solomon Islands. During his time, the church was enlarged by 50% and a Sunday School room added. These were opened in 1894 at a cost of £70, free of debt.
There is record of the following fund-raising at Blackwood on March 26 1894 in The South Australian Register: A festival on a large scale was held to-day in connection with the Cherry Gardens Wesleyan Church Enlargement Fund. The site chosen was the local cricket ground, where two large marquees were erected, and notwithstanding the state of the weather, nearly 500 persons sat down in relays to an ample knife-and-fork luncheon. In an adjoining tent clothing and other goods which had been donated were disposed of; whilst at other tables fruits, flowers, and aerated waters were dispensed. During the afternoon a cricket match was played on the ground between the local team and one from Kangarilla, which resulted in a win for Cherry Gardens. In the evening the usual public meeting was held in the marquees, which were filled to overflowing, Mr. T. W. Davidson, of Blackpool, presided, and delivered an earnest speech. Addresses were also given by Messrs. Gent and Chester, and the Rev. J. Haslam. Mr. Rooney effectively gave a recitation, and the Church choir, aided by friends, rendered selections of music at intervals. The total amount realized was over £60; and, as the enlargement is estimated to cost less than £100, the whole effort has been highly successful. Mr. Gent and his army of helpers received their meed of praise as the public meeting closed.