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Church Gives Thanks For Upgrade

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Pastor Mark Doecke, Greg Hallam (Qld Rail), Jane Hodgkinson (HNCF) and Bishop Paul Smith at Sunday's community celebration for the refurbishment of Nanango's Immanuel Lutheran Church

November 29, 2017

Nanango’s Immanuel Lutheran Church in Drayton Street was the scene of a special community celebration on Sunday morning.

A capacity crowd packed the church to give thanks for a Heritage Community Branch grant which had allowed extensive renovations to be carried out in the building over the past six months.

The work included the installation of a new roof, new window awnings and a new side wall, and will ensure the property will continue to serve Nanango’s community for many decades to come.

The church’s usual Sunday morning congregation of 18 was swollen by members from other local Lutheran congregations, members of other denominations, and Queensland Rail historian Greg Hallam, who produced a number of special posters for the occasion.

The church building was originally the Nanango station master’s residence, and has occupied the same position at the corner of Drayton Street and Railway Lane for more than 106 years.

Greg said the original station master’s residence was built around 1911 when the Kingaroy-Theebine line was extended to Nanango via Edenvale, Hornley, Coolabunia, Hodgleigh and Darlil.

When the line was closed in 1964, the Lutheran Church purchased the building for $2734.75, and after refurbishment it was dedicated as the Lutheran Church Centre of Nanango, on December 19, 1965.

Greg said that to his knowledge, the Nanango building is the only former Queensland Rail property that has ever been converted for use as a church, and he was personally pleased to see it still playing an important role in Nanango’s community.

The celebrations began with a Sunday morning church service led by Pastor Mark Doecke accompanied by Pastor Paul Smith, Bishop of the Lutheran Church of Australia (Queensland District), who had made a special trip to Nanango for the occasion.

After the service concluded, guests mingled over a generous morning tea on the building’s verandahs and posed for waiting photographers.

Jane Hodgkinson, from Heritage Nanango Community Fund (HNCF), said the bank had been delighted to help the church with their project.

The building was an important historic property that is now listed on the South Burnett Regional Council’s Heritage Register, as well as vital for congregation members to use as a centre of worship.

HNCF had also contributed towards the cost of refurbishing Nanango’s Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic church, which celebrated its centenary in September.

Cr Terry Fleischfresser was given a tour of the church by congregation member Gloria Fleming

Jemma Pukallus and Cr Roz Frohloff said they were impressed by the refurbishments, which have added decades to the building's useful life

The present-day church is the original Nanango Station Master's residence, which was in use from the arrival of the railway in 1911 to the line's closure in 1964; this photo shows the arrival of the first official train in Nanango on November 13, 1911 (Photo: State Library Of Queensland)

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