The Claremont-Bagdad Uniting Church congregation is to be found at 36 Wyndham Road, Claremont – next to the BP Service Station. We gather for worship on Sunday mornings at 10.00am, the Sunday School also meets beginning at 9.30am in the adjacent hall during school terms.
Church and Hall
Our style of worship is basically traditional in form but on occasions follows different forms depending upon the theme for the day or season of the year. Church members take an active role in the services with Bible readings, lay preaching and serving communion.
Following the service we join together in the fellowship room for morning tea/coffee where we have the opportunity to interact we each other and to welcome visitors.
When a 5th Sunday
of any month occurs
we join with the
at 10 am for a
which is held alternately in Glenorchy and Claremont.
A Brief History by Bob Humphries
The Congregational Church was built in 1914 on the Village Green opposite the Newsagency.
The Methodist Church was built in 1914 in Abbotsfield Road on a site where the Brooker Highway is now.
Obviously there was activity in both congregations before the building work started.
When the Brooker Highway was proposed and land purchased for the highway the congregations came together under the auspices of the Joint Advisory Council of the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian Churches. Land was purchased amongst land earmarked for war service homes on the present site of the Uniting Church.
The Congregations began meeting together for worship and management before the new building was erected, meeting alternately in each building in 1959. The Minister was Rev. Michael Johnson. In 1963 the new church in Wyndham Road was opened.
The old Methodist church being weatherboard was lifted and transported to the Scottsdale area. The old Congregational Church was cut into sections and transported to the Wyndham Road site. The men of the congregation held working bees to do this and set it up as the hall which is still in use. The Hall was opened in July 1967.
The Joint Advisory Council linked the Chigwell and Hestercombe congregations with Claremont under the one minister.
After Michael Johnson Rev Roger Rooks was appointed by the Methodist Church as minister in 1964. During this ministry finances became difficult and Roger volunteered to work Part time and teach the rest of his time. In 1969 Roger left to become a school chaplain in Victoria.
In 1970 the Congregational Church appointed Rev. Bill Cater to minister to the congregations. In 1972 Bill retired to New South Wales. There followed a time without a minister. In this time a Rev Battersby was appointed by the Congregational Church. Unfortunately he died before taking up his appointment.
The Presbyterian Church appointed Rev. Chris Mostert to minister to the parish in 1974. The numbers at Chigwell had dwindled to such an extent that the remaining congregation decided to close and combine with Claremont congregation and the property was sold. Chris Mostert moved on to become a missionary in Korea. And we had a vacancy for some months.
On June 22 1977 we became the Uniting Church much to the relief of the church management as we then had only one body to respond to.
Shortly afterwards the Rev. Don Lawson became our minister. During Don’s ministry negotiations took place to incorporate the Bagdad District Churches into the parish. This was achieved in 1979. Don retired in 1982 and there followed another time without a minister.
Rev. Paul Kruse was called to minister to us next. He came straight from Theological Hall in 1983. Paul had a difficult time here and returned to Victoria in 1986. Again there was a period without a minister.
Rev. John Diedricks was called and commenced his ministry in September 1988. He ministered here until he retired in September 1994. Again there was a period without a minister.
Rev. Bob Faser began his ministry in 1995. Bob ministered to our congregations until late 2001. Again there was a period without a minister.
Dennis Cousens came initially as interim pastor in early 2002. He was commissioned as Pastor to Claremont Bagdad in the following July. The Hestercombe congregation as there were only 3 members joined with Pontville and the property was sold. Dennis offered for a Pastoral Ministry with Frontier Services and concluded his ministry in 2008.
The Bagdad congregation had dwindled and moves were made to sell the property in 2005. This was a long drawn out process but was finalised in 2007.
Joanna Wierenga came in 2008 in preparation for studying for the ministry. During her time here discussions began with the Glenorchy, New Norfolk, and Bridgewater Gagebrook congregations to see how we could cooperate in the future. Joanna resigned in September 2009 to take on Chaplaincy at the Royal Hobart Hospital thus making it easier for developments to take place.
Rev. Valerie Johnson was in ministry to the Cluster on an interim basis for two years.
From 2012 until March 2017, Rev Jeff Gray ministered to the cluster and took two services a month at each congregation.