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HISTORY OF THE LOCKWOOD UNITING CHURCH

In 1854 the Wesleyan Church commenced church services in a tent on the site of the current Lockwood Uniting Church. A School House building was completed the following year, where local children could be educated and local Christians could meet for worship. In October 1855, The Bendigo Advertiser reported on the opening services for the Lockwood Wesleyan School House and Master's residence. A Monday night “tea meeting” followed, which was:

“marked by great unanimity, liberality, and love for the cause of Christ. The presence of a goodly portion of the population gave proof that this was viewed as a glad era in the history of Lockwood.” (The Bendigo Advertiser, 27 October 1855, p3.)

By 1860, the School House was being referred to in the church ledger book as the “Lockwood Chapel,” and the current brick church building was opened in 1872, when it was known as the Lockwood Wesleyan Church. In 1902, it became a Methodist Church when the Wesleyan Church in Australia combined with four other churches to form the Methodist Church of Australasia. In 1977, the church became known as the Lockwood Uniting Church after another merger. The building has been altered internally and a brick extension has been added.

Early records show that the church was a hive of activity in the 1800s and early 1900s, with regular evening “tea meetings” involving an opening prayer, lots of entertainment such as singing, recitations, and of course tea and food. The evening then finished with another prayer. An article in The Bendigo Independent in 1906 records that, “on Wednesday the usual tea and entertainment was held. The tea was well patronised about 250 partaking thereof.”

Just like the shut downs from covid in 2020 and 2021, the early days also suffered shut downs. On 11 February 1940 there was no service due to bushfire; and on 17 July 1949, the church was closed due to record rain!

The Lockwood Church is now part of the Bendigo South Cluster of the Uniting Church, which includes congregations at Kangaroo Flat and at Chum Street Golden Square.

We respect that the Lockwood Uniting Church is built on Dja Dja Wurrung Country, and we appreciate that the traditional owners cared for this land for centuries past.