All Saints Church Bodalla
In 1857, after a two
year holiday in England, Thomas Sutcliffe Mort found his tract ofland
(13,000 acres) at Bodalla still unsold, so he decided to take it
The story of Mort is
well-known and is told briefly on the memorial tablet in All Saints
TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY
THOMAS SUTCLIFFE MORT and his wife
THERESA SHEPHEARD MORT this church was erected in 1880.
in England at Bolton, Lanes. in 1816, TS Mort came to the country
in 1837, a pioneer of Australian dairying, through the creation
of the Bodalla Estate, of engineering and shipbuilding at Balmain,
and of the wool industry and other enterprises, he devoted the last
fifteen years of his life to the invention of a process of freezing
and exporting Australian meat to supply the need of England. A colonist
and a citizen of keen foresight and unselfish service, the soul
of honour, a faithful and generous churchman, a neighbour of unfailing
kindness to rich and poor alike, his simplicity of nature and largeness
of heart gained for him the friendship and love of men of all classes.
He died on 9 May 1878 of illness contracted in ministering to the
needs of one of his churchmen, and was laid to rest in the cemetery
of the Bodalla Estate he so dearly loved."
The architect chosen
was Edmund T Blacket, architect of the cathedrals of St Andrew's
Sydney and St Saviour's Goulburn. Though the original design was
his it is unlikely that Blacket ever saw the site of All Saints
(chosen by TS Mort) for he was not only very busy, but also ill
at that time, so it was his son, Cyril, who carried it through its
first stage (ie Chancel, Vestry, Organ Recess and the first two
The builder chosen
was Heinrich Zeigler of Moruya under Blacker's supervision. The
granite of which it is built was quarried on the Estate. The entrance
door, with its intricate hand wrought iron hinges and straps and
the stone font within, were designed by ET Blacket himself. A par-close
screen divides the extension from the earlier part of the Nave,
so that accommodation of small congregations is compact.
stone was laid by Thomas Mort's widow, Marianne (second wife) on
18 March, 1880. The service was conducted by John Selwyn, second
Bishop of Melanesia, who later married Mort's elder daughter, Annie,
to whose memory the window in the Baptistry is dedicated. The building
was finished in 190 I. Still lacking the intended spire, it was
consecrated by Archbishop Saumarez-Smith on the feast of All Saints,
the following year.
All the woodwork
is oak. The stained glass windows, the Chancel tiles, the unusual
rerodos of marble mosaic, as well as the pipe organ, were brought
from England. On the Chancel arch are Thomas Mort's last words:
"THINE EYES SHALL SEE THE KING IN HIS BEAUTY", and beyond
it the stained glass windows of the Transfiguration light up the
Sanctuary. This East window was the gift of the people of Bodalla
in memory of TS Mort and his wife Theresa Shepheard.
hand embroidered furnishings were the work of their daughters, the
original festal altar frontal being made from Theresa Mort's wedding
dress, while her wedding ring is incorporated in the stem of the
silver gilt chalice. The oak light standards in the Chancel were
turned from trees grown on Ernest Mort's property in Surrey and
are a memorial to their youngest son. the Reverend Ernest Mort.
cost £13,000 to erect. There are many tablets on the walls
in memory of the members of the Mort family and various worshippers
of the past.
Willis Organ at All Saints Bodalla
at All Saints was built by Henry Willis & Sons of London in
1881 and installed in the church in 1882
in his universally authoritative work, "The Organ", the
eminent historian William Leslie Sumner commented that "Willis
was the greatest of the nineteenth century British organ builders."
Organists evidently agreed with this comment for "Father Willis"
as he was known, was responsible for such famous English instruments
as in the Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra Palace, and Westminster Abbey;
Cathedrals at Salisbury, Winchester, Durham, Hereford and St Paul's
"Father" Willis (1821-190 I) was himself an organist and
developed many new tone colours in English organs of the period.
due either to Willis' reputation for being expensive or to local
tastes preferring more "old fashioned" sounds at the time,
only seven small Willis organs were imported to the Colony ofNSW.
Of these five were supplied to Maitland, one to Bodalla and the
remaining one is now in Armidale.
at All Saints was the last sent to NSW, and is the best preserved
of the seven, and least altered from its original state. Its bright
choruses, exquisite flute stops and fiery Comopean stop are magnificent
examples of the sound for which Father Willis was famous.
was restored in 1991 by Peter D G Jewkes Pty Ltd of Sydney, with
meticulous attention being paid to the preservation of its original
tonal and mechanical characteristics. Even the hand pumping lever
was maintained - a useful device during blackouts when the new electric
blower fails to function'
visit this webpage for indepth info about the church and Organ
Parish of Bodalla and Narooma - a short history by Laurelle Pacey
TO OUR WEDDINGS
We trust that you will find all the info you need on the link above.
Please contact the Reverend Carol Wagner on 02 4476 3049 or 0427
267 242 if you would like to inquire about booking a wedding.