St Matthias' Windermere
A Brief Introduction
St Matthias’ Anglican Church has stood beside the Tamar River at Windermere since 1843 and has served its small community over that time. It currently forms part of the parish of Holy Trinity Launceston, with services held twice a month and on special occasions. While our services follow the set Anglican liturgy, the intimate nature of the building creates a friendly atmosphere and visitors are most welcome. As with all Anglican churches, there is an emphasis on hearing God's word through readings from the Bible, and an attempt to grapple with its meaning and significance in Bible focused sermons. Members of the local community – whether they attend services there or not – have a strong attachment to St Matthias’ as a part of the local heritage.
The church is located beside the Tamar River at 431 Windermere Road, Windermere and is adjacent to the public boat ramp. Directly opposite the town of Rosevears, the church is a striking feature of the east bank.
Acting Rector: John Tongue
The Rev’d John Tongue grew up around Tamworth in northern NSW and studied Science, teaching at Calrossy Anglican Girls School in Tamworth. He studied theology at Ridley College in Melbourne, where he met and married Shirley, herself a former student at Ridley who had stayed on to work in the office as assistant to the Registrar. They have two adult children, Peter and Kimberley. After initially exploring the possibility of Missionary Service, John was ordained in the Armidale Diocese, spending time in Boggabri and Boggabilla before becoming Vicar of Tenterfield. At the end of 2002, the family moved to Hobart, where Shirley had grown up, with John becoming Rector of Holy Trinity, North Hobart (since incorporated into the Wellspring Parish). That was followed by time in the parish of Ulverstone, where John was also made Archdeacon of the North West, later moving to be Priest-in-charge of Devonport. John and Shirley are both keen bird-watchers, engaging in ‘twitching’, birding, survey work, and guiding from ‘Friends of Lillico Penguins’, a hobby which has taken the family to most parts of the State and Country. John is also keen on ‘country’ wine making – using fruit, flowers, vegetables, etc – and is a member of Lions.
Honorary Assistant Priest: Ken Box
The Rev’d Ken Box was born and grew up in Launceston, attending Scotch College before commencing an apprenticeship as an Automotive Electrician and winning the Apprentice of the Year award in 1964. Ken is married to Lyn with 2 children, 1 surviving grandchild and 4 great grandchildren.

He worked as an Auto Electrician until he experienced God’s call to ministry in 1974. He travelled with his family to St John’s College Morpeth to study for the ordained ministry.

On returning to Tasmania he served in the parishes of Burnie, St James New Town and George Town before accepting a chaplaincy position in the Royal Australian Air Force. For the next 20 years home was where the air force sent them. Ken completed his time in the RAAF as Director of Chaplaincy in Training Command. During his RAAF career he completed a Diploma of Education and Master of Ministry degree together with qualifications in relationship counselling and psychology.

In semi-retirement he has served in several locum roles in Tasmanian parishes before accepting his current position as Associate Priest at Holy Trinity.

Ken’s hobbies include working around his farm, sailing and a vintage MG sports car.

Office Assistant: Lorraine Andrews
Lorraine Andrews grew up in Launceston and first came to Holy Trinity Church in 1973 when she joined the choir. Her occupation has always been in office work. After a couple of years travelling and working overseas she married Norman. They have four adult children. When the children were young Lorraine was involved with the Sunday School and children's activities. Since that time Lorraine has been involved in parish life as the office secretary, parish council secretary, rector's warden, parish council member, various committees, Mothers' Union, Friday Cafe, sacristan, altar server, thurifer and choir. Her other interests include gardening, cats, music, family history, tai chi and learning new skills.
Dr Mathias Gaunt arrived in Tasmania (then known as Van Dieman’s Land) with his wife and five sons in May 1831. He received a grant of 2560 acres on the east bank of the Tamar River, which was later extended by a further grant of 1280 acres. He named his property ‘Windermere’, and had a vineyard, saw mills and flour mills. Before leaving England, Dr Gaunt promised his wife that if there was no church where they settled, he would build her one. With a local subscription of £60 and a grant of £40 from the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) he financed the building of St Matthias’ church, the first service being held in November 1843. The first Bishop of Tasmania, Bishop Francis Nixon, consecrated the church and cemetery on 18 April 1845. The Rev’d A. Davenport was appointed Chaplain that same year and services were held regularly. The Chaplain initially lived in a nearby cottage, but after some years the centre of the parish moved to the west bank of the Tamar and services at St Matthias’ became less regular. Unfortunately, the condition of the building deteriorated leading to various efforts at repair. For example, the leaking shingle roof was replaced with corrugated iron in 1920, and further substantial repairs were carried out in 1937. As Windermere is a small community, many people travelled some distance to get to church there. Part of the local history is that church goers would cross the river by boat to attend services. Parish structures have changed over the years and St Matthias’ has been part of several different ones, including St George’s Invermay and St Barnabas’ North Launceston. Since 2008, St Matthias’ has been part of the parish of Holy Trinity Launceston - a slightly unusual arrangement in that it is geographically separate. Despite small numbers, a faithful group has continued to meet and has sought to make St Matthias’ and its grounds a meeting place for the local community.

The parish of Holy Trinity Launceston also includes St Andrew's, Evandale and St James', Franklin Village.

An audio tour of the church and cemetery can be found here

St Matthias’ is currently in good repair, but new maintenance and conservation projects arise regularly. Community support is very welcome. Contact us for more information.

The church and grounds are maintained by volunteers and we invite you to become part of this network.


9.00 am

Sunday 9.00am
Services are held on the second and fourth Sundays of each month at 9.00am. They are usually services of Holy Communion following the Second Order in A Prayer Book for Australia 1995. (If no ordained minister is available, a lay reader conducts Morning Prayer.) As in every Anglican service, there is a clear emphasis on hearing God's word in the Bible readings, and grappling with its meaning and significance in Bible focused sermons. Joining in Holy Communion is a regular reminder that we gather in the name of Jesus Christ, who gave his life for our sins. We usually share in Morning Tea at the conclusion.

For those unable to be present in person, the 10.30am service each week at Holy Trinity is normally live-streamed via our Youtube channel and remains available to watch there at a later time.

Christmas & Easter
Christmas and Easter are two of the best known and most popular occasions in the church calendar. We warmly invite you to join us in celebrating them. Of course, we hope to see you more often than just twice a year!

Our usual pattern for Christmas Services is:
Christmas Eve:
7pm Lessons and Carols (to be held outdoors in the grounds in 2021)

Our usual pattern for Easter Services is:
Easter Sunday:
9.00am Holy Communion

Services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are held at Holy Trinity. Times can be found here


Sermons are recorded whenever possible at Holy Trinity's 10.30am service. They can be found here
Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals
Baptism is a public expression of putting your faith in Jesus Christ (that is, a public expression of becoming a Christian).

The baptism of a child can be a very significant social event for families, and parents request baptism because they are eager to do the very best for their children. We ask parents to take time to properly understand what baptism means, so that the words expressed in the service are meant from the heart.

In past generations, baptism of children was very common, but many adults today - and especially younger adults - are not baptised. To find out more, come along to one of our services and speak to a member of the staff. (By the way, many people use the term ‘Christening’, but both the Bible and our Anglican Prayer Book use the proper term, which is ‘baptism’.)

St Matthias’ provides a beautiful setting for your wedding and we welcome inquiries.

However, the capacity of the building is only about 80 people, so larger weddings are impractical as there is no overflow area.

In order to satisfy the requirements of Australian law and Anglican Church policy, our Marriage Services always follow one of the authorised Anglican Prayer Book forms and are conducted by one of our staff.

It may be possible for other Ministers to assist in the service. We will be pleased to meet with you and discuss what is involved. Marriage services can be conducted at any mutually convenient time, but our regular activities on Sundays mean that we are unable to accept bookings for Sunday weddings.

Christian funeral services provide an opportunity to express grief and say goodbye. More importantly, they point us to the hope we have in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and was raised again to life.

Whether a service is planned for the church, crematorium chapel, or other location, we welcome enquiries from those who live in our parish or who have had significant connections with St Matthias' in the past. Please contact us as early as possible to ascertain the availability of the church and ministers.

A columbarium wall is available for the interment of ashes.


Special Events and Activities
Special Events

For up to date details of other special events, please refer to our Facebook page