Holy Trinity is a wonderful repository of stories - about the church itself through the decades, and of the people who have been worshippers, plus countless others who either had family christenings, marriages or funeral services there.
When the Holy Trinity Support Group was out on the streets with its petition seeking the retention and repair of the church, a major response among the thousands who signed was of great grandparents, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends, who were married there. It was indeed a particularly popular setting for weddings, and that's not in the least surprising considering the beautiful setting.
Here are stories about people's links with the church. If you would like to share your memories about this holy place, please Contact Us.
Praise via the pen
Painters and photographers have captured its magnificent image over many decades. And Holy Trinity has also inspired writers to record its importance - perhaps none more so than the man regarded as Tasmania's most prolific author, Roy Bridges (1885-1952).
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Royal Tasman Bridges, to give him his full name, a descendant of Tasmanian pioneers with strong links to the Sorell area, wrote 37 novels plus several non-fiction books and countless articles, for he was also a highly-rated journalist with long experience on newspapers such as Melbourne's Age and the Herald.
Holy Trinity had a special place in his writings.
There was his fine contribution of the foreword to Frank Bowden and Max Crawford's The Story of Trinity, published in 1933 to mark the 100 years of the church. His was an eloquent, fulsome tribute:
"This Church of Holy Trinity which is our heritage down all the hundred years. This Church of Holy Trinity, made precious to our city and our State by its historic import, as by its glory of high stone and peal of bells, and by that benefaction of lives shaped to its guidance and its inspiration; and precious to us for our love of it, and reverence and worship of it . . .
"Trinity enshrines all beauty for us. Its gracious harmonies dispel the discords of our lives. Its influence is as a benediction to its people."
There was also the recognition recorded in his 1948 non-fictional book That Yesterday Was Home, which was both a family history and biography. He contrasted the appearance of early St David's Church with Holy Trinity's: "On an elevated point at the extreme back of the town was new Trinity Church with its peal of bells and magnificent organ, that church of noble height and beauty, built of stone quarried by convicts."
And he provided this observation when transportation came to an end: "And transportation was gone! A public holiday for the rejoicings of the people was fixed for Wednesday, 10th August, 1853. The bells of the Church of the Holy Trinity high on the hill above the city sounded that morning the call to the people for thanksgiving. The churches were crowded with worshippers. The little city was decked with flags; flags flew from ships in the harbour. The heart of the city was thronged with rejoicing people."
Roy Bridges had a lifelong friendship with Holy Trinity's sixth rector, Donald Burns Blackwood, from their school years, where there was a friendly academic rivalry. They were both University of Tasmania graduates, Bridges with a B.A., Blackwood with an M. A. And indeed Bridges recorded many associations with the Blackwood family. Donald Blackwood also served at the place so dear to Bridges - he was rector at Sorell from 1913 to 1915 (after having been assistant curate at Holy Trinity 1910-1913).
It was from Sorell that Chaplain Blackwood went to war, achieving a record of heroic duty.
Holy Trinity further served as the basis for one of Bridges' group of six books known as the Hobart-Richmond-Sorell novels. It was simply titled Trinity, with the church, and particularly its historic bells, providing the backdrop throughout the book. Bridges evoked compassion for the victims of the transportation system and Trinity was set at the time when it ended.
He told the story of a former chain gang and Port Arthur prisoner becoming a successful Hobart (or Hobarton as it was then called) businessman but unable to forget the brutality he suffered at the hands of the prison system.
Another recognition of Holy Trinity came with Bridges noting his mother Laura Jane's devotion to the church: "She found her chief social happiness through those years with the Church of England workers in the congregation of Holy Trinity. She was devout and constant in her attendance at the services."
The Australian Dictionary of Biography provides an appreciation of Roy Bridges as an author, that he was a "serious writer with a feeling for and a considerable knowledge of the times of which he wrote. This and the volume of his work must make his contribution to Australian and Tasmanian literature substantial, although his novels lack profundity".