Historic Dunalley church to become Queensland buyer’s home

The Anglican St Martin’s Church at Dunalley has been sold. Picture: MATT THOMPSON.
The Anglican St Martin’s Church at Dunalley has been sold. Picture: MATT THOMPSON.

The interstate buyer of a historic Dunalley church building plans to turn it into a residence he and his partner will live in.

The St Martin’s Anglican Church property was sold on Monday to Phil Holloway, who lives in Port Douglas in Queensland.

He paid $161,000, which exceeded the advertised price of offers over $140,000.

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Holloway has children and grandchildren in Tasmania and the 70-year-old wants to retire in the state with partner Jenni Sorensen.

The sale ends months of negotiations between the Anglican Diocese and a Dunalley community group, who had offered to purchase the building for $50,000. The diocese elected to sell the church building to fund redress commitments.

The church – which was the only public building left standing after the devastating bushfires in 2013 – was built by the Dunalley community in 1918 and was consecrated in 1934.

The inside of St Martin’s Anglican Church.

Holloway says he was convinced by his daughters to buy the church to be closer to them and their children.

He says he and his partner plan to spend six months of the year in the state, but expect to spend the remainder of the year in Queensland to escape Tasmania’s winter.

Holloway describes it as a “beautiful building in a great location”, but said there was plenty of work ahead to make it ready to live in.

“We’ve got work ahead of us. We understand we have to go through the heritage society and the local council to turn it into residential,’’ he says.

“We have to keep the facade the same as it is, but we will need to put a bathroom and a toilet internally, a kitchen, and walls to partition a couple of bedrooms in there.”

Holloway officially takes possession of the property at the end of January.

Phil Holloway and partner Jenni Sorensen, who have bought the St Martin’s Anglican Church at Dunalley.

Dunalley Heritage Fellowship member Andrew Dunbabin says he is disappointed.

“That’s the end of an era then,’’ he says.

“I believe an important part of Dunalley’s heritage has been lost today.

“We were genuinely hoping or thinking it would be a very hard building to sell because of its difficulty of access and the fact it has no services connected.

“We were hopeful they would come back to us.”

Listing agent Karen Young, of Roberts Real Estate, says five offers had been made for the property.

The Anglican Diocese was contacted for comment.

This article from The Mercury originally appeared as “New owner to live in St Martin’s Anglican Church at Dunalley”.