St James’ Church at Boloco (dedicated in 1873) was the first Church to be built south of the Snowy River in the Snowy Monaro region. It is situated between Dalgety and Jindabyne on the Snowy River Way.
The Church was designed by a noted Architect in 19th Century Churches, Canon Alberto Soares, and is considered one of his best works. The Victorian Romanesque style sets this Church apart from the mostly Victorian Gothic Churches of that era.
The Church originated from funds supplied by a Mrs Elizabeth Watson from Lancashire for her migrant sons, Henry and John, who settled at Matong, to build a Church when they settled as graziers in the Boloco area. Combined with local pastoralist’s donations this funded the Church’s construction.
The church was built to bring families together to worship and form a strong community link. A traditional picnic has always been held following Parish services. The Church has a log fire which to this day is used in cold weather.
Last year an application was submitted for funding from Snowy Monaro Regional Council Heritage Grants to repair and paint the interior of the Church. This was granted. The work was completed on 23rd January with the help of a generous endowment for half the cost. A new entrance platform and mesh protection to the stained-glass windows was also added and drainage repairs carried out.
It was a fitting celebration on Saturday 13th February 2021 to have a Christening held at St James’, Boloco, of six-month-old Audrey Grace Jones. Her parents, Kasey (Wallace) and Mitch Jones, come from well-known historic grazier families in this area of the Monaro Region.
The Church was filled to COVID-capacity with relatives and local families and others outside with loud-speaker assistance. The service was presided by Deacon Edith Mayhew with a meaningful address.
It was a joyful celebration in the newly-painted Church to welcome a young local baby into the Christian Church.
The bell was tolled by the Young Children present with great joy after the ceremony.
This Service represents exactly what Mrs Elizabeth Watson must have imagined when this Church laid the first stone in 1871 with families uniting in this significant Christian ceremony.
The Church is always open to visitors touring the area.
By Pippa Robinson, Warden