A new page is turned for Surface Hill Uniting Church
THE sale of Gympie's almost legendary Surface Hill Uniting Church building will not mean any sort of ending, not for the church or the building.
And not for the legend.
The last Uniting Church service in the beautiful structure was held on Sunday at 2pm.
Rev David Thomas expressed his gratitude that the building's new owner, Gympie undertaker Coman Reynolds, would continue to have services in the heritage-listed building.
Gold was still being picked up in Gympie streets - and indeed had only recently been discovered - when the Methodist Ministry came to town, establishing itself at Surface Hill in 1868.
Rev Thomas said this 148 years of witness and service to the community would continue at St Andrews, Red Hill, the church's other Gympie home.
He said the three tolerant traditions - Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational faiths - had come together in the 1970s and still maintained the best of friendly relations with independent communities of Continuing Presbyterians and Wesleyan Methodists.
"We get together once a month and have a cup of coffee and a chat," he said.
"There is only one God after all.
"The faith stories of the two are similar. Their journeys started differently, but the doctrines and the faith were very similar, as was that of the Congregational Church, the smallest of the three, which was absorbed almost completely into the new religious structure."
But old though the more earthly structure at Surface Hill may be, it and its surroundings, including its famous stone wall, are not as old as the legends claim.
Stones thought by some to have been delivered by aliens or ancient Egyptians (along with the hill known by some as the Gympie Pyramid) were in fact trucked from a Southside quarry and put in place with leverage and skill by long-term resident Clyde Kunst.
But the legend too will doubtless endure, probably for at least another 148 years.