St Mary’s Church, Highlands and Bruntville

StMarysBruntvilleJust after the Boer War the farming community of Highlands which straddled the road between Mooi River and Middlerus decided that the weekly Sunday trip to worship at St John’s was becoming too demanding and decided to erect a new church on the farm Mount Pleasant. Built at a cost of 800 pounds sterling, the somewhat moderately sized (90 square metres) St Mary’s was consecrated in October 1903 by the Bishop of Natal, the Right Reverend Samuel Baines.

In May 1905 a blizzard almost decimated the area and St Mary’s main doors were blown open and the interior inundated with over two metres of snow causing the collapse of the east wall. Amazingly parishioners were able to repair the damage in record time and services re-commenced in August.

St Mary’s served its community until 1940 when following a steadily declining community, it was closed down. The property was sold to a private farmer, although some graves still remain, but St Mary’s lives on through its namesake, St Mary’s in Bruntville which was erected largely with building materials salvaged from the first St Mary’s. The font was given to a church in Greytown.