No. 369 - Port Sorell - Lighthouse Christian Fellowship

Port Sorell is a small coastal town on Tasmania’s central north coast. Originally known as Burgess, it was settled early in the 1840’s with the intention of it becoming an administrative centre. With the development of Devonport to the west, it declined as a populated centre. In 1904 the “Travelling Correspondent” for the Hobart Mercury was dismissive of what he saw at the settlement:

“A lonely, desolate place is about the most accurate way to describe Port Sorell. There are about four dwellings in the locality, and one cannot wonder what tempted the inhabitants to settle there the first day as the surrounding country is of very poor quality…”

Today Port Sorell and neighbouring Shearwater have become a pleasant holiday and commuter town. Due to its slow growth, the first churches at Port Sorell were only established around the mid-twentieth century.

The Port Sorell Gospel Chapel has the distinction of being the first church established at the town. It began as a Sunday school which was founded in 1935 and was held in a shelter in the Port Sorell Picnic reserve.  Later the Sunday school moved to a room at the local State primary school.

In December 1948 the Advocate reported on the opening of the hall:

“Considerable interest has centred in the erection of the new Port Sorell Sunday school hall in Meredith street, which was completed this week. The official opening will take place with a service commencing at 3 p.m., followed by a further service at 7:30 p.m. a please feature is that, due to the co-operation and generosity of local residents and the keen interest of those voluntarily engaged in the erection of the building, the completion has been in time for the Sunday School anniversary…”

Over the years the church has been modified and extended. In 1976 a building was transported from Gowrie Park and was added to rear of the church. In 2014 the name of the church changed from the 'Port Sorell Gospel Chapel' to the ‘Lighthouse Christian Fellowship’.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Sources:

Advocate, Saturday 11 December 1948, page 12

http://www.lighthousechristianfellowship.com.au/our-history/




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