Showing posts from April, 2019

No. 403 - The Ellesmere Presbyterian Church [Scottsdale]

The Presbyterian church at Scottsdale was one of three of the town’s churches that were initially established at Ellesmere, a settlement which lies about a mile north of the Tasman Highway.   Over a period of two or three decades the population centre of the settlement shifted from Ellesmere towards ‘Tucker’s Corner’ which was renamed Scottsdale by the 1890’s. The first church built at Ellesmere was the Union Church which was established in 1863. This was frequented by ministers from different denominations including the Wesleyan Methodists, Presbyterians and Anglicans. However, the spirit of religious harmony began to wain in mid 1870’s after the arrival of William Brown and Charles Perrin, two evangelical preachers, representing the Plymouth Brethren. Subsequently a division in the congregation resulted in a group breaking away from the Union Chapel in 1876 and establishing a Gospel Hall. A second schism occurred in 1878 when a group supporting the Wesleyan minister broke aw

No. 402 - St Brigid's at Tunnack - "The Worst He Ever Saw"

Tunnack is small town about 20 km south of Oatlands that was settled by Irish migrants in the mid-19th century. Tunnack is well off the beaten track and generally it is not visited by either tourists or Tasmanians. It would seem that this was true more than a century ago according to a description of the settlement in 1883 by a somewhat bigoted correspondent for Launceston’s Daily Telegraph: “Some of your readers do not know perhaps where Tunnack is, and even though many may have often heard the name, they may be disposed to consider it an unimportant locality….About 15 miles from Oatlands this populous locality consists of a number of scattered farms, varying from 20 to 300 acres or so. It is something like Turner’s' Marsh, and just as the people of Launceston get their best potatoes from this, so do those of Oatlands obtain their most flowery “murphies” from Tunnack. Like, too, at Turner's Marsh, a large proportion of the Tunnackites hail from the land of the shamrock, and

No. 401 - The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church at Glenorchy

The Exclusive Christian Brethren, now known as the Plymouth Brethren, originated in Plymouth, Great Britain, in the 1820s. By the mid 19th century the movement had spread to Australia. The 'Exclusive Brethren' is a restrictive group which broke away in 1848. In 2012 the Exclusive Brethren adopted the name 'Plymouth Brethren Christian Church'. Tasmanian Plymouth Brethren churches are part of global organisation with about 50 000 members.  The Plymouth Brethren are known for avoiding social interaction with people outside the faith, which has contributed to it being viewed as a somewhat controversial Christian sect. The Plymouth Brethren Church should not be confused with the 'Open Brethren'. In Tasmania, most Brethren belong to 'open' churches.  With limited contact with the secular world, information about the church is not freely available. The Plymouth Brethren fellowship at Montrose was established after the building was purchased in April 2000. The

No. 400 - The Chudleigh Methodist Church - "A Step in the Right Direction"

Methodist services at Chudleigh date back to 1874 but these ceased in 1876 when the pulpit of one of the local churches was taken over by a Presbyterian minister.  In 1883 freelance journalist Theophilus Jones visited Chudleigh and recored the following impression of the settlement: “There is nothing remarkable about the village of Chudleigh, as it does not muster more than a dozen and a half of roofs, the inn, post and telegraph office, two stores, two places of worship, and a few houses and farms by the roadside. The inn, named the Chudleigh Inn, is kept by Mr. Daniel Picket and his wife”. The ‘two places of worship’ referred to by Jones were Chudleigh’s Presbyterian and Anglican churches. The village was later to acquire two further churches, a Wesleyan Methodist church and a Salvation Army hall. The Methodist church was established in 1885 on a site on Sorell Street. There are only a few written reports concerning the church’s establishment. One of these describes a ‘

No. 399 - Chalmers Free Church [Hobart] - 'Born out of Division - Died in Union'

The Presbyterian Church in Tasmania dates back to the early days of settlement. In 1821 Presbyterian settlers of Hobart Town petitioned the Scottish Church for a minister, and consequently Reverend Archibald MacArthur arrived late in 1822. In 1824 Hobart’s St Andrew's Church of Scotland opened as Australia's second Presbyterian Church. A split in the Church of Scotland in 1843, the so-called “Great Disruption”, played out across the Empire. In Tasmania not one of the Church of Scotland ministers supported the Free Church which led to a number of individuals at Hobart applying to the Free Church of Scotland to send a minister to the colony. Supporters of the Free Church of Scotland erected the Chalmers churches in Hobart and Launceston, named after their Scottish leader, Thomas Chalmers. Chalmers Church at Hobart opened in 1852 followed by Chalmers Launceston in 1860. In April 1851 Reverend W. Nicolson arrived at Hobart and commenced preaching at the Mechanic’s Institute Hal