No. 529 - The Gospel Hall at Burnie

Burnie’s Gospel Hall is a place of worship for the city’s Christian Brethren. The Christian Brethren, also known as the Plymouth Brethren, originated in Great Britain in the 1820s. By the mid 19th century the movement had spread to Australia with the first revival meetings held in Tasmania in the late 1860’s. As a result of evangelisation fellowships were formed in Hobart, Launceston, the Huon Valley, Smithton, Sheffield, Wynyard, Burnie and Scottsdale by the end of the 1870s.

The Brethren placed an emphasis on weekly communion, the baptism of believers by immersion, and evangelism. The Christian Brethren should not be confused with the 'Exclusive Brethren, a restrictive group which broke away in 1848. In Tasmania, most Brethren are 'open', that is, they do not belong to the 'exclusive' Brethren who avoid contact with outsiders to the religion. The 'open' Brethren are evangelists and carry-out community work, including overseas missions.

The magnificent Gospel Hall replaced an earlier Gospel Hall on Wilson Street.  Construction began in October 1915 and the Hall was completed by January in the following year.  The brick hall measuring 30ft by 55ft was built at a cost of £848 by Mr F.J. Tallack. 

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

The old and new Gospel Hall c.1916 - Original source of photograph not known

Sources:

North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Saturday 28 August 2015, page 4
North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Wednesday 29 September 2015, page 2
North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Thursday 7 October 2015, page 2
North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Monday 20 December 1915, page 2

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