Showing posts from October, 2019

No. 579 - Catamaran - Congregational Mission Hall - Australia's Southernmost Church

Catamaran was a small settlement in Recherche Bay near the mouth of the Catamaran River in Tasmania's far southeast. It was once a whaling station and by the latter half of the 19th century it had a thriving timber and sawmilling industry. The discovery of coal at the turn of the 20th century saw intermittent mining activity until the 1930’s. At its peak Catamaran had a population of around 150 which supported the establishment of a State school, a post office and a church. Little now remains of the town. Being an isolated settlement few newspaper's reported about life at Catamaran. However, in July 1889 the Dover correspondent for the Hobart Mercury had an opportunity to put Catamaran on the map. This lengthy report about the opening of Catamaran's Congregational Mission Hall also provides a rare glimpse of this bush settlement: “For many years this district has been visited and services held by the Congregational Minister in charge of what is called the South Huon distr

No. 578 - Richmond - The Congregational Chapel (1845 - 1875) - "A Half Barn Place"

Richmond is a heritage town located in the Coal River Valley approximately 25 kilometres east of Hobart. The valley was one of the earliest areas penetrated by the first British settlers outside of Hobart. The settlement began around 1823 when a bridge was constructed across the Coal River, so named because of coal deposits in the area. The 1830’s was a time of church building at Richmond with the historic St Luke’s Anglican church and a Catholic church, St John the Evangelist, both constructed during this decade. The Independent or Congregational community used Richmond’s Court House as a place of worship around this time. The first services were held by a visiting minister Reverend Joseph Beazley and later by Reverend Alexander Morison. In September 1844 Reverend Moses Parker was appointed the first permanent minister by the Congregational Mission Society. Following Reverend Parker’s appointment a chapel was built in Torrens Street on land donated by John Kestall Buscombe and was

No. 577 - Somerset - St Barnabas' - 'From The Cam to The Derwent'

  Somerset is located on the estuary of the western bank of the Cam River midway between the township of Wynyard and the city of Burnie. At one time it was a town in its own right but it is now a satellite town of the city of Burnie. In 1856 it was renamed after the Earl of Somerset. In earlier times the area was also known as ‘Port Maldon’ and ‘The Cam’, with the latter name being used well into the 20th century. Somerset has had a broad range of religious denominations represented in the town including Baptist, Anglican, Methodist (Uniting Church), the Church of Christ and Catholic churches.  There have been two Anglican churches built at Somerset. The first church was built in 1862 by Thomas Wragg and this has already been the subject of an article in Churches of Tasmania. [ see No. 552 ] Thomas Wragg’s chapel was replaced by St Barnabas’ in 1883. The new church was a small building with dimension of only 19ft by 24ft but it was deemed to be “quite large enough for the pre

No. 576 - Burnie - The Primitive Methodist Church

Burnie is a port city on the north west coast of Tasmania. After it was settled in 1827 by the Van Diemen’s Land Company it was known as Emu Bay. In the 1840’s the settlement was renamed Burnie after William Burnie, a director of the Van Diemen's Land Company. The city of Burnie has had five Methodist churches. These were: A Primitive Methodist church built in 1869 (Mount Street). A second Primitive Methodist church built alongside the earlier church in 1891 (Mount Street). A United Free Methodist Church built in 1885 (Mount Street). A Wesleyan Methodist Church built in 1894 (Cattley Street) The Uniting (Methodist) Church which was built on the site of the two Primitive Methodist churches on Mount Street in 1901. The Primitive Methodists first appeared in Launceston in 1857 and developed a strong presence in northern Tasmania. Their camp meetings generally attracted the working classes who sometimes did not feel well-accepted by the Wesleyan Methodists. The “Primitive” movement beg

No. 575 - South Hobart - All Saints Chapel - "The poor little wooden chapel"

The landmark All Saints Anglican Church located on Macquarie Street South Hobart is in fact the second ‘All Saints’ built near this site. Following the creation of the All Saints parish in 1855, a ‘temporary church’, known as ‘All Saints Chapel’ was erected as a place of worship in South Hobart while a permanent church was built. In early June 1855 the Hobart Courier reported on the progress made regarding the new parish: “The Lord Bishop of Tasmania having formed a new Ecclesiastical District within the City of Hobart Town, bounded by Molle-street and the Cascades, the Hobart Town Creek and the Sandy Bay Rivulet, and having appointed the Rev. J. Tice Gellibrand to be the first Chaplain thereof, the Ven. Archdeacon Davies convened a meeting of all persons interested, at the School-house, Macquarie-street, commonly known as the Bethesda, at three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, to consider the best means of obtaining two rooms suitable for the performance of Divine worship, and othe

No. 574 - Ouse - St John the Baptist

Ouse is a country town on the Lyell Highway approximately 90 kilometres west of Hobart. It is situated on the banks of the River Ouse, after which the town is named. In its early years the settlement was known as Ouse Bridge but by the 1860s it had been reduced to The Ouse or Ouse. There are two churches at Ouse; the Catholic ‘Church of the Immaculate Conception’ (1875) and an older Anglican church, ‘St John the Baptist’ (1843). Surprisingly little is known about this church’s early years and there is no public record of its opening or consecration. In 1840 land for the church was granted by Scottish born Walter Angus Bethune of ‘Dunrobin’. Unlike most Anglican churches built after the Church Act of 1837, no financial assistance was received from government sources and construction was funded and undertaken by local parishioners. St John the Baptist’s foundation stone was laid in 1842 and the church opened for services in 1843. The church and its cemetery was only consecrated 24 years