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Showing posts from October, 2020

No. 807 - Risdon Vale - The Church of the Resurrection (1968-2010)

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Risdon Vale is a suburb within the City of Clarence and a part of the Greater Hobart region. Risdon Vale was established in the early 1960s by the Tasmanian Government’s Housing Department. It is also the location of the Risdon Prison Complex. When the Housing Department developed plans for the Risdon housing estate in the early 1960s, sites were made available for four religious denominations (see map below). These included Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic and Congregational churches. Of these, only Anglican and Catholic churches were built; both of which have now closed. The Church of the Resurrection, located at the corner of Sugarloaf and Lantana roads, was built in 1968 and was opened and blessed by Archbishop Guilford Young in the same year. The church closed in 2010 and was sold and converted into housing units. Additional information about this church is most welcome as all articles are continually updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches

No. 806 - Sorell - St George's Anglican Church (1825-1883) - "A Piece of Patch Work"

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Sorell is one of Tasmania's oldest towns with the Pittwater district being settled in 1808. Sorell was formally established as a township in 1821 and was thereafter named after William Sorell, who served as Lieutenant-Governor from 1816 to 1824. In 1820 church services at Pittwater were held in a barn. After a school was built in 1821, a schoolroom was used as a place of worship. Reverend Robert Knopwood conducted the first divine service at the Sorell school in February1822. The story of the establishment of St George’s at Sorell is recounted in an article published by the Hobart Mercury in August 1925, on the occasion of the church’s centenary: “In consequence of the progress of the Pittwater settlement it was deemed advisable to secure a piece of land for a cemetery, and on March 7, 1823, the Rev. Samuel Marsden paid a visit for that purpose, under instructions from the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and consecrated a suitable area. Previous to this all persons dying in the di

No. 805 - Mornington - Eastern Shore Church of Christ

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Mornington is an eastern shore suburb in the City of Clarence and a part of the Greater Hobart region. Mornington was developed as a housing commission estate by the Tasmanian Government Housing Department in the late 1960s. The suburb is named after an old farming property established in the mid 19th century. The ‘Churches of Christ’ believe that Christian communities should be similar to those described in the New Testament, with simple and autonomous congregations. The Church of Christ has some similarities with the Christian Brethren, although it is influenced by American rather than British churches. The first members of the Church of Christ arrived in Tasmania in 1865. In the 1870s churches were set up in Launceston and Hobart. The first followers were initially known as ‘Christians' then from 1885 as 'Disciples of Christ' and from 1915 as 'Churches of Christ'. The Eastern Shore Church of Christ was established at Mornington in 1974. The church is a modest bri

No. 804 - Cressy - St James' Chapel - Darlington Park

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Darlington Park is a large farming estate south of the town of Cressy. Situated on the banks of the Macquarie River, the farm was settled and developed by Robert Thirkell and his son George. A small chapel was built in 1850 and consecrated in October 1867. The chapel closed in 1919 but was reopened in July 1949 after “thirty years of disuse”. At the time of the chapel’s reopening in 1950, exactly a century after it was built, the Hobart Mercury published a short article detailing the building’s history: “The chapel was built in 1850 by Robert Thirkell, who also ,was responsible for the magnificent home of Darlington Park, with its fine stone buildings and brick walls leading down to the river. Nearly all the large estates had their chapels in the past. Few are used today, because the motor car has brought the town church within easy reach, and in any case there are not sufficient people working on the properties now to warrant a clergyman holding anything but a special service. So

No. 803 - Rokeby - The Grace Church and The Grace Centre

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Rokeby is an eastern suburb of Greater Hobart which falls under the City of Clarence local government area. Rokeby was a small village until the 1970s when the State Government Housing Department established a large housing estate. The area is is named after "Rokeby House" which was built by George Stokell in 1830. Rokeby is a village in Yorkshire, England. The origins of the Grace Church date to 1958 when it was known as the Assembly of God. Around 2010 the church moved from Hobart to Mornington where rented premises were used as a place of worship for about five years. Services are currently held in the Performing Arts Centre at the Emmanuel Christian School at Rokeby.   In 2015 the Rokeby Tavern was purchased by the Grace Church. It is not used as a place of worship but has been transformed into a community meeting hub, as a gift by the church to the local community.  The interesting story of the pub’s renovation and conversion into a church is recounted in a program reco

No. 802 - Beaconsfield - Holy Trinity Anglican Church (1878-1907) - "Almost a Moral Impossibility"

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The town of Beaconsfield, previously known as Brandy Creek, dates back to the late 1840s when small quantities of gold was discovered in the area. Commercial gold mining only got underway in the mid 1870s which led to a substantial growth in the settlement’s population. Brandy Creek was renamed Beaconsfield in 1879 in honour of Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield and British Prime Minister. By this time the reef was the richest gold discovery anywhere in Australia and virtually overnight Beaconsfield became Tasmania's third largest town. Two Anglican churches have been built at Beaconsfield; the present church replacing the original Holy Trinity built in 1878. In late June 1878 the “Travelling Reporter” for Launceston’s weekly newspaper, the Tasmanian, provides an interesting glimpse of Brandy Creek, as it was still called, shortly after the opening of Holy Trinity Anglican church. The reporter arrived by ‘steamer’ from Launceston: “Intending passengers and visitors to Bra

No. 801 - Deloraine - Western Tiers Mennonite Church

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Deloraine is a historic tourist town situated on the Meander River and lies approximately halfway between the cities of Launceston and Devonport. The settlement dates to the 1830s and was named by the surveyor, Thomas Scott, after Sir William Deloraine, a character in Sir Walter Scott's poem "The Lay of the Last Minstrel". Sir Walter Scott was a relative of Thomas Scott.  The Western Tiers Mennonite Church is located in Deloraine’s former Uniting Church in West Barrack Street.  The church was founded in 2013 and is is member of the Nationwide Fellowship Churches, a breakaway Anabaptist Mennonite group which has over 100 congregations globally. No further information is available about the church at this stage.  Additional information about this church is most welcome as all articles are continually updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: Churches of Tasmania .                                

No. 800 - Bellerive - Corpus Christi Catholic Church - '35 Years in the Wildnerness'

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Bellerive is a suburb of the City of Clarence and part of the Greater Hobart area. It is located on the Eastern shore of the Derwent River. Originally it was named Kangaroo Point but in the 1830s this was changed to Bellerive, meaning ‘beautiful shore’. Bellerive’s first Catholic church was established in 1936 as the Corpus Christi School. Worship was conducted at the school until such time that a church could be built. Almost 30 years were to pass before this dream was realised in 1965. Before the opening of Corpus Christi School, Catholics at Bellerive were attached to St Joseph’s at Hobart and went by ferry to Mass in the city. In 1930 Bellerive became a part of Richmond Parish and Mass was celebrated every Sunday in the supper room of the Bellerive Town Hall. In 1934 Bellerive was made a separate parish and soon after work began on establishing a school and church for the community. Construction of the school-church began in 1935 on a site in Church Street. The school was foun

No. 799 - Penguin - The Primitive Methodist 'Upper Chapel' (1874-1901)

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Penguin is a seaside town situated approximately 10 kilometres west of Ulverstone. It was established in the 1860s and was one of the last coastal towns in the northwest to be settled. The Victorian gold rush created a renewed demand for timber and consequently wood cutters and splitters moved into the area. The settlement was named by the botanist Ronald Campbell Gunn after the penguin rookeries that were once common along this part of the coast. This is the second of four articles on Penguin’s Methodist churches. The history of Methodism and Penguin’s Methodist Churches is complex. It can be summarised as follows: 1866 - A Primitive Methodist chapel was built at the Western              end of Main Street (now the site of the Uniting              Church). 1868 - A Mission House was built at Mission Hill. 1869 - The chapel was lengthened by 12 feet. 1872 - A split occurred in the Methodist community. An               Independent Methodist group took over the chapel on             Mai

No. 798 - Howrah - Clarence City Salvation Army Hall

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Howrah is a suburb of Hobart situated on the eastern side of Bellerive on the shores of the Derwent River. It is named after "Howrah House", a property built in the 1830's on the Clarence Plains by a retired Indian Army officer, Captain James Fielder. Howrah is a suburb of Calcutta, where Captain Fielder was stationed. Howrah has had five religious denominations active in the suburb since it was was settled. As a relatively recently established place of worship, there is very little information about the history of the Clarence City Salvation Army Hall. As information becomes available this article will be updated. The Companion to Tasmanian History has the following concise summary of the history of the Salvation Army in Tasmania: “The Salvation Army had a seminal link with Tasmania. Launceston businessman and philanthropist Henry Reed, living in London, gave William Booth over £5000 to establish the Salvation Army on a firm footing in about 1870. In 1883 the Salvation A

No. 797 - Derwent Park Anglican Mission Hall

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Derwent Park is a northern suburb of Hobart about 10 kilometres from the city and lies between Moonah and Glenorchy. It is now largely an industrial area. The name came from the original "Derwent Park House", built by Thomas E. Wells in about 1820. The Derwent Park Mission Hall, also known as the Moonah Mission Hall, was established by St John’s Anglican Church, New Town, in 1908. The hall was built close to the Derwent Park Railway Station (see map below). The Mission Hall was dedicated by Bishop Mercer on Sunday 23 February 1908. The Hobart Mercury carried a short report describing the occasion: “The Bishop of Tasmania dedicated a new Mission-hall at Moonah on Sunday afternoon last. The hall is weatherboard, lined with pine, and is 50ft. long by 25ft. broad, with a smaller room at the back. The room which had been nicely decorated with white and red flowers and ever-greens by some of the residents was densely packed when the service began at half-past 3. The clergy pres

No. 796 - Mount Nelson - St Edmund's Anglican Church

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Mount Nelson is a suburb of the city of Hobart located above Sandy Bay and to the south of Hobart's CBD. The Mount Nelson Signal Station was used in the early period of the colony to signal when ships were entering the Derwent River. It was named in 1811 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, of NSW, while on a routine visit to Hobart. Macquarie apparently chose the name as a compliment to His Majesty's Brig Lady Nelson, as it had rendered valuable service to Van Diemen’s Land’s establishment. St Edmund’s is the only church built at Mount Nelson. In 1960 a church centre was established as an outpost of St Peter’s Parish, Sandy Bay. In 1963 a concrete block church was built and opened and dedicated in the same year. The building survived the 1967 bushfires which ravaged the suburb but closed and was sold in the 1990s. Additional information about this church is most welcome as all articles are continually updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Chur

No. 795 - Bellerive Uniting (Congregational) Church

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Bellerive is a suburb of the City of Clarence and part of the greater Hobart area. It is located on the Eastern shore of the Derwent River. Originally it was named Kangaroo Point but in the 1830s this was changed to Bellerive, meaning ‘beautiful shore’. Bellerive’s Uniting church opened in January 1910 as a Congregational church, replacing an earlier church built in 1860 near the original State school on King Street. The foundation stone for the new church was laid on Friday 15 October 1909. The Hobart Mercury reported: “An exceedingly interesting ceremony took place yesterday at Bellerive in connection with the laying of the foundation-stone of the new Congregational Church in that suburb. A special boat from town conveyed a large number of members of the church to the other shore. Among those who attended were Mr. S. Clemes, representing the Council of Churches. Hon. John Hope, representing the Government. The ceremony of laying the stone was performed by Sir Albert Spicer, Bart.,

No. 794 - Leprena Congregational Church (1899 - c.1938)

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Leprena is a former settlement on the northern end of the Recherche Bay. The word 'Leprena' is of Tasmanian Aboriginal origin and means 'home'. From the late 19th century up until the 1940s Leprena had an active timber-milling industry. The settlement’s population peaked around the turn of the 20th century by which time Leprena had acquired a school, a public hall, post office, general store and a church. The saw mill's closure in 1938 and destructive bush fires in the following year brought an end to the settlement. There is little information about Leprena’s Congregational church which opened in July 1899. A brief article describing the church’s opening appears the Hobart Mercury. It was an unusual event given the absence of the minister, Reverend Joseph Ebery, who sent his apologies. In lieu of a formal religious ceremony, the occasion was marked by an informal celebration. The Mercury’s correspondent at Leprena reported: “A concert and coffee soiree was held