No. 984 - West Hobart - Church of Christ

West Hobart is an inner-city suburb of Hobart immediately west of the city centre. The suburb occupies the high ground below Knocklofty Hill.

The former "Hill Street Church" located between Pine and Warwick Street, was built with the support of the Collin's Street ‘Church of Christ’ in the 1920s.

In the 1870s the Church of Christ arrived in Tasmania and established itself first in Launceston and Hobart. Initially the denomination was simply known as the ‘Christians' then from 1885 as 'Disciples of Christ' and finally as 'Churches of Christ'. The Churches of Christ believed that Christian communities should be similar to those described in the New Testament, simple and with autonomous congregations. The Church of Christ has similarities with the Christian Brethren, although it is influenced by American rather than British churches.

The establishment of the church is outlined in an article in the Hobart Mercury, published at the time of the church’s official opening on Sunday 17 June 1923:

“The new brick church building of the Church of Christ in West Hobart was opened yesterday…For nearly three years the congregation worked energetically to make the building possible and the place now stands as a monument of their faith and devotion. Three years had elapsed on June 6 since Evangelist W. H. Nightingale, of the Collins-street Church of Christ, commenced a Bible school and gospel services in the Lansdowne-crescent Institute. In August of the same year he organised a church there, with about 23 members all from the parent city church. The congregation commenced to grow and it was decided to purchase a block of land in Hill-street. When the ground had been paid for a band of about thirty men from the city and suburban churches gave their Saturday afternoons up to the work of the excavating and putting in the concrete foundations".

"Mr. A. J. Doran was architect. Mr. W. Woolley erected the brick building, porches and vestries and Messrs H. and J. C. Woolley did the carpentry and joinery work. It is plastered above the hardwood dado, well lighted with electricity and well ventilated. Special attention has been given to the acoustic properties of the place. It will seat comfortably about 250 people. The cost for land, building and furniture is approximately £1,500".

"A large number of people assembled at the opening service yesterday morning, when Mr. Geo Smith, foundation member of the Churches of Christ in Hobart, presided. Mr. A. B. Heard, State Conference president, delivered the inaugural address. In the evening Mr. W. H. Nightingale commenced a fortnight's mission, in which he will be assisted by Mr. J. Warren as leader of song”.


The building was used by the Church of Christ until at least the 1950s and was later sold and used as a business premises. It has since been converted into a private residence. Photographs of the buildings conversion into a house can be viewed in the link provided in the sources below.








Sources:

Mercury, Monday 18 June 1923, page 9
World, Monday 18 June 1923, page 6

Link to photographs of the church's conversion into a house:

https://www.jmybarchitects.com.au/93a-hill-street/








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