No. 1014 - Newnham - Newnham Fellowship

Newnham is a northern suburb of the city of Launceston. Newnham was originally part of the municipality of Lilydale before it was proclaimed a town in 1946. There are several active Christian communities in Newnham including a Uniting Church, an Anglican church and a Church of Christ. The Newnham Fellowship is located in the premises of a former Catholic Church, Our Lady Help of Christians, which opened in 1968.

Newnham Fellowship falls under the umbrella of the Association of Christian Community Churches in Victoria and Tasmania. The association describes itself as “a movement of like-minded local churches, predominantly of a Christian Brethren heritage, that have united under a common vision and mission, set of beliefs and core values”.

The Christian 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 from 1869. As a result, 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 churches are 'open', unlike the 'exclusive' Brethren who avoid contact with outsiders. The 'open' Brethren carry-out community work, including overseas missions.





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