No. 1306 - Dover - "The Christians' Chapel" (1876-1884)

This ‘blog entry’ is one of a series of articles about places of worship that are barely represented in the historical record. Often no images of these buildings have survived. My hope is that these brief articles may result in further information and photographs coming to light enabling a more complete history of Tasmanian churches.

Dover is a small town on the Huon Highway approximately 80 kilometres south of Hobart. It was first settled in the 1850s. The original name for Dover was Port Esperance after one of the ships of the French Admiral Bruni D’Entrecasteaux.

Very little is known about a group of ‘evangelists’ known as ‘the Christians’ who established a place of worship at Dover in the late 1876. The following information about the group appears in ‘A History of Dover and Port Esperance’ written by Norm Beechey and Dorothy Baker:

“The group of Christians who began to follow the teachings of Brethren Moyse came under the leadership of John Drysdale and his sister Marjory, their meeting place being the Gospel Hall built by Drysdale. This group gradually dispersed and in 1884 the Gospel Hall was sold to the Church of England”.

The group went on to join the ‘Disciples of Christ’, later known as the Church of Christ, which built a Gospel hall at another site at Dover.

There is no photograph of the original chapel. An early photograph of St Paul’s Anglican church accompanies this article. The original chapel formed the central part of the building with the chancel and steeple being later additions.

An early photograph of St Paul's Anglican church which was previously used as the 'Christian Chapel'
 before it was sold in 1884. 


Beechey, Norm. and Baker, Dorothy.  A history of Dover & Port Esperance, Tasmania / by Norm Beechey & Dorothy Baker  N. Beechey & D. Baker Dover, Tas  1997


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