BRIGHTON CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH TASMANIA
Apparently Congregational church services commenced in Brighton about 1851 under the leadership of Rev. Joseph Beasley. These services were held in the local courtroom. The first marriage was conducted at The Castle Inn on 16th November 1841 between Henry Phillips and Mary Lewin.
A place of worship was built in 1854 on the riverbank which was small in capacity and built of rubble stone faced with quarried stone. It was a hazardous walk to the church and soon plans were set in motion for a new building.
Built at a cost of 800 pounds this spire angled high apex roof design supported by solid stone low side walls, originally without interior truss supports was the predecessor of the modern “A” frame buildings.
Built of stone from the nearby Etna quarry, the foundations and stonework was carried out by a Mr. Paul and the roof structure and later trussing by Mr. Robert James.
“The Mercury” Newspaper 9th June 1876 reported
Yesterday afternoon the new Congregational Church at Brighton was opened for divine worship in the presence of a large concourse of members of that denomination and others residing in the district.
The Church is an elegant and substantial stone structure, capable of accommodating between 250 and 300 persons and has been erected at a cost of over 600 pounds.
The weather yesterday was very unpropitious for the ceremony….but notwithstanding the very cold weather, a large congregation assembled to assist at the opening service.
The first minister for the parish was the Rev. J. W. Shipperd who served the area from 1858 until 1868 when he was replaced by the Rev. H. Kennedy who was to stay until 1900.
Extracted from a pamphlet released to mark the Centenary of the Church in 1976.
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