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Methodism in the Australian Colonies, 1811-1855

O'Brien, Glen (2015) Methodism in the Australian Colonies, 1811-1855. In: Methodism in Australia: A History. Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, VA, pp. 15-27,. ISBN 978-1472429483

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Abstract

Early nineteenth-century British Methodist expansion followed the imperial trade routes and military expansion of the ‘Settler Revolution’, servicing and exploiting every major population centre in the British dominions. The first Wesleyan Methodist minister to arrive in the colony of NSW, in 1815, was the Rev Samuel Leigh (1785–1852). He was not, however, the first Methodist to arrive in Sydney town, for, as elsewhere in the British colonies (and also in America), Methodism had its origins not in the direct missionary work of preachers but in the hopes, wishes and energetic work of a devout laity. The Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Connexion (or Church) was officially convened in the York Street Chapel in Sydney on 18 January 1855. The fact that there was hesitation at this early stage over whether to be officially known as a ‘Church’ or a ‘Connexion’ perhaps reflects the ambiguity Methodists felt about their relationship to ‘the Church.’ Were they to consider themselves a Society designed to renew the Church of England or were they a Church in their own right? The latter view would win out in the following half century when Methodism in all the Australian colonies would grow to 11 per cent of the population. Methodist strength and influence in the dominions grew rapidly, far exceeding that of its Mother Church in Britain.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords (separated by commas): History of Methodism, History of Australian Methodism, Australian religious history
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals)
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subject Area(s): C - Church History
Association with University of Divinity: SABC: Salvation Army Booth College
Depositing User: Rev Associate Professor Glen O'Brien
Date Deposited: 11 May 2016 13:01
Last Modified: 11 May 2016 13:01
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1955

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