by Len Dimmick, author of “On The Main Road – the History of Glenorchy Uniting Church”
GLENORCHY methodism can be said to have commenced in April 1820 when Rev. Carvosso preached on the steps of Hobart Town Court House.
A number of people started meeting in what is now the City of Hobart and the journal of Rev. Horton records that, from 1821 he commenced visiting homes in what is now the City of Glenorchy.
By 1824 regular worship services were being conducted in our area.
As is shown in a history written by Rev Max Morton the promotion of Gods’ work was not restricted to the Clergy.
“At a special meeting connected with the Wesleyan Library … a private member of the Society … received a new impulse of benevolence … and on leaving the meeting resolved to make a new essay to good.
On the following Sabbath, taking with him a quantity of tracts, he walked about 6 miles (abt. 6 kms) into the interior, visited several families, some of whom had scarcely attended public worship for twice twenty years, got as many of the inmates together as he could, talked affectionately to them about their sole’s interests, prayed with them and left his tracts . Thus he went from house to house embosomed in the thick woods.
God was pleased to own the pious effort; several were quickened … a class was formed, a Sunday School established, and they met on week days for prayer.
They now felt their want of a Chapel and expressed their desire to raise one.”
In God’s time “a poor man” (O’Brien) donated land for the erection, in 1830, of the Chapel which still stands on the corner of Main Road and Chapel Street.
This Chapel continued to be the worship centre and Sunday School for the Methodists until 1910 when, on land donated by Thomas Hallam, the church at 446 main Road was dedicated. The Sunday School studenys continued to meet at the old Chapel until 1958 in which year the Sunday School hall in kensington Street was dedicated to cater for the increasing number of “Baby Boomers”.
During the ministry of Rev. Bruce Prewer, Mr. Max Walker Snr. was awarded a contract to build an addition on to the western end of the church and this was dedicated in April 1966.
In the term of Rev. Adelene Mills a ramp was built on the south side of the church to cater for people with disabilities and an aging congrgation. In 2002 an extension was built on the north side of the church to house an office and toilets and this has proven to be a worthwhile amaeity.
Together with good parking, the construction of an awning over the main entry, the removal of choir stalls and the installation of modern audio/video electronic equipment have made the Uniting Church at Glenorchy a neat, comfortable and practical place for the extension of the work of God in this City.
(For more detailed information on the Chapel and the Glenorchy Uniting Church see records at the Archives Office of Tasmania and other published works by Mrs. Joy Cairns and Leonard Dimmick)