Day Shift – 16/02/2010 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Carol Duncan
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University
University of Newcastle Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses the sesquicentenary of the Consecration of St John’s Church Cooks Hill Newcastle this Saturday 20 February 2010 through original archival documents of the Church held in the University of Newcastle’s Cultural Collections Auchmuty Library.
This weekend celebrates the 150th anniversary of the consecration of St John’s Anglican Church Newcastle.
The Church, schoolroom and associated buildings were constructed with funds raised by the Directors, Chairman and shareholders of the Australian Agricultural and Peel River Land and Mineral Companies. The idea to construct Anglican churches and schools on the companies’ estates for the moral benefit of their employees and families was originally initiated by Mr Walter Stevenson Davidson, who personally contributed £5,000 to kick start the campaign back in 1854. With Company providing the land, by 1856 the Foundation stone for the School was laid, and Parsonage and Church finally completed in 1860.
The following are are series of milestones from the original records in A7064(xi) Material from the Archives of the Australian Agricultural Company relating to the construction of St. John’s Church, by Rev. Robert Howell, 1990 and the Year Books.
1 January 1854
“A greatly enhanced value which the Mineral discoveries, increased Emigration and other well known causes have given to the Estates of the AAc has made the shareholders” to adopt measures to provide for the moral and religious improvement of the Population on their properties, and a “more liberal and extended scale than was justified by the previous position of the Company.”
– Memorandum prepared for Private Circulation among the past and present Proprietors of the Australian Agricultural and Peel River Land and Mineral Companies 1st January 1854.
28th July 1855
for the “Newcastle Estate” we propose the erection of a school room suited for Divine Service on Sundays with Masters’ Cottage attached 850 pounds, a parsonage 850 pounds and endowment of school 500 pounds.
– Marcus F. Brownrigg General Superintendent (AACo) and Philip Gidley King General Superintendent Peel River Land and Mineral Co. to John H Ravenshaw et al
1856 – 1857 St John’s Church is being erected at cost of 3500 pounds
1857- 1858 Newcastle has been divided into two Districts of Christ Church (the mother church) and St John’s. In St John’s a Parsonage and school has been completed. The Rev. L.H. Rumsey appointed its Clergyman. Church is nearly completed.
20th February 1860 – Opening of Church
“St. John’s Church was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Newcastle on 20th ult. I was unable to attend; the church is now open for Divine Service.
– AACo. Ref: 78/1/33 p.91 Despatch no.124 dated 12 March 1860 from General Superintendent Hodgson to Court of Directors.
A5308 Petition to consecrate St. John’s Church, Newcastle, 1860 (Bishop Tyrrell)
Census of St John’s Parish conducted by Mr John Dixon (later Rev. John Dixon around 1871/2).
The 1871 Census of St John’s Parish Newcastle
B16117 Minute Book labeled ‘Sunday School’, of which a major portion contains the Minute Book and Income and Expenditure Books, combined, of the Teachers of the Sunday School, 1882-1892 (41v-168r), with the first 38 leaves (1v-38r) consisting of a Survey of the Parish of St John’s conducted between January and March of 1871 and encompassing the areas of The Glebe, Wickham Railway Village, Honeysuckle Point, The Pottery and Junction, Mosquito Island, Dempsey Island, and the following streets and roads, Lake Macquarie Road, Darby, Blane, Lower Church, Dawson, Railway, Bull, Bruce, Melville, Polly and Corlette.
We present the complete digital version of this remarkable 1871 census manuscript here:
1873 Parish of St John’s spit into two Parishes of Newcastle, and Waratah and the Islands becoming part of St Jame’s Wickham under the charge of the Rev J. Dixon – (that is how we obtained the census and Sunday School Minute book).
Other archives of importance relating to the Parish include:
B9699-B9702 Service registers, 1872 – 1972.
B5998a Confirmations, 1927 – 1961.
A6561(i) Parish reports, 1874, 1876 – 1881, 1886.
A7796(vi) (a) Photostat copy of illuminated address presented to Bishop Pearson by the incumbents and parishioners of the parishes of Christ Church, St John’s and St James, Newcastle, on the occasion of his arrival in the Diocese, August, 1880. Original at A5310(i). 4pp.
(b) Photostat copy of manuscript entitled “The Genesis and History of Christ Church, Newcastle” (13pp).
(c) Covering letter from Denis Rowe, Archives Officer, University of Newcastle, to Rev. Keith Clark, to accompany the two above items. 17th November, 1978.
NEWCASTLE – (St. John’s)
Note: Parish registers for the years before 1900 are available on microfilm A5856.
NEWCASTLE B5985 Baptisms Dec. 1870 – Dec. 1871
NEWCASTLE B5998 Baptisms Aug. 1857 – Oct. 1874
NEWCASTLE B5999 Baptisms Oct. 1874 – Feb. 1923
NEWCASTLE B5999A Baptisms Mar. 1923 – Mar. 1955
NEWCASTLE B5985 Marriages Apr. 1860 – Feb. 1886
NEWCASTLE B5986 Marriages Apr. 1886 – Oct. 1887
NEWCASTLE B5987 Marriages Nov. 1887 – Dec. 1894
NEWCASTLE B5988 Marriages Mar. 1895 – Feb. 1897
NEWCASTLE B5989 Marriages Mar. 1897 – June 1898
NEWCASTLE B5990 Marriages June 1898 – May 1908
NEWCASTLE B5991 Marriages Mar. 1908 – Apr. 1916
NEWCASTLE B5992 Marriages Apr. 1916 – Feb. 1924
NEWCASTLE B5993 Marriages Feb. 1924 – May 1934
NEWCASTLE B5994 Marriages May 1934 – Oct. 1941
NEWCASTLE B5995 Marriages Oct. 1941 – Aug. 1947
NEWCASTLE B5996 Marriages Aug. 1947 – Apr. 1956
NEWCASTLE B5997 Marriages May 1956 – Aug. 1963
NEWCASTLE B5997A Marriages Sept.1963 – Jan. 1967
NEWCASTLE B5997B Marriages Jan. 1967 – Sept.1969
NEWCASTLE B5997C Marriages Sept.1969 – Feb. 1973
NEWCASTLE B16207 Marriages Mar. 1973 – Sept. 1981
NEWCASTLE B16208 Marriages Oct. 1981 – Oct. 1990
NEWCASTLE B16209 Marriages Oct. 1990 – Feb. 1996
NEWCASTLE B5998 Burials Nov. 1862 – Apr. 1936
NEWCASTLE B5999B Burials Apr. 1962 – May 1968
NEWCASTLE B16110 Burials May 1968 – Dec. 1962
NEWCASTLE B5999B Confirmations Apr. 1927 – July 1961
C918/296 Photograph, St. John’s Church, Cooks Hill