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Ebenezer is 200 years old.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by rc36, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. I know this probably won't interest too many members, but it may some so here it is. Ebenezer Uniting Church turns 200 on Saturday. This little stone church that many members would have passed very near to without even realising it is there, is the oldest church in Australia and the oldest one in continuous use since it was founded in 1809.

    Just off the Putty Road at Wilberforce, the church is on the bend of the Nepean River and will be the scene of celebrations this Saturday as members and people with an historical interest gather there to celebrate 200 years of use.

    As Hornet and I are direct descendants of one of the founders of the church, we will be on-site manning the family tent along with members of the other 15 pioneer families who will be there on the weekend.

    If you happen to be riding by on Saturday or Sunday, why not drop in and catch an important part of Australia's history taking place. Turn right in the middle of Wilberforce and follow the signs.


  2. Beautiful building
    I love the fact it is still in use to this day, a testament to great building practise.
    One question and not to be taken the wrong way, was it built through convict labour or free settlers?
  3. Definitely not taken the wrong way.

    It was built entirely by free settlers, most of whom were free Presbyterians from the north country of England, (George Hall was from Northumberland). Most of the builders had come to Australia on the "Corromandel" in 1802 and had settled around the Pitt Town area on the opposite side of the river from where the church now stands.

    They would take row boats across the river to go to church each Sunday!
  4. It was also used as a school-house for many years, smee :).

    here's a list of the pioneer families; who knows YOU might be related to one of them without even knowing it (not you, smee, obviously :LOL:)

    Thomas Arndell and Elizabeth (Burley)
    Paul Bushell and Elizabeth (Sharp) (deceased) and Isabella (Brown)
    Captain John Grono and Elizabeth (Bristow)
    Owen Cavanough and Margaret (Dowling)
    William Jacklin and Mary (Cardell) (deceased) and Elizabeth (Connell)
    John Suddis and Isabella Suddis
    Lewis Jones
    James Davison and Jane ( Johnston)
    George Hall and Mary (Smith)
    John Howe and Frances (Ward)
    Andrew Johnston and Mary (Beard)
    John Johnstone and Elizabeth (Lewins)
    James Mein and Susannah (Skene)
    William Stubbs and Sarah (Wingate)
    John Turnbull and Ann (Warr)
  5. Unless they were Greek of Byzantine descent I highly doubt it :)

    I love old buildings.
  6. Wow - out of all those pioneers, only TWO are deceased! It's a miracle! :p
  7. Those crusty old Presbyterians really hang on to life :LOL:.
  8. With some of them it's hard to tell the difference... :p :LOL:

    Congratulations Paul. As Smee said it's good to see it's still in use. Has it stayed in continuous use as a church since it was built?
  9. Hmmm, that George Hall must have been a character... :p

    I like old buildings too.
  10. Yes it has, Tony, which makes it very special because there are a few older buildings, but most are in ruins, and none have been in continuous use.

    As far as we know, representatives of 11 of the 15 pioneer families will be attending, which is pretty amazing too.

    Joel, he was. By the time his children had married and spread out far and wide, it was said that at the rate they were breeding that they would 'over-hall' the colony.

    At one stage one of the Halls married five of his sons and grandsons to five daughters and grand-daughters of the Grono family (they were first-fleeters) and from those 5 marriages there resulted 49 children :shock:.
  11. Yes, it has continuously been used as a church for the last 200 years. The longest of any in Australia.
  12. :rofl:
  13. I've got a hall somewhere in the family tree.
  14. Ah, you funny Aussies, thinking that a 200 year old building is old.

  15. Meh
    Coming from ancestors dating back to homer etc, a 200 year old building is brand new but it doesn't take away its timelessness.
    They don't build them like that anymore.
  16. Obviously before TV.
  17. That's true - and a bloody shame too.
  18. Just back from the festivities in the last couple of hours, will post some pics of the old building tomorrow night.

    When you've only got a little over 200 years of history to celebrate, a building 200 years old and still in use is pretty remarkable..

    I also have some great pics of an old country Catholic Church somewhere up in the boonies near Jindabyne I must post up too..