LOOKING BACK: Rosewood Congregational Church c1900.
LOOKING BACK: Rosewood Congregational Church c1900. Contributed

A history of worship

IN the middle of the 19th century, many settlers came to the Ipswich area from Germany, Ireland and Britain.

Their first priority was shelter, so they built their homes from the timber available on the property.

They grew crops to feed their families and livestock.

Gradually, small settlements were established and the first church services were held in private homes by lay preachers, or a travelling pastor or priest.

The Germans brought their Lutheran and Baptist religions, the Irish their Catholic faith and from Britain came the Anglican or Church of England.

The first churches were small slab buildings, with shingle roofs built on land donated by a settler, and with the combined effort of all the parishioners.

Most had their own cemetery.

Today, many cemetries survive, but their churches have long gone.

For six days, the settlers worked hard to scratch a living and make improvements to their property, but the Sabbath was always kept as The Lord's Day.

It was the time to meet friends and relatives, catch up on the news of the district and a little relaxation.

It was difficult to come to a strange land with very few possessions to build a new life in great hardship.

Religion was the one thing that remained constant.

Baptisms were sometimes held in the family home by the minister, and then more often in the churches, as these were built.

Most weddings were held in the home of the bride's parents or a relative, and mainly during the week, not on Saturday as is usual today.

Funerals usually left from the family home, with the body conveyed to the church for the service, then to the grave.

The Ipswich Genealogical Society is moving into the Bell Arcade, Bell St, Ipswich.


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