Melbourne's Christian Heritage - Page 3

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Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey wrote ("The Story of Victoria" 1984 Methuen Haines):

"In the 1860s Victoria went through a religious awakening. This wild, rush about, brawling society of the 1850s almost knelt in the aisles in the 1860s." (page 112)

"From the late 1850s to perhaps 1890 .. probably four out of every five Victorians attended church with some regularity. °K Christianity flavoured the views of those who rarely attended church." (page 113)

"The churches strengthened society in many ways. They encouraged the sense of responsibility. .... The churches were foremost in providing education, though in part they were educational agents of the state. Churches gave some other services now provided by the welfare state. The priests and parsons were the busiest social workers; they visited the sick and lonely, and soothed the dying. Many churches provided relief to the poor, to the bewildered immigrant who had just landed, and to the sailor. .... Many social movements which at first seem to lie outside the churches gained impetus from versions of Christianity. The dynamic trade unionist, William Guthrie Spence, was partly an evangelist.." (page 116)

"The churches from the gold-rushes onwards, made Victoria rather a distinctive society compared to England and most of the other Australian colonies. The non-conformists and other evangelicals were especially strong here, and their views flavoured social-life, politics, work and business." (page 120)

This is just the start of outlining the Christian history of our city. Research has†begun into the enormous contribution of the Church to social welfare and community life in Melbourne today.

People and resources are needed to complete this vital task so we can rightly protect the unique position of the church in Melbourne. In March 2002 this unique position is under serious threat.

Rob Isaachsen - Melbourne Pastors Network March 2002



Last Updated on Monday, 10 July 2006 05:35

 

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