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Serena Thorne
Title : Serena Thorne Serena Thorne
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Source : Chronicle pictorial pages, 19 July 1902, p. 40
Date of creation : 1902
Format : Newspaper
Catalogue record
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Description :

Serena Thorne was the grand-daughter of the Cornishman, William O'Bryan, who in 1815 founded the Bible Christian Church, in Devon. The Bible Christians were one of the first Christian groups to allow women to preach. As a young woman Serena obtained an impressive reputation as a preacher and in 1865, at the age of 23, she was sent to Brisbane to help establish branches of the church there. She came to Adelaide in 1870 and large crowds came to hear her speak in the Adelaide Town Hall and other places as she travelled around the state.

In South Australia she met the Rev. Octavius Lake, whom she had known in Devon some years before. They were married in 1871. In 1892 she founded the Bible Christian Women's Missionary Board. She was also a leading member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, founded in South Australia in 1886, and travelled the colony setting up new branches. In just four years Lake was largely responsible for establishing 22 branches of this social reform group. She spent many years on the Yorke Peninsula with her husband, who was the Bible Christian minister at Moonta from the early 1870s. Serena Lake died in Adelaide in 1902 after a long illness.

Related names :

Lake, Octavius, 1841-1922

Lake, Serena

Adelaide Town Hall

Bible Christian Church of Australasia

Bible Christian Women's Missionary Board

Woman's Christian Temperance Union

Coverage year : 1902
Place : Adelaide (S. Aust.)
Further reading :

Hunt, Arnold D. The Bible Christians in South Australia, Adelaide: Uniting Church Historical Society, South Australia, 1983

Hunt, Arnold D. 'Lake, Serena (nee Thorne)', Australian dictionary of evangelical biography, Sydney: Evangelical History Association, 1994, p. 208
Jones, Helen. In her own name: a history of women in South Australia from 1836, Kent Town, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1994
Jones, Helen. 'Lake, Serena (1842-1902)', Australian dictionary of biography, supplementary volume, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2005, p. 226
'Miss Thorne's preaching', South Australian register, 23 May 1870, p. 5
Thorne, James. James Thorne of Shebbear: a memoir: compiled from his diary and letters, London: Bible Christian Bookroom, 1873

'The late Mrs O. Lake,' Yorkes Peninsula advertiser, 11 July 1902, p. 3

Thorne, Serena. Diary of Serena Thorne [microfiche], 1870-1871, 1876, D8072 (L)
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