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Riverboats on Sundays
Title : Riverboats on Sundays Riverboats on Sundays
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Creator : Roberts, John, Rev.
Source : Roberts, John, PRG 52/3/2
Date of creation : 1860
Format : Diary
Dimensions : 195 x 160 mm
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

South Australia's early Wesleyan Methodists were particularly strong and had a rapidly growing membership in the 19th century. The use of local lay preachers helped them to establish quickly in country areas, often ahead of other Christian groups. The Congregationalists were a much older group in England, but had relatively small numbers in South Australia. The Congregational minister, the Rev. John Roberts, went to Encounter Bay in 1853 to assist the the Rev. Ridgeway Newland. In 1861 Roberts moved to Goolwa. However his attempts to establish a Congregational church in the river town were doomed. The Goolwa people were experiencing spectacular conversions under local Wesleyan Methodist lay preachers such as Captain John Barclay, so that by the end of the 19th century the Goolwa Methodist church boasted a Sunday attendance of 300, and a Sunday School of 200 children. John Roberts' diary records much of the excitement amongst the Goolwa Methodists in the 1860s. His entry for 1860 describes how Captain Barclay's new-found religion precluded him from running his riverboat on Sundays.

Related names :

Barclay, John

Newland, Ridgeway William, 1790-1864

Roberts, John, d. 1915

Coverage year : 1860
Place : Goolwa (S. Aust.)
Further reading :
Godson, Harry. Personal papers, 1900-1983, PRG 1258
Hunt, Arnold. This side of heaven: a history of Methodism in South Australia, Adelaide: Lutheran Publishing House, 1985
'In memoriam: John Barclay', Christian weekly and Methodist journal, 4 March 1887, p. 7
McLeay, Leslie. River's end: the story of Goolwa and the Murray Mouth, Beverley, S. Aust.: [s.n.], c1985
Mudie, Ian. Riverboats, Adelaide: Rigby, 1972
Painter, Gwenda. A different river: river trade and development along the Murray Valley network, South Melbourne: Hyland House, 1993
South Coast Methodist Circuit. Church records, 1862-1967, SRG 4/85
Springbett, Irma. Forward in faith: a history of selected south coast churches, Victor Harbor, S. Aust.: South Coast Uniting Parish, 1985
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