Consecration of St Luke’s church yard – 1843

The first Bishop of Australia, William Grant Broughton, visited Scone and was mortified.

The first Bishop of Australia, William Grant Broughton, visited Scone and was mortified.

In 1843 the Church of England’s first Bishop of Australia, William Grant Broughton, visited Scone as part of a tour of his diocese and was “mortified” by the attitudes of local residents to religion.

The churchyard of St Luke’s had been used as a non-denominational cemetery since the beginning of settlement; it had not been consecrated.

The first St Luke’s church was still under construction when Bishop Broughton arrived on July 13, 1843.

On July 14, Bishop Broughton wrote in his journal that he and Reverend Morse visited each individual hut in the village to “awaken the people to…their religious duties.”1

To Bishop Broughton’s obvious disappointment the early settlers did not seem very interested. He described the results of their visits as “Great insensibility prevailing, and little apparent impression produced on any.2

The next day his disappointment in the local villagers grew to what he described as “mortifying”:

“The consecration was attended by the principal families in the neighbourhood, forming but a small congregation. From the village not a single individual came, though many of them have relatives interred in the ground. A mortifying proof of the discouragements which here attend the efforts of the Clergy, and of the insensibility to which their long unacquaintance with religious ordinances has reduced too many of that class to which the individuals in question had belonged.3

While much of the Bishop’s musings on his diocese were fairly critical, but he now rests comfortably in Canterbury Cathedral.4

Bishop Broughton was laid to rest at Canterbury Cathedral, United Kingdom.

Bishop Broughton was laid to rest at Canterbury Cathedral, United Kingdom.

Footnotes:
  1. W.G. Broughton,  ‘Two Journals of Visitation to the Northern and Southern Portions of his Diocese’, The Church in Australia, Third edition, London,1843, p.13, cited on http://anglicanhistory.org/aus/wgbroughton/journals1846.html, viewed December 16, 2013. []
  2. W.G. Broughton,  ‘Two Journals of Visitation to the Northern and Southern Portions of his Diocese’, The Church in Australia, third edition, London,1843, p.13, cited on http://anglicanhistory.org/aus/wgbroughton/journals1846.html, viewed December 16, 2013. []
  3. W.G. Broughton, ‘Two Journals of Visitation to the Northern and Southern Portions of his Diocese’, The Church in Australia, third edition, London,1843, p.14, cited on http://anglicanhistory.org/aus/wgbroughton/journals1846.html, viewed December 16, 2013. []
  4. Jade, “What I didn’t do this weekend: Canterbury Cathedral”, Invisible Crown, April 29, 2013, viewed on, <http://www.aninvisiblecrown.com/what-i-didnt-do-this-weekend-canterbury-cathedral/#more-935>, cited December 16, 2013. []