system’s of faith and worship

Little is known of the religious beliefs of the Gringai people. The actions of Charlie in obeying orders to kill those who had violated a totem can be characterised as part of a system of belief, but beyond that little can be said.[1] Ceremonial meetings took place either at specific times or, as with one account of a ‘karabari’ [corroboree] in 1845 or 1846 by ‘the blacks of Dungog’, for special purposes, such as the appearance of a comet.[2] A ‘keeparra’ or initiation ground was also reported near Gresford.[3] Other beliefs associated with natural events are only hinted at, as when a European traveller reported that as ‘my mate, a darkey, occasionally saw a tree struck by lightning as he passed along, he got very frightened, and would not speak when spoken to’.[4]

The systems of faith brought by the European setters into the valley of the Williams River in the 1830s are similar to those that have evolved throughout Australia. Each of the two main villages – Dungog and Clarence Town – has a similar distribution of Churches and denominations, while the various smaller settlements are usually represented by one denomination or perhaps a Union Church that encompassed at least two and sometimes three of the Protestant denominations. The only Catholic Church outside the two villages were at Brookfield, mid-way between Clarence Town and Dungog, with another at Summer Hill, near Vacy on the Paterson River. Similar to schools, a new wave of local church building occurred at the end of the 19th century as dairying increased the population density, then as average family size shrank and dairying declined, many of these churches closed.[5]

The first public building in Dungog was the courthouse and, for many years, this building served on Sundays for the religious services of the many Christian denominations which the mainly British and Irish settlers divided themselves into. One by one the denominations constructed a church for themselves where numbers and funds allowed, or continued to use private homes or other facilities whenever a minister or priest visited. Nearly all of the communities remain in their first built church or are in updated buildings erected on or near the same site. An exception to this is the Catholic community of Dungog town itself who began across the Williams River in Sunville Chapel, then switched to a site in Dowling St for many years and then moved again to another Church built in 1930 in Brown St. The move to Brown St was by way of consolidation, as the St Joseph nuns had long had a convent and school there.

The lands for these various churches were either acquired by government grant, by community fundraising, by donation from a member of the congregation, or by a combination of these. Each of these denominations, if they had a resident minister or priest, also acquired or purpose-built a rectory, manse or presbytery, usually close by the Church.

Church of England (Anglican)

A chapel on the Tillimby estate near what is now Paterson seems to have been the first Church of England place of worship in the district. It was built as early as 1820 and used as a school as well as being referred to as the ‘Ranters’ Chapel’, presumably because it was used by the Wesleyans at a later date.[6] In 1836, the settlers of Paterson opened a subscription list to raise funds for a church. The Church of England Archdeacon subscribed £100, as did many living on the Williams River, some of them Presbyterians.[7] The church itself was not built until 1845, when it was consecrated as St Paul’s by Bishop Broughton the day after he did the same for St Mary’s-on-Allyn, the church built on the Boydell estate for Charles Boydell’s wife, who was also Bishop Broughton’s daughter.[8] Stained glass windows donated by his family commemorate the Rev Jennings-Smith, St Paul’s first Rector and main contributor to the building of this church.[9]

In 1849, a meeting was held at Dungog Court House attended by William Tyrrell, the new ‘Lord Bishop of Newcastle’, to organise the building of a new church in Dungog. At this meeting the proposed £450 cost of ‘a beautiful Church, drawn by Mr Blackett’ was subscribed or otherwise guaranteed.[10] Services had previously been held in the old court house and a weatherboard hall built in 1842. In 1861, Bishop Tyrrell dedicated the new church in Dungog.[11] The building of a parsonage was also mentioned and one seems to have existed by 1859, as a bazaar was run in July that year to liquidate a debt of £150 for repairs and alterations to it.[12] The present rectory was built in 1912.

Clarence Town received its first Church of England church in 1858 only to see it destroyed in a storm in 1868. Another was built in 1872 and a third has been standing since 1898.[13] The total communities covered by the Church of England Rectors, in addition to Clarence Town and Dungog, were Glen William, Bandon Grove (sharing a Union Church with the Wesleyans), Bendolba, Thalaba and private houses in Fosterton, Main Creek and Wallaringa. The Rector also often visited Upper Chichester and Wangat (New Park). Like many professionals in a rural district, for his trouble payment was often in kind rather than cash.[14] Clarence Town separated into its own parish in 1919.

Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, the Church of England, which officially became the Anglican Church in 1981, used a ‘pew rent’ system as part of its efforts to raise money. Families which could afford it paid a regular rent to the Church and, in return, their name was placed on certain pews reserved for their exclusive use. The system did not always work smoothly with Christopher Lean agreeing to pay his rent only: ‘When Smith ceases to occupy my pew, and pays for the time he has used the occupation of it. I will pay the balance, but not until then.’[16]


The earliest Presbyterian Church – or ‘Scots Kirk’ – St Ann’s, was opened in 1842 at Paterson; the Rev William Ross servicing an area that at that time included Dungog and Clarence Town.[17] By 1850, the Free Church or the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, following on from the so called ‘Disruption of 1843’ (when 450 Presbyterian Ministers in Scotland broke away from the Established Church of Scotland), was organising itself in Australia. As part of this, the newly licensed Rev Mr Sherriff was appointed in 1851 as minister of this Free Church, ‘to labour in Dungog, Stroud, Clarence Town and adjacent localities’, which included the Allyn River.[18] The Rev Mr Sherriff took up residence at Clarence Town and, in 1855, the foundation ceremonies of two churches were held; one at Clarence Town, called Chalmers’ Church, and one at Dungog known as John Knox’s Church.[19]

The John Knox Church at Dungog was one of two Presbyterian churches which had their foundation stones lain in that town in 1855. The second represented the Established Church of Scotland and was sited where the present St Andrew’s stands. With few ministers available by 1880, this long term difficulty saw the two church congregations in Dungog merge into the present Presbyterian Church, a merger which preceded that in Scotland by 20 years. It was perhaps as a result of this expanded single congregation that a new manse was purchased (1889) further south along Dowling St, with land adjoining this new manse intended as the site of a new (neutral?) church. However this project did not eventuate and instead the new church was built next to the old one in 1904.[20]

In Paterson, St Ann’s remained the only Presbyterian Church but it seems that, rather than found a Free Church, those sympathetic to this side of the split moved – perhaps some to Barrington. Certainly by the 1870s, St Ann’s Church was being described as neglected, though sufficient support was found to restore it in 1878 thanks to the Rev Gibson of Dungog who also took charge of St Ann’s at this time.[21] After going through further periods of neglect and revival, St Ann’s Church is now privately owned. In Clarence Town on the other hand, the Chalmers’ Free Church burned down at one point and was replaced, unusually, not with another brick Church, but with a wooden one – St David’s. This church, after having been moved from its original location, is the current Presbyterian Church of that town. The original manse at Clarence Town remains as a private home.[22]


A Catholic Chapel on the Williams River at ‘Sunville’ at Dungog on land donated by Joseph Fitzgerald is mentioned in 1840, and, also in 1840 (on the Paterson River), the Sacred Heart Church was built at Summer Hill. St Patrick’s at Clarence Town was erected in 1856, St Helens at Gresford in 1867, then St Killian’s at Brookfield in 1879. In 1860, the Dungog Parochial District included Wallarobba, Gloucester, Stroud and Port Stephens, while the later Parish of Gresford covered the Paterson and Allyn Rivers, and also Glendonbrook.

The first baby baptized a Catholic at Dungog was in 1836 by Father J Watkins. This was when the nearest church was in East Maitland where priests were based. The Sacred Heart Church at Summer Hill was originally established in 1840 on land donated by local Catholics, Edward Kealy and Richard Clark; Kealy’s house having previously been used as a Mass Station. This church was reputedly only the third Catholic Church to be built outside Sydney: ‘At Paterson there is also a wooden chapel, roofed and a very excellent building, cost £150.’[23] In 1850, there is a reference to this as the Guardian’s Angel Chapel, though later it is the Sacred Heart. In 1913, a new brick church was opened at Summer Hill, besides which the old church site’s foundations are still to be seen.[24]

By 1839, the Dungog congregation was 80 with two Mass Stations. After 1840, when Magistrate Cook refused the use of the Dungog Courthouse to Catholics, Sunville Chapel was used across the Williams River from the town and it was perhaps here that Bishop Polding said Mass when he visited Dungog in that year.[25] By the late 1850s, the courthouse was again being used, and the building of a larger church planned, bricks prepared and some £336 raised, but nothing was done.[26] By 1867, the Bishop felt that Dungog Catholics had a reputation for being ‘troublesome’ and at least one priest had left them, supposedly because they did not support him. Perhaps they had a case, with the money they had previously raised being sent to Sydney and then used to build a church at Morpeth, among other things. The Bishop had to promise the return of the money and more from a special fund.[27] It was not until 1870, that St Mary’s Catholic Church was built at Dungog, though with no priest provided until 1875.[28] The Catholic community also benefited by the work of a Mr Beardsmore, for a time Clerk of the Court at Dungog, who purchased several land parcels in the town and donated them to the Catholic Church on various conditions.

After a period using another building, the Edmund Blackett designed St Helen’s Catholic Church was built at East Gresford in 1867 on land and with £100 donated by James McCormack. McCormack’s wife’s name was Ellen, and there being no St Ellen, St Helen was the nearest choice to please this patron. Despite its church, Gresford district did not get its own parish priest until the 1890s with the Parish of Gresford (Paterson, Gresford, Summer Hill) formed in 1892.[29] It was then that further fundraising was required to establish a presbytery. This presbytery housed, from the 1964 until 1978, Sisters of St Joseph who conducted a ‘Motor Mission’ to the children of the remoter settlements before it became the Gresford Community Health Centre in 1980.[30]

Shortly after the Dungog and Gresford Churches, another church was built at Brookfield named St Killian’s (an Irish Missionary Bishop martyred in Germany in 689), with that district’s many German families in mind. Despite these new churches, due to the scattered nature of the Catholic community, Mass Stations were common. These would be visited several times a year, and included Pine Brush, Sandy Creek, Tabbil Creek, Bendolba, Fosterton, Monkerai, Wallarobba, Welshman’s Creek, Weismantels, and Limeburners Creek. They were attended by 40 to 50 people, with Mass, a sermon, then breakfast ‘under the trees’. Mass stations and regular visits by a priest did not end with the 19th century, and in the late 1930s Mass was being said in the Community Hall at Martin’s Creek once a month.[31] While not a religious ceremony, horse races held on St Patrick’s Day at Tabbil Creek in later years, raised money for the Dungog Presbytery.[32]

The 1870-built St Mary’s at Dungog was replaced in 1933 with the present St Mary’s Church in Brown St, closer to St Joseph’s school and convent. Unremarkable from the outside, the J P Gannon designed St Mary’s has a beautifully curved wood panelled ceiling that suggests a dome and gives the interior a basilica-like impression. Beside the church, is a small cairn of bricks from the original Sunville Chapel, and adjoining the church is the Presbytery, which replaced the Dowling St Presbytery in 1956. Joseph Fitzgerald and his wife are commemorated in a stained glass window at the entrance end of the church.[33]

At Clarence Town the first St Patrick’s Catholic Church was erected in 1863, though there is reference to an earlier chapel.[34] This was replaced by a new St Patrick’s built in 1892.[35] At Paterson, a Catholic Church was not erected until St Columba’s was built in 1884, with a porch and sacristy added in 1926.[36] All of the Catholic Churches of the three valleys remain today, with the exception of St Killian’s, which closed in 1982 and is now converted to tourist accommodation.

Wesleyans, Baptists, Congregationalists

For the Wesleyan Church, visiting preachers provided services, beginning on the Allyn River from 1843 and gradually extending over the range to the Williams River.[37] There may have been a chapel at Eccleston as early as 1844 that was damaged by floods in 1875.[38] Certainly a Wesleyan chapel was erected at Dungog in 1853. Dungog’s first resident preacher was the newly arrived Rev William Clarke, described as a ‘zealous little Welshman’.[39] He was soon followed by a second resident minister, the Rev Vanderkiste, who is famous for becoming lost for six days in the Allyn ranges in 1858, about which he wrote a book entitled, Lost – but not for ever.[40] The Rev Vanderkiste presented his rescuers with bibles, one of which is now in a Maitland Museum. By this time, Dungog was the centre of a Methodist circuit that included the Paterson and Allyn Rivers and settlements far up the Williams River. In Clarence Town, the Methodists appear to have shared a chapel with the Baptists and Congregationalists for a time in what has been the Anglican Hall since the 1930s.[41]

Usually with numbers small and divisions between protestant members of the same geographically isolated communities considered slight, many communities agreed to share their churches or even to build what were generally called Union Churches. In 1862, the Baptist minister was able to use the Church of England Church at Glen William when he visited.[42] Union Churches allowed ministers of the differing protestant denominations to attend on alternate Sundays. Dungog boasted its own Wesleyan Church, as did Bandon Grove in the 1850s, but Union Churches were used at Bandon Grove (after 1889) and Underbank. Elsewhere, such as Chichester or Bendolba, services were held in private homes or schoolrooms.[43] In the case of the Hilldale area, this co-operation included the Presbyterians, Baptists and Anglicans, though this last dropped out soon after the church was built.[44]

One group that did not share this Protestant ecumenicalism was reported by the Rev Carruthers to be a Barrington River community of ‘Scotch’ whose ‘elder folk spoke Gaelic almost exclusively’. This community preferred to welcome a Wesleyan minister to any representing the Presbyterian Church of NSW, even contributing to his ‘stipend’.[45]

Congregationalists did not at first have a church within any of the towns but did have them at Eccleston, Lostock, Underbank and Salisbury. Much work in this area was done by the Rev Williams who helped establish churches, and where no churches were established, regular meetings would take place such as at Upper Allyn, Carrabola, Chichester and Bingleburra. In 1882, the Congregationalists as Eccleston raised £200 to guarantee the first 12 months stipend for a minister. A church was officially established in 1884 in a former Wesleyan chapel and by 1886 a manse was built. A new church building was erected in 1895, and by 1904 a membership of 40 was recorded. In 1914 a new manse was erected, and in 1930 the John Hopson Memorial Church Hall was opened. In 1920, Congregational services were held at Eccleston, New Park, Munni, Salisbury, and Underbank. Since 1964 there has been no resident minister, and in 1968 the Congregationalists combined with the Anglicans of St Paul’s. The Eccleston Church closed in 2006.[46]

A Congregational Church was also erected at East Gresford in 1903 and thanks to the locally born N C Parish becoming a minister, services at Gresford, and fortnightly at Salisbury and Underbank continued into the 1990s.[47]

Another church that benefited from the work of a local as minister was the Thalaba Baptist Church. Founded in 1869 as the Majors Creek Baptist Church by the work of local farmer turned preacher Isaac Brewer, it was also called the ‘Church in the Wilderness’, and replaced a farmers’ building that had been in use until then. This church was replaced in 1881 and again in 1913 with the one now known as the Thalaba Church; a small extension was added in 1950. From this base, eight mission stations were recorded in 1887 within a 25 mile radius, including Munni, Bandon Grove, Big Creek and Wangat. The cemetery associated with this church is the only such Baptist cemetery in NSW.[48]

Fundraising and management

Community fundraising for these buildings was always essential, despite some support from a Church’s hierarchy or wealthy individual Church members on occasion.[49] Once built, a building had to be managed, and in Hilldale the Union Church management committee meetings took place on the ‘Saturday nearest the full moon’ at 5 pm, though later meetings were held in daylight hours to save on lamp oil.[50]

In addition to buildings, ministers and priests needed to be supported and it was perhaps referring to the 1870s that a Wesleyan minister reported the sustenance of preachers consisted of ‘pumpkins and the affections of the people’.[51] A common event to be organised was the farewell to a preacher as these came and went over the years.[52]

It was also common for a member of the community to donate memorial gates. St Paul’s at Eccleston had gates presented by J M Sivyer in memory of his parents, and the Congregationalist Church, also at Eccleston, had gates in memory of the Rev Williams.[53]


As in the rest of Australia, a major line for many years was drawn between the Catholic community and those of the various Protestant Churches. This sectarianism was often hidden below the surface and just as often ignored in business relations and practical affairs, as opposed to family or cultural ones.

The contradictory or at least overlapping nature of this division is difficult to pin down but can be hinted at. In 1840, for example, the Dungog Magistrate Thomas Cook reportedly refused Catholics the use of the courthouse as well as created a controversy when he dismissed two of his Catholic constables, and when advertising for more announced that ‘none but protestants need apply’.[54] Yet in the same year when Bishop Polding toured through the district he stayed at the ‘mansion of W. F. MacKay, Esq.’, a prominent Protestant, and at the Mass he celebrated, not only some 70 Catholics, but many ‘respectable Protestants’ were also present.[55]

More than a generation later in Clarence Town, a similar case of bigotry and opposition to bigotry can be seen:

A STORM IN A TEA-POT. – From what we have heard the denizens of the locality in and around the quiet little town of Clarencetown have been in a state of agitation over the fact that the master of their public school is an adherent of the Roman Catholic denomination. The master in question, Mr. Forest, is spoken highly of as a gentleman who minds his own business and troubles himself but very little about the creeds of others. If others had done the same we think the muttering of this petty little storm might, with advantage to all concerned, have not been heard.[56]

Around the same time occurred another example of both tolerance and bigotry in Protestant/Catholic relations in Gresford when the wife of the new Anglican minister, attended the St Helen’s Catholic Church bazaar. This example of intra-sectarian cordiality was promptly denounced by an extreme example of anti-Catholic bigotry in the Sydney based Protestant Standard. Although defended in the Maitland Mercury, the controversy greatly upset the unhappily named Rev Priest.[57]

Another indicator of this tension just below the surface of society are the many accounts of the funerals of prominent people in which emphasis was placed on people from all the community attending. Similarly when reporting various Catholic activities in small communities, The Catholic Sentinel would also stress the co-operation of Catholics and non-Catholics in their organisation.[58]

While sectarianism is usually seen in terms of Catholic versus Protestant Churches, there was also some level of tension between the Protestant sects. Though again the degree of this is difficult to determine. An example from Dungog at the end of the 19th century was:

The METHODIST says that the Church of England clergyman at Dungog appears to be much concerned about the presence of Wesleyans in his parish; nearly the whole of his “Church News” for September bearing on the sins of these schismatics.[59]

New Churches

By the 1870s, most of the main churches were established, but the renewed growth of the farming districts as dairying expanded in the 1890s led at first to new schools and then to the building of new churches. In 1899, Union Churches were established at Munni and Hilldale, and within the Church of England, St Paul’s was established at Underbank in 1901, St James in 1903 at Wallaringa and another in 1905 at Melbury near Salisbury.[60]

A relative newcomer to the Williams Valley was the Salvation Army, which has established itself a number of times. They were reported in Clarence Town as well as Dungog town and probably visited others locations as well. The Salvation Army was a radical and noisy group in its early days and many complaints were made against their tendency to indulge in outside band playing.[61]

In 1977, most congregations of the Congregational Union of Australia merged with all Churches of the Methodist Church of Australasia and a majority of Churches of the Presbyterian Church of Australia to form the Uniting Church in Australia. Those congregations that did not join the Uniting Church formed the Fellowship of Congregational Churches or continued as Presbyterians. In 1988, this Congregational Fellowship began new services in Dungog for a time, held at the Doug Walters Pavilion.[62]

The most recent addition to the religious mix of the three valleys is the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which first arrived in the district with the conversion of a farming family in the late 1930s. This family subsequently moved into Dungog and by 1942 the Adventist community numbered from 15 to 20 people, meeting in private homes and public halls, including the Church of England Hall, for many years. Additions to the community were mostly from new arrivals in the district. In 1979, a purpose-built Church was erected to which a hall was added in 1990. The Salvation Army also used this venue for ten years from 1996 when it re-established itself in Dungog. Since that time, like many other churches within the three valleys, membership has declined and nowadays ten or more people worship together in this Brown St church each week.[63]

The Christian denominations have been central to much of the cultural life of the Dungog district, though a slowly fading one. Symbolic of this has been the on-going resistance to any major organised activities on a Sunday. The first official breach in this ban occurring in 1957, when sports were allowed on Sundays after 12 noon.[64] Of greater impact has been the gradual decline in people willing to be ministers and priests, with the result that many of the Churches no longer have resident ministers or priests and rely on regular visits, shared arrangements or even community ministers.

Heritage Survivals

  • Church buildings (two Blackett designed)
  • Sites of former churches, (Sunville, Chalmers, Summer Hill)
  • Former Manses (Clarence Town, Dungog)
  • Vanderkiste bibles
  • Memorial gates
  • Baptist Cemetery, Thalaba

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. See the Gringai.
  2. Fraser, The Aborigines of NSW South Wales, p.23.
  3. Mathews, ‘The Keeparra Ceremony of Initiation’, pp.320-340.
  4. Maitland Mercury, 20/4/1872, p.5.
  5. See Churches.
  6. Clements, A History of St. Pauls Church Paterson, p.2.
  7. Sullivan, Charles Boydell, p.50. Sydney Herald, 21/1/1836 & 9/5/1836, p.4.
  8. Fibbens, Wood of the Cranes, passim.
  9. Clements, A History of St. Pauls Church Paterson, p.11.
  10.  Maitland Mercury, 10/10/1849, p.3.
  11. Williams, Ah, Dungog, p.56.
  12.  Maitland Mercury, 29/7/1859, p.3.
  13. Gorton, Glen William Public School, p.14.
  14. Loban, A Substantial Handsome Church, p.21.
  15. Lean, The Lean Family History, p.58. This was perhaps around 1868.
  16. Archer, Australia’s Oldest Presbyterian Church? St. Ann’s Paterson, pp.2-3.
  17.  Maitland Mercury, 12/4/1851, p.3.
  18.  Maitland Mercury, 22/9/1855, p.2. The Reverend Thomas Chalmers was a contemporary leader of the Free Church movement in Scotland, while John Knox was a prominent leader of the past.
  19.  Maitland Mercury, 22/9/1855, p.2 & Williams, Ah, Dungog, p.55.
  20.  Maitland Mercury, 8/8/1878, p.6 & Archer & Sullivan, A History of St Ann’s Presbyterian Church Paterson, p.57.
  21. Ian Lyall, interviewed 28/3/2012.
  22.  Australia Catholic Directory, 1841 quoted in Ingle, Summer Hill, Paterson Valley, p.18.
  23. Ingle, Summer Hill, Paterson Valley, pp.21-23.
  24. Cantwell, St. Mary’s, pp.7-10 & Australasian Chronicle, 15/10/1840, p.2.
  25.  Maitland Mercury, 19/8/1858, p.3; Dungog Chronicle, 18/9/1903.
  26. Cantwell, St. Mary’s, pp.11-12.
  27.  Maitland Mercury, 22/4/1869, p.1; 18/10/1870, p.2 & Cantwell, St. Mary’s, p.13.
  28. Ingle, Summer Hill, Paterson Valley, p.21.
  29. Collison & Handcock, Gresford 170 years, pp.110-114.
  30. Ingle, Valley Echoes, p.57.
  31. Cantwell, St. Mary’s, pp.13-15.
  32. Williams, Ah, Dungog, p.46.
  33.  Maitland Mercury, 21/10/1862, p.2.
  34.  Maitland Mercury, 2/7/1892, p.7S & 17/11/1892, p.6.
  35. Ingle, Valley Echoes, p.54.
  36. Uniting Church, Dungog, Gateway to the forests and faith, p.17.
  37. Collison & Handcock, Gresford 170 years, p.183.
  38. Uniting Church, Dungog, Gateway to the forests and faith, p.14.
  39. Uniting Church, Dungog, Gateway to the forests and faith, pp.9-11.
  40. Ian Lyall, interviewed 28/3/2012.
  41.  Maitland Mercury, 15/11/1862, p.7.
  42. Uniting Church, Dungog, Gateway to the forests and faith, p.15.
  43. Sippel, Hilldale Union Church 1899-1999, pp.10-11.
  44. Uniting Church, Dungog, Gateway to the forests and faith, p.15.
  45.  Education in Eccleston, 1867-1967, pp.19-20, Collison & Handcock, Gresford 170 years, pp.185-186, Dungog Chronicle, 26/11/1920, p.2 & McClure, A Brief History of Congregational Work in the Valleys of the Allyn, Paterson and Williams Rivers, p.4.
  46. Collison & Handcock, Gresford 170 years, p.60 & McClure, A Brief History of Congregational Work in the Valleys of the Allyn, Paterson and Williams Rivers, p.5.
  47. Garland, Thalaba Baptist Church 1869-1994, pp.1-28.
  48. See Leisure.
  49. Sippel, Hilldale Union Church 1899-1999, p.13.
  50. Uniting Church, Dungog, Gateway to the forests and faith, p.14.
  51. Sippel, Hilldale Union Church 1899-1999, p.13.
  52. Collison & Handcock, Gresford 170 years, pp.186-187.
  53.  The Sydney Gazette, 5/11/1840, p.2.
  54. Kenny, A History of the Commencement and Progress of Catholicity in Australia, p.190.
  55.  Australian Town and Country Journal, 25/8/1883, p.15.
  56. Sullivan, Charles Boydell, pp.161-162.
  57. Ingle, Valley Echoes, p.58.
  58.  Australian Town and Country Journal, 27/10/1894, p.8.
  59. Loban, A Substantial Handsome Church, p.26-27, Sippel, Hilldale Union Church 1899-1999, p.3, p.10.
  60.  Maitland Mercury, 12/12/1885, p.16S & 19/4/1890, p.3S.
  61.  Dungog Chronicle, 4/5/1988, p.3.
  62. Glynn Hefren, interviewed 23/4/2012.
  63.  Dungog Chronicle, 3/4/1957.