Holiness and Hard Work: A History of Parramatta Mission, 1815 - 2015

Elizabeth De Reland

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis explores the history of Parramatta Mission (1815–2015) via its interactions and reciprocities with the city and people of Parramatta – the second oldest European settlement after Sydney and now one of Australia’s largest and most diverse and expanding urban hubs.
As an examination of how a church-mission and a town-city have related to each other for over 200 years, it is an original, ‘comparative’ study and one that offers a broad and inter-connected survey of key people and events. It is also the first comprehensive evaluation of the nexus between Parramatta and its Wesleyan Methodist/Uniting Church Mission, and as such, explores the nature and extent of such cross-influence within a succession of historical contexts. Further to this, it identifies the impact of the Mission’s presence in Parramatta and its capacity or otherwise to influence social revision, and the delivery of aid, in a region of profound significance to Sydney’s multicultural West. Moreover, within a church-civic environment defined by hard work, courage and conjoined effort for the ‘common good,’ the study is written from the perspective of an ‘insider’ historian.
Of commensurate significance is that the thesis comes at a time when the city of Parramatta is being impacted by a large-scale re-development of its central precincts. Many structures on and around Parramatta Mission’s site on Macquarie Street have been, or will be, demolished and reconstructed as a part of this process and within the projected realisation of both ‘Parramatta Square’ and the Mission’s ‘InSpire Parramatta’ development plan. Implicit in such a transformation is the necessity to ‘take stock.’ This thesis facilitates such a review, while delineating the Mission’s journey into the twenty-first century.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Emilsen, William, Principal Supervisor
Award date01 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018


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