Interested in the history of St. John’s?

The history of St. John’s Church goes right back to the beginnings of European settlement of northern Tasmania in 1804, but is more  properly dated from the appointment of Revd. John Youl as chaplain to Port Dalrymple in 1815. With the building itself commenced in 1824, this represents a very long period of accumulated documents, pictures and other artefacts. The building itself is the largest of those artefacts, and includes a small museum area with items and pictures of past times. 

The people, of course, are the church, and many Australians, and occasionally people in other countries, have wanted to access records of those people – baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals and burials, to further understand their own family history. To preserve those precious records, a large collection of documents relating to the early history of St. John’s Church has been digitised by the Tasmanian Government’s library and archive service, Libraries Tasmania, and can be searched online.
Follow: Libraries Tasmania Name Index Search

Our Heritage and History Team is working hard to catalogue and conserve the artefacts and documents held by the church. The linked articles below, along with our website photo galleries, will give some idea of the past, distant and more recent, of St. John’s Church.

Interactive church map

for a self-guided tour of St. John’s Church 

A booklet covering the history of St. John’s is available from the church. The following pages also outline our history.

~ St. John’s in the 19th Century      ~ St. John’s in the 20th Century and today

Timeline of St. John’s Church Launceston

~ Special Features of St. John’s     ~ Clergy of St. John’s

An outline of the history of St. John’s renowned pipe organ

Memorials and Biographies of St. John’s – This very comprehensive collection
(which may take a little longer to load to your browser),
outlining memorials in St. John’s Church in the form of plaques, windows, furniture and other items,
was compiled by well-known Launceston historian, Jenny Gill.

New! Hidden Places Video Tour
The magnificent and historical church building is usually open to the public on weekdays,
but there are areas that not even our own congregation can visit,
mainly for safety reasons. Now, you can virtually tour these “hidden places”.


The Mission House in Canning Street

The Hickson Mission – 1922

Various History Snippets

Many of the images in the photo galleries also have interesting historical information in their captions.
Click on the first photo in the gallery to bring it up to viewing size.
Captions will appear below the photo. Use your arrow keys to go to the next image.

Audio sermons: Click Sermons to find our collection of recorded sermons,
mostly from about 2000 to the present, but a few going earlier.
Use the search options at the top of the page,
eg Start Date 1980, End Date 1990 (and click on the Filter>> button to apply your search).

Our earliest extant audio recordings:

Concert at St. John’s 1964

Evensong at St. John’s November 1969

Choir Practice and a Presentation at St. John’s Dec. 1969

Service of Nine Lessons and Carols – Christmas 1969

Evensong at St. John’s – Setting: Noble in B Minor – March 1970

Setting of Holy Communion by Darke in F – May 1970

Service of Nine Lessons and Carols – Christmas 1970

During 2017, a sermon series preached by Revd. Ernest Horth in 1984,
was also acquired and added to the collection. Use the search function mentioned above.

Other websites:
Ferguson and Urie – Colonial Victoria’s Historic Stained Glass Craftsmen 1853-1899
(and our particular Ferguson and Urie window) –  St John’s Anglican Church, Launceston

Experimental interactive church map (under development) 

~ Interactive map of church building