Chalmers Church

The Free Church of Scotland was formed in 1843 by a large withdrawal from the established Church in a schism or division known as the Disruption of 1843. A Free Church had been established in Launceston by 1850 and a group of Hobart Presbyterians also wanted to establish their own church here. In answer to a request for a minister, the Reverend William Nicholson of London was appointed. Services commenced in the Mechanics Institute late known as Wesley Chambers in April 1851. On 13th April 1851 he preached to a congregation numbering around 400.

A site on the corner of Bathurst and Harrington Streets was secured and Mr Dawson was engaged as the architect. Messrs Pitfield and Fairchild were contracted as builders. The contract price was £1,377 with a further £300 raised for extras. Capable of seating 750 people and with all pews rented the church was debt free within a year. Such was the following of Reverend Nicholson. The renting of pews was abolished in July 1926.

A Sunday School building followed and an attractive manse the gift of Mr David Hoy was commenced in 1857.

Reverend Dr William Nicholson DD was considered a gifted speaker and most eloquent of preachers, he was also in opposition to instrumental music in church services in stark contrast to some as St. Andrew's Church who wanted an organ. He strongly supported the work of the Foreign Mission and the spreading of the gospel.

Reverend Dr William Nicholson retired in 1878. He died at Hobart on 2 January 1890 aged 95 and is buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery.

During the ministry of the Reverend Robert McLaren Webster an organ was installed in 1884 as the result of ballot by the Board. This was later replaced by a pipe organ.

In 1896 the Free Church Presbytery finally reached a settlement with the Synod of Presbyterian Churches of Tasmania. In 1923 the Free Church Presbyter ceased to exist.

With the departure of the Reverend C Matear from St. Andrews and the Reverend W. Kinmont.