On this page you will find several resources and links regarding Reverend Richard Johnson and the first Christian service in Australia.

Australian Dictionary of Biography

Australian Dictionary of Biography – Johnson, Richard (1753 – 1827) by K.J. Cable

Read this biography of Richard Johnson by following the link below.

 An account of the first Christian service in Australia

Read this account of the first service held on Australian soil.

Read as PDF

Richard Johnson’s Bible

Richard Johnson’s Bible

Richard Johnson’s Bible and prayer book are kept at St Philip’s York St Anglican Church in Sydney.
To view a video about these precious documents, click the link below.

Video about Richard Johnson’s Bible

Letters of Richard Johnson

Many of Richard Johnson’s letters are available for you to read. They provide a remarkable insight into the life and times of Australia’s first minister.

Letters of Rev Richard Johnson Part I (PDF)

Letters of Rev Richard Johnson Part II (PDF)

A hymn about Richard Johnson by John Newton

Below is a hymn written by the author of Amazing Grace, John Newton
for Australia’s first Chaplain Richard Johnson to the tune;

“Woodlands” (Tell out my soul):


“The Lord who sends thee hence will be thine aid:
In vain at thee the lion Danger roars;
His arm and love shall keep thee undismayed
On tempest toss-ed seas, and savage shores.
“Go, bear the Saviour’s name to lands unknown,
Tell to the southern world his wondrous grace;
And energy Divine thy words shall own
And draw their untaught hearts to seek his face.
“Many in quest of gold or empty fame
Would compass earth, or venture near the poles:
But how much nobler thy reward and aim
To spread his praise and win immortal souls.”

An address to the inhabitants of the colonies by Richard Johnson

Read what Richard Johnson wrote to those under his care in 1792.

Read as PDF

What Rev Johnson wrote before accepting his position

Read what Richard Johnson wrote before he accepted the role of Chaplain
to the colonies.

Read as PDF

Books Rev Johnson brought with him

See the full inventory of books Rev Johnson brought from England. An intriguing
insight into the literature he believed he needed for his work in the colony.

Read as PDF

Richard Johnson Square, Sydney – 4 minute video

This short video provides insight into Richard Johnson Square.

A speech by Dr. Graham McLennan on the 226th anniversary

Read the speech by following this link.

Jhonson RichardNCHS IntermediateNCHS IntermediateNCHS Intermediate

Thirty Second Radio CSA’s

To be aired during the year.

To be played the week prior to the First Sunday in February