The Earliest Days of Ministry in Armidale
The granite Celtic cross in front of the Armidale courthouse in Beardy Street was erected in 1945 to mark the centenary of the visit in 1845 of Bishop Broughton, the first (and only) Bishop of Australia, when he conducted services in the courthouse and designated land for a parish church, to be named for St. Peter. Previously, tinerant clergy had ministered in the Armidale district, and now the Bishop promised to send a resident incumbent. This occurred the following year, in 1846, when the
Rev. Henry Tingcombe, newly ordained in Sydney, arrived in Armidale.
During his incumbency the first school in Armidale was established, as was a rambling parsonage; and in 1850 St. Peter’s Church was opened for worship. Armidale had by then become part of the Diocese of Newcastle, constituted in 1847, with Bishop Tyrrell as its first Bishop. The Rev. Tingcombe travelled extensively in what was still an enormous parish. When he returned to the Diocese of Sydney in 1854 he was succeeded by the Rev. Septimus Hungerford, who would remain until 1875, by which time significant changes and events had occurred.