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Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The Sabbath Schools Trees were planted to commemorate Sabbath School movement worldwide. Robert Raikes is credited with pioneering Sunday Schools in the 1780s. 

In 1880 a tree was planted to commemorate the centenary; in 1930 a second tree was planted from a stock grown from the original tree to commemorate the 150th anniversary; and a third tree was planted in 1980 to commemorate the bicentenary. 

Robert Raikes (1735-1811) is traditionally credited as pioneering Sunday Schools in the 1780s. While teaching Bible reading and basic skills on a Sunday was an established activity in some eighteenth century Puritan and evangelical congregations, such as the circulating schools in Wales, Robert Raikes did made a notable contribution to the development of Sunday schooling.

Raikes started his first school for the children of chimney sweeps in Sooty Alley, Gloucester, in 1780. Raikes was able to use his position as proprietor and editor of the Gloucester Journal to publicize his work. After his first editorial in 1783, the idea of the Sunday School caught the imagination of a number of people involved in evangelical churches and groupings, and Sunday Schools spread quickly. By 1785 an undenominational national organization, the Sunday School Society, was set up to support and develop the concept. 


Address:Thompson & French Streets, Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, 3300
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.746614
Long: 142.024706
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Trees
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1780


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 2nd July, 1880
Front Inscription

Plaque :

The adjoining tree was planted in commemoration of the centenary of Sabbath Schools by William Thomson Esq.  Mayor
A. Milton

2nd July 1880

Plaque :

The adjoining tree was planted by Mrs. M. B. Thomson to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Sabbath Schools.

2nd July 1930

Source: MA,RUMV
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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