A Rich Barossa History

When John Howard Angas arrived in South Australia back in 1843, aged 19, his job was to manage the interests of his father, George Fife Angas. A Baptist and a dedicated believer in religious freedom, George Angas had extensive interests in the infant colony of South Australia and had been instrumental in assisting the Lutheran migrants who had travelled to the Barossa from Germany and Prussia in the late 1830s to escape religious persecution.

In accordance with his father’s instructions, John Angas was assigned the task of establishing a chapel that could be used by all denominations. John planned and supervised the building’s construction, which was undertaken in 1844. It was to be 11 metres long, 6 metres wide, seat 100 people and provide for a baptismal cavity.

Originally known as the Free Chapel, the building’s walls were built from stone quarried nearby and inset high on the southern wall was a large stone engraved with the words ‘German Pass’ (Angaston’s former name). Upon completion, the Chapel and the land on which it stands were donated to the community by George Angas.

Enjoying healthy patronage and used for immersion baptisms, concerts, lectures and fund-raising, the Chapel’s role slowly decreased as more people moved into the Barossa region and individual religious denominations began building their own churches.

Having been neglected over a long period, the Chapel’s historic value was celebrated in 1994 when it was fully restored and again became a popular and treasured public space.