By Ian Breward
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Extra resources for A History of the Churches in Australasia (Oxford History of the Christian Church)
M. Grocott, Convicts, Clergymen and Churches (Sydney, 1980). 24 From Missions to Churches 15 There the opportunities for exploitation were wide, and the demands of marriage and conformity not easily enforceable, for they did not fit within the rules of Polynesian behaviour. The gap between the ideals of Christian marriage, with all their limitations, and the long-term effects of extra-marital relationships where women were so few in number, and so highly in demand, took many generations to bridge.
McNair and H. ), Pioneer Aboriginal Mission (Perth, 1981). 16 Harris, One Blood, 281—306; E. J. ), The Salvado Memoirs (Perth,1977). 17 Harris, One Blood, 126—38 analyses the failures. Swain, Place for Strangers, shows that Melanesians, Indonesians, and Europeans all contributed to such developments. Aboriginal communities were never static. io A History of the Churches in Australasia COLONIZATION AND RELIGION Christianity's future in Australia lay rather in the development of the colonists' churches.
By 1815 members were over 500, especially in the Leeward Islands. Other chiefs like Paofai a Manua, the first chiefly convert, were also displaying interest. Nott drew up a legal code to guide Pomare in 1819, but recognized that the creation of a church of saints on Congregationalist lines was unrealistic. Numbers attending worship swelled to the point where a movement of communities towards Christianity was clearly occurring. 31 Pomare and other chiefs skilfully used the new religious movement to enhance their own authority, to sustain traditional culture, and the sacredness of their office.