City Mission refers to the missions run by various Christian denominations in urban and suburban settings. In the nineteenth century, working class communities in the inner city were seen as 'dark' and 'foreign', and an appropriate field for mission. The Sydney City Mission dates from 1862, and focussed on the spiritual and physical needs of those living in poverty. Other missions followed, many with an emphasis on the care of children and unmarried mothers. Sydney-based missions also set up mission posts on the government-run Aborigines Reserve at La Perouse.
The first half of the 20th century saw an expansion of denominationally based mission activity, with many inner-suburban churches reconstituting themselves as mission districts. In the post-war period, missions took on a more secular role, and were important providers of child welfare and other services.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 7 November 2011, Last modified: 13 February 2018