White settlement in Australia began in Sydney, and Sydney began as a prison. The city’s inauspicious beginnings are an important aspect in the evolution of contemporary Sydney Anglicanism. Unlike the United States of America, where the first English settlers, deeply devout men and women, sought a godly life free from the constraints of their (Anglican) homeland, Australia was colonized in January 1788 as a dumping ground for convicts. Australians have not yet really grasped the significance of this beginning, let alone its possible ramifications for the contemporary Australian character. Nor have they fully realized how perilous was the situation of the convicts, the sailors, the marines and the few free settlers who arrived in the 11 ships of the First Fleet. They were all effectively dumped on the other side of the world with few resources and an alarming paucity of people experienced in even basic food production, building techniques, or other essential survival skills. The colonists, convicts and gaolers alike, were on the verge of starvation by the time the Second Fleet, carrying much-needed provisions, arrived in Sydney Harbour in June 1790. It was a grindingly harsh beginning for a new nation.