A short History of St James' Church, Wellington Point
THE BEGINNING in REDLAND BAY
In 1889 the building now known as St James’, Wellington Point was originally St George’s Church of England in Redland Bay in the Parish of Cleveland, established during the Episcopate of William Webber, third Bishop of Brisbane (1885 – 1903). The building was designed by the Diocesan Architect John Hingeston Buckeridge.
The church was built in 1889 on an acre of land in Peel Street, Redland Bay and was dedicated in 1890. It was described in the Church Chronicle of January, 1891 by a visitor as
“a rather pretty, but singular edifice, the architecture of which puzzled me, while leaving, upon the whole, a pleasing impression. There are some angles and roof projections which, while unintelligible on the score of utility, are probably intended to remove the plainness belonging to the modern packing-case order of architecture”.
In 1913 the church and its furnishings were moved to Wellington Point. The prayer desk and seat were examined (2013) by Birkdale wood turner Rob McKee who says the timber is white cypress and the items appear hand made. The priest’s seat is still in use but the prayer desk was replaced and the original converted to a book case for hymn and prayer books in 1982.
Original subdivisions of land around the present church site were complicated by the advent of the railway in 1889. The land for the church site was originally owned by Percival Hiley and on his death in 1909 it was acquired by James Willard who donated it to the church.
THE DEDICATION CEREMONY
On Saturday 9 August 1913 at 3.30 pm St James Wellington Point was dedicated by Archdeacon H. F. Le Fanu. The Archdeacon was assisted by the Revs. C.E. Burgess, G. L. Hunt, C. Kitchen, and the catechist in Charge, Mr J. W. Harvey. There was a very large attendance of residents from all parts of the district. As the clergy entered the church Psalm xxiv was sung, after which the Archdeacon proceeded with the service of dedication, which was of a very impressive character.
Over the years faithful parishioners continued to add to the fabric of the church building to enhance its appeal and comfort. In 1959 a committee was formed to raise funds for the construction of a church hall. By 1962 Over a thousand pounds had been raised when a possible building was found, the Hall Building next to the Hollywood Theatre Greenslopes. It was purchased for five hundred pounds. There was a stump-capping ceremony in December of 1962 and the first meeting in the new hall in was held January the following year.
In 1963 St James’s celebrated it’s Golden Jubilee and a blessing of church was held on August 11, 1963. Both the church and he hall have been the hub for worship and social events in the ensuing years supported faithfully by the Guild.
On Sunday 11 August 2013 the Archbishop of Brisbane and Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia, Phillip Aspinall, led a large gathering to celebrate the Centenary of St James’s and the Golden Jubilee of the church Hall. The Archbishop was ably assisted by the Rev Nicholas Whereat. A booklet was written to commemorate the rich history of St James, and is a worthy read, it reminds us of where we have come from and a renewed vision of what the future may hold.