All Saints Anglican Church, Brisbane

All Saints Anglican Church
27°27′52″S 153°01′41″E / 27.464486°S 153.028033°E / -27.464486; 153.028033
Country Australia
Denomination Anglican Church of Australia
Churchmanship Anglo-Catholic
(Forward in Faith)
Founded 8 September 1869 (1869-09-08)
Dedication All Saints
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Style Gothic Revival
Diocese Diocese of Brisbane
Province Province of Queensland

All Saints Anglican Church in Wickham Terrace, Brisbane, is the oldest Anglican church in the City of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. First founded in 1862, the existing structure dates from 1869. For most of its history, it has been identified with the High Church or Anglo-Catholic tradition within Anglicanism.


Original All Saints Church Brisbane ca. 1868

The land was acquired in about 1860 for a sister church for the congregation of St John's Church of England.[1] A church building was designed by Benjamin Backhouse and the first service was conducted on 23 Feb 1862 by Bishop Tufnell. However, in 1864, the congregation of the Wickham Terrace Church (as it was then known) decided to become independent of St John's.[2]

As the congregation grew in number, the church became too small and it was decided to extend the building and raise the roof by increasing the height of the existing walls. Unfortunately the original rubble walls could not support the additional weight of the increase and so the old walls were demolished, resulting in an almost entirely new building (the present church) being constructed.[1] The name All Saints was proposed by Bishop Tufnell and the foundation stone was laid in April 1869.[3]

The present church, the oldest existing Anglican church in Brisbane, was opened for worship on the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8 September 1869, although some alterations were still taking place into the early 1870s. Its style is nineteenth century Gothic Revival, with buttressed walls of rough faced rubble, porphyry and sandstone, and a metal clad roof. The interior has a fine example of a hammer-beam ceiling, which is rare in Australia.

It contains the oldest stained glass in Queensland as well as other significant art works, such as the first public work of the acclaimed Brisbane sculptor Daphne Mayo (the 14 Stations of the Cross).[4]


In keeping with the Anglo-Catholic heritage of the parish, services which include celebration of the Holy Eucharist are styled "Mass". There is currently a Low Mass with hymns at 7:30 am and a High Mass at 9:30 am each Sunday. Said Masses are held on weekdays in the lady chapel in the south-eastern corner of the church. Choral Evensong (followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament) is held on the first Sunday of each month at 6:30 pm.

All Saints' parish maintains a small choir which sings from the west end gallery. The choir's repertoire consists largely of traditional plainsong and Renaissance polyphonic music (including motets by Byrd, Palestrina and Victoria) but some more recent music is performed as well. The church has an 1873 T. C. Lewis organ which was originally installed in St John's Pro-Cathedral in William Street. It was installed in All Saints' in the 1950s. Between 2002 and 2007, it was substantially rebuilt and enlarged by Brisbane organ builder W. J. Simon Pierce.

All Saints' Church is a member of Forward in Faith, a traditionalist Anglo-Catholic movement which rejects the ordination of women and liberal views on homosexuality.[5]


The church is located at 1 Wickham Terrace, a short distance from St John's Cathedral.

Notable members of the congregation

All Saints' Church has played a significant part in the story of Brisbane's development into a city of culture and significance. To this day, All Saints' is regarded by many as the "Parish Church of the City of Brisbane". Well-known identities who worshipped at All Saints' in the nineteenth century included:[6]


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