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St Matthews Anglican Church

Place Details
Place ID 600256
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name St Matthews Anglican Church
Alternative Name Grovely Church
Place Classification Built
Place Category Religion/Worship
Place Type Religious precinct
Themes 8 Creating social and cultural institutions / 8.1 Worshipping and religious institutions
1 Peopling places / 1.4 Family and marking the phases of life
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Address 35 Church Road
Town / Suburb MITCHELTON
Post Code 4053

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1867-1869, 1914, 1917, 1980s (fabric), 1909, 1920, 1947 (Historical)
Criterion A St Matthew's Anglican Church, completed in 1869, is significant historically as one of the oldest parish churches in the Brisbane region, and the church and cemetery in particular are a significant creation of, and memorial to, the pioneer families of Grovely/Upper Kedron/Mitchelton. The 1917 hall is illustrative of the development of the area in the first two decades of the 20th century, culminating in St Matthew's becoming a parochial district in 1920.
Criterion B St Matthew's Anglican Church is significant also as a rare Queensland example of an Anglican church group, comprising church, cemetery and hall, which is still privately owned and unconsecrated.
Criterion D The church remains substantially intact, with the original red cedar pews retained, and is significant in illustrating the principal characteristics of a small brick church of the late 1860s, comparatively few of which were constructed in Queensland.
Criterion E The church is significant aesthetically for its picturesque quality and setting, simplicity of design and materials, and craftsmanship, and both church and cemetery command a significant townscape presence in the Mitchelton/Grovely area.
Criterion G St Matthew's Anglican Church has a special association for the Anglican congregation of the Grovely/Mitchelton area, which has worshipped at that church since 1869.

History The foundation stone for St Matthew's Anglican Church was laid on 23 September 1867 by Governor George Bowen and the first service was held on 7 February 1869. The church is understood to have been designed by Colonial Architect Charles Tiffin. The land was owned by John and Mary Nicholson, landed gentry from Wiltshire, England who emigrated to Queensland in 1864 and established themselves at Grovely Farm (later Grovely Lodge), Upper Kedron. Being dedicated Anglicans they soon established church services and a Sunday school in their home. Early in 1867 they approached Bishop Tufnell for permission to build a local church. The Nicholsons provided the hill-top land and much of the capital while other settlers provided their time and materials. Public subscription was raised also. The Nicholsons had approached Colonial Architect Charles Tiffin to design a simple timber church to accommodate approximately 130 persons. This design was approved at a meeting of interested Upper Kedron residents held in March 1866, but it was proposed also that local brickmakers - a number of whom had moved to the district in the mid-1860s - be approached to donate bricks for the construction. Tenders were called in April 1867 through the office of the Church of England Diocesan Architect, Richard George Suter, for a church of brick and stone. Mr Mahoney was appointed the contractor. Although the church has never been blessed or consecrated it has been used for baptisms, burials and marriages since 1869. In 1885 John's brother, William Castlemaine Nicholson, converted ownership of the land and church buildings to trustees and they are still privately owned. The church was known as Grovely Church until 1909 when it was given the name of St Matthew's. In 1914 the bell presented by Howard S Bliss was erected on the bell-post. The church hall was built in 1917, fifty years after the laying of the foundation stone. St Matthew's became a parochial district in 1920 and the vicarage was built in 1926. The Rev ED Eglinton raised the status of the district to a parish and in December 1947 he was inducted as the first rector of the parish of Grovely. Recently a lichgate was erected to honour a descendant of one of the pioneering families.

Description The entry in the Queensland Heritage Register for St Matthew's Anglican Church comprises all of the buildings, structures, sites, objects, planting and land within the Listing Boundary, with the exception of the rectory, which has been altered substantially. The buildings are all painted the same colour and are in good condition. The graveyard is well tendered. Altogether the group inlcudes the following items: 1 The church (1867-69), a simple Gothic-styled brick building located high on a hill. It is rectangular in shape, as are the skillion vestry and gabled porch. Rendered walls of hand-made bricks are supported by buttresses and rest on stone foundations. The steeply pitched gabled roof has corrugated iron laid over the original shingles. A bellcote surmounts the front gable. The porch and vestry doorways and windows are lancet shaped. Internal walls are painted and the lined roof is supported by exposed beams and trusses. The red cedar pews are original. Over the years memorials have been added, including a commemorative plaque presented in 1917 in memory of the Nicholson's son drowned in Mackay in 1882. Alterations include external render and boarding over of the trefoil window above the porch. Additions include stained glass memorial windows, an altar and other ecclesiastical furniture, raised sanctuary and chancel steps, nave carpet, lighting and other modern facilities. 2 The cemetery (1869 onwards) holds the graves of many of the early settlers of the Grovely/Upper Kedron district including members of the Nicholson family. Monument styles vary, illustrating changing public tastes since 1869. 3 Bell post (1914), comprising a bell which hangs in a cast-iron frame on a timber post. It has rusted and is no longer used. 4 The hall (1917), a simple timber and corrugated iron building with skillion. It is built on stumps and is highset at the back. The steeply pitched roof is hipped at the back and gabled at the front. The entrance porch has a parapet. 5 Rectory (1926), a timber dwelling on stumps. It has a short-ridge corrugated iron roof and is verandah on two sides. The dwelling has been refurbished by various occupants to suit their needs, and is not included in the Heritage listing. 6 Lichgate (1980s), a memorial to Richard Henry Pickering who died in 1976. The gable roof has fibrous cement shingles, while the sides are half stuccoed brick and half carved timber. The open sides repeat the Gothic lancet arch.

Element Name St Matthews Anglican Church
Design Period 1840s - 1860s Mid-19th century
Construction Period 1867 - 1980s
Place Components Trees/Plantings
Stained glass window/s
Memorial - plaque
Memorial - window
Post/s - bell
Memorial - gate/s

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Information about places in the Queensland Heritage Register is maintained by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) under the Queensland Heritage Act 1992. Information available here is only part of the full Register entry and should not be taken as an official entry. Absence does not mean a particular place is not in the Register.

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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