Brisbane Open House
367 Given Terrace, Rosalie
Sunday // 12pm to 4pm
General access (self guided)

Sacred Heart Church at Rosalie was built in 1917-18, replacing an earlier timber church dating from 1907. This brick church was designed in the Romanesque style by the Architect, George Henry Male Addison (1857-1922), who arrived in Brisbane in 1886. Addison’s other notable Brisbane buildings include the Albert Street Wesleyan Church (1889) and the Exhibition Building, Bowen Park (1891).

Sacred Heart’s foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Duhig at a ceremony on 17 June, 1917. £1400 of the £8400 construction cost was raised at this ceremony; a significant amount in a predominantly Irish working-class parish during the stringent years of WW1. The new red brick church was opened one year later on Sunday June 16, 1918, by His Excellency Archbishop Cattaneo, Apostolic Delegate representing Pope Benedict XV, assisted by Archbishop Duhig. The church was built by F. J. Corbett. At the blessing Father Lee reported £4283 had been raised over the 12 months construction period.

On reporting its opening, The Courier Mail noted Sacred Heart to be “an imposing structure, dominating the immediate country around it, and somewhat similar in appearance to the Red Hill church, but more ornate than that building…It contains a commodious gallery and organ loft, measuring 100 feet by 54 feet; has a seating capacity of 1500.”

The organ, now relocated to the choir, was built by J.W. Walker & Sons, London, for St Mark’s Anglican Church, Warwick. It is enclosed in an oak case of simple design with slightly decorated pipes in front. This organ is a rare example of the builder’s work in Queensland. Of the three organs built by the Walker firm for Queensland churches in the nineteenth century, this is the only one to survive with its original mechanical action intact.

The church was badly damaged by fire on Sunday January 11, 1942 requiring major restoration costing around £8400. The original stained-glass windows were lost in this fire. Various small alterations and two further major restorations have occurred, since termites were discovered in 1983, with the last completed in time for its June 2018 Centenary Celebrations. Sacred Heart is listed in the Brisbane City Council Heritage Register.

What's Open

Church, grounds and access to altar

Tour Tips

Neat, non-offensive clothing

Additional Activities

Musical performances and historical display


Sacred Heart at Rosalie

George Henry Male Addison