Brisbane Open House
299 Ann Street, Brisbane City
Saturday // 9am to 4pm
Sunday // 9am to 4pm
General access and guided tours

Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church has been a landmark structure in Brisbane since it was built in 1905. This was the third church for the Presbyterians in Brisbane, the first being on Wickham Terrace dating to 1863. Its 1887 replacement, designed by Willoughby Powell, was resumed around 1900 to allow for the expansion of the Central Railway Station.

An alternate site was acquired and a competition held for the design of a new church. With £100 as the prize money, the competition called for a building of stone or brick, able to seat 500 people, with space for a further 200, an organ, choir stalls, a hall under the church, a vestry, ladies’ parlour, choir room, toilets and a session room. The winning design was by architect George D Payne.

Payne had previously worked in Sydney, before joining the Queensland Public Works Department in 1898. His most notable Queensland designs include the Rockhampton and Townsville Customs Houses. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was a turning point in ecclesiastical architectural design. It marked the emergence of Romanesque and Byzantine influences, and a departure from the Gothic style which had dominated church architecture during the 19th century.

St Andrew’s design features include the massing of bold forms; the use of simple geometric shapes; semicircular arched openings; the half-domed interior to the chancel area; and vaulting in the narthex and in the hall below. The church retains its early seating, elders’ seating, altar furniture and other early details and fittings. The interior of the building is remarkable with its open auditorium, prominent pipe organ and tiered chancel. The organ is a spectacular example of the work of Austral Organ Works, in a silky oak case designed by George Payne and built by Messrs JD Campbell and Son for £1440. Stained-glass windows include works of Brooks-Robinson (Melbourne) and William Bustard (Brisbane). The Merrington Anzac Memorial Peace Chapel contains honour boards showing 267 names of servicemen and women who served in World War 1, their stories and the communion set used by Padre Merrington at Gallipoli.

TOUR TIMES

Regular tours except during Sunday service between 9.30am – 10.45am

Additional Activities

Organ recital, children's activities and art space

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Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church

Favourite
1905: Original building // 1999, 2014, 2016: Refurbishments
George D Payne