St Paul’s Presbyterian Church is an historically significant building, representing late nineteenth century colonial optimism and ambition in emulating gothic architectural traditions of European churches in the developing city of Brisbane.
The congregation of the Creek Street Presbyterian church showed their confidence in the growing prosperity of Brisbane, when they moved their premises away from the centre of the city and onto nearby Spring Hill. St Paul’s is also one of the few protestant churches to occupy the crest of an inner-city hill. Until the last few decades, it was visible from all over the city, earning the epithet, ‘the Kirk on the Hill’.
St Paul’s Church, designed by colonial architect, FDG Stanley, is a stone building featuring a spacious nave with stone pillars and gothic arches. The ceiling, of wooden arches with diagonal tongue and groove v-jointed boarding with fretwork vents, is executed in red cedar and is an excellent display of wood craftsmanship. Internal joinery and furniture is also of red cedar, and the sloping floor is of pine.
A prominent feature is the numerous stained-glass windows in the building including a set of four windows depicting four Old Testament prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel – donated by a former premier of Queensland, Sir Thomas McIlwraith. The Nathanael window was designed and executed by William Bustard; a memorial to Sir Robert Philp (another premier of Queensland). The stained-glass windows in the aisles which depict ten events in the life of St Paul, were designed by William Bustard and executed by Oliver Cowley.
In recent years, a series of projects has restored and preserved the building. Most recently, the Bell Tower stonework and structural integrity has been the focus, and this project was completed this year.
Is Heritage listed