Preserving the past for the future
St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Restoration Trust ABN 18 862 775 596
Donations are always greatly appreciated and will help advance restoration work on Stage 3 of St Paul’s Bell Tower project.
The current project of the St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Restoration Trust is the Bell Tower Masonry Conservation Project.
The ‘Before and After’ photos in the slide show at the top of the page are representative of the stonework on the bell tower. The marked difference between ‘Before’ and ‘After’ is evident in the end result, which is beautiful, thanks to the craftsmanship of the stonemasons.
The restoration of the church bell tower is the costliest restoration project embarked upon to date. The work has unfolded in stages:
- Stage 1 (the Northwest nave and tower wall, on the left when viewing the church from St Pauls Terrace) was completed in 2014.
- Stage 2 (the front entrance façade) was completed in segments from 2015 to 2016.
- Two major segments of Stage 3 (the area surrounding the Columbarium) were completed in 2017 and 2020.
Using best practice stonemasonry conservation methods, the crumbling stonework of the completed sections of the bell tower has been rectified. Where stonework could be saved, stones were retained and retooled. Where the stonework was too far gone to be saved, for example, the original Woogaroo Quarry Sandstone, stones were replaced like-for-like with exacting precision. Other work included: re-pointing; mortar and crack repairs; lead flashing; cleaning; and ancillary items, including the refurbishment of tower windows and the stabilisation of the pinnacles.
With the completion of Stages 1 and 2, a car park, previously cordoned off by security fencing, is now accessible to the elderly and people with mobility issues. The removal of the large protective gantry from the church’s main entrance has positively contributed to the increase in the number of weddings being held at St Paul’s.
The end of the project is in sight
Only one segment of Stage 3 above the Columbarium and a small area at the back of the tower (Stage 4) are yet to be completed.
The completion of this project in its entirety will restore full access to the Columbarium. It is hoped that the reopening of the Columbarium and memorial garden will provide a lunchtime oasis for people who work in the area and a place of quiet reflection for members of the congregation and the wider community.
If you would like to support the restoration of St Paul’s, donations can be made in the following ways:
- Tax-deductible donations may be made to the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) St Paul’s Presbyterian Restoration Appeal. For information on how to make a tax-deductible donation, please click on the NTAQ Tax Deductible Donation Form 2021. NTAQ Tax Deductible Donation Form_FInal Approved by NTAQ 21 April 2021
- If a tax deduction is not significant in your situation, donations may be made to the St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Restoration Trust. For information on how to make a non-tax-deductible donation, please click on the Restoration Trust Non-Deductible Donation Form. . Restoration_Trust_Non_Tax_Deductible_Donation_Form_ Compressed
The church building is a gothic-styled, heritage-listed church with a bell tower and tall spire which once dominated Brisbane’s skyline. It was dedicated for worship on 5 May 1889. It has numerous beautiful stained glass windows, a long central aisle and sloping floor, decorative red cedar timber work and polished pews.
The church hall is a spacious building with timber floor. It was completed and occupied as a temporary church in May 1886 and was used for worship during the construction of the church building. It is a brick building, in Gothic style, with the side walls and corners articulated with buttresses. A distinctive feature of the building is that the timber panelled ceiling carries five mirror-lined conical light fittings originally designed to throw gas-mantle generated light down to the floor area.
This outstanding gothic building is not just a place of worship for St Paul’s congregation but is a significant example of the building design heritage of Brisbane and Queensland. It is representative of the legacy left to our State and to our capital city by FDG Stanley, the renowned Colonial Architect of the mid to late 1800s. A number of other important buildings – the Port Offices, the General Post Office, the National Bank – are also testament to his handiwork as an architectural design genius.
As the present custodians, it is both our duty and our desire to ensure the building is preserved and maintained for its continued use for the purpose for which it was designed and built. Our mission in facilitating restoration work as and when needed is to ensure a safe continuation of the use of this beautiful building for worship from one generation to another – respecting the past, preserving for the future.
The on-going restoration work by the church community, including replacement of eroded stonework, plus past projects of the copper cladding of the spire and installation of protection for the stained glass windows are all contributing to the preservation of the “Kirk on the hill”.
In 1983 a Project Committee was formed to address the huge task of ensuring the restoration and preservation of St. Paul’s Church. By this time the severe erosion of the sandstone features was evident.
In 1988 this committee was transformed into a legal entity, with its own Deed of Settlement, called The St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Restoration Trust. The trustees are elected by the congregation.
Since that date, as a consequence of continued strong support from donors, together with grants from the Commonwealth & State Governments & the Brisbane City Council, the Trust has expended in excess of $2,800,000 on restoration work on the two buildings.
The images below portray the scale and success of the Steeple Restoration Project which was completed last decade.