St Marys Church Kangaroo Point…Special places in the world invite us to pause, draw breath and contemplate the deeper aspects of life. Such places may be natural formations, hidden nooks and crannies where few folk go, or man-made edifices which seek to express human aspirations.
I walk to the church and the evening service has just ended. I do not make the Christmas Eve midnight service but I do come to the Christmas Morning service.
St. Mary’s on the Cliffs at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, is one of the most beautiful and historic churches in Australia. It overlooks the city and Botanic Gardens and is a magnificent venue for a romantic wedding.
In 1823, explorer John Oxley described Kangaroo Point as a “jungle, fringed with mangroves with the higher land open forest, covered with grass”. During convict settlement (1825-41), Kangaroo Point was cleared and used for cultivation of crops. Subsequently, the area was opened up for free settlement, the first land sales taking place on 13th December 1843. Among the early purchasers was the Police Magistrate, Captain J.C.Wickham. Surveyor James Warner built the first house at Kangaroo Point in 1844.
The 50th Dedication Festival of the Parish was celebrated on 4th November 1897, with the Rector stating that “we have completed the fiftieth year of our existence as a Parish”.
St Mary’s is the proud custodian of Queensland’s oldest organ. The instrument arrived in Brisbane on 10th July 1876 and was first played on 31 August that year. Built (or possibly rebuilt) in 1823, it is believed to contain some of the oldest pipes in Australia.
From ‘Statement of significance, history and conservation proposal for pipe organ at St Mary-the-Virgin Anglican Church, Kangaroo Point, Queensland’, March 2003 by Graeme Rushworth:
St Mary’s pipe organ is considerably older than the Church, being the oldest in Queensland and one of only several organs of c.1800 in Australia. It is also the only example in Australia of an organ built by H C Lincoln of London. The church and its organ are registered on the National Estate, the Queensland Heritage Register, and are classified ‘A’ by The National Trust of Queensland.