In the grounds of St. Stephen's Cathedral you can find the old cathedral bell which was cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London and transported to Australia in 1887 on the R.M.S. Dacca. This was the same company that cast the Liberty Bell. The cathedral bell weighs 2,856 kgs so nobody is likely to make off with it in the middle of the night. It stands on small concrete pillars under a shed roof .
I have included this tip under the cathedral as it is located in the cathedral grounds . the old school was opened in 1892 and was used as a school for the next 70 years, Nowadays it is the offices of Archdiocese of Brisbane, and you can see a statue of the Rev Quinn who was partly responsible for the Cathedral being built.
St. Stephen's Cathedral is famed for its imported stained glass windows from Munich. If you are standing inside the cathedral the windows are vividly illuminated by the rays of the sun and cast wonderful colors on the floor and walls. A few of the stained glass windows are small with intimate pictures of Christ and his followers, while the great window over the main door depicts Christ's ascension, then casts its majesty down the length of the great space.
The Jubilee Pipe Organ was installed above the Sanctuary in 2000, as you can see in the 4th photo.
The Cathedral of St. Stephen, a heritage site, was built between 1864 and 1922, and was more recently extended in 1989. James Quinn, the first bishop laid the foundation stone on 26th September 1863, the Feast of St. Stephen's day. Benjamin Backhouse designed the cathedral but throughout the years the size of the cathedral was downgraded due to economic problems. It is a Gothic Revival cathedral in the shape of a crucifix. The cathedral is made from Brisbane tuff and freestone, but the towers of sandstone. The cathedral was renovated in 1980. The cathedral has large grounds that also house St. Stephen's Chapel and the old St. Stephen's School.
I wouldn't have known about this, but for another Brisbane VT'er, Maryimelda
Maryimelda took me to St. Stephen's Chapel so I could see this marvellous carved figure of Saint Mary MacKillop.
Mary Mackillop is Australia's 1st canonised Saint, this happened on October 17th, 2010.
This wonderful lady cared for destitute women and children, the early pioneering families who had to overcome massive adjustment's to their lives, and lastly, her trust in God to provide for all.
John Elliott created this sculpture in 1998, from a trunk of a 100yr old Camphor Laurel tree. It was no accident that this Tree was used. The bark of this tree is rough and is meant to be a reminder of the slab bark huts of years ago.......Mary MacKillop opened her 1st school in a slab bark hut. What a hard task it must have been and what a brilliant job he has done creating this beautiful sculpture of St. Mary McKillop.
Near her Shrine is a piece of the original coffin she was buried in, in 1909.
St. Stephen's Chapel is also the oldest Church in Queensland.
Brisbane's St Stephen's Cathedral is a Catholic church, but it's intended as a tranquil place of rest and contemplation, in the busy centre of the city, for those of any denomination. It's Gothic Revival architecture, so popular in the time of its construction in the 19th century, stands out against a modern backdrop of shimmering glass and steel. An aura of sanctitude hangs over it.
STOP 18 ON THE PUBLIC ART TRAIL OF CULTURAL HERITAGE
This large Cathedral is worth paying a visit, as is the smaller St. Stephen's Chapel, built in 1850, which is located next to it.
The cathedral was opened in 1874 and was the first Catholic cathedral in Queensland. Bishop Quinn, who arrived in Brisbane in 1861, organized the building of the Cathedral. Now a sculpture commemorates Bishop Quinn.
The Cathedral has a wonderful organ which I had the pleasure of hearing. This is the Jubilee Pipe Organ named after the Year of the Great Jubilee 2000. Other nice pieces in the Cathedral are the pews, carved from Queensland sycamore, something I think is very nice, and.....
just inside the entrance, is a sculpture of Mary, showing her standing with hands outstretched, extended in trust, inviting us to come and pray.
Tours of the Cathedral and Chapel are available Sundays....9am; 11am; 1pm (following Mass).
Weekdays: 10:30am (following Mass).
All tours meet at the covered way connecting the Cathedral and Chapel.
Special tours: Contact the Cathedral Office on 07 3336 9111
There is so much more to see than what I have mentioned. Look at the website, and go and see for yourself.
In contrast to the gigantic statue of Mary McKillop in the chapel, the rest of the interior gives the feeling of almost being in miniature. I particularly like the little organ, though I have yet to hear it played. Mass is held in the chapel at 5.10pm on every weekday afternoon.
It is also a very popular wedding venue.
The chapel can be visited at various times during the week but if you would like to take advantage of the free tour which comes as part of the tour of the Cathedral, you can do so after Sunday Masses in the cathedral.
Located at the inside St Stephen's Chapel behind the Altar. you will find the renowned statue of Mary McKillop by John Elliott. This image of Australia's first saint is extremely confronting to say the least, but in a truly magnificent way. She is larger than life, maybe that is what John Elliott had in mind when he created her.
Mary McKillip is the patron of the Archdiocese of Brisbane. She spent a couple of years in Brisbane and actually prayed in this chapel.
This was the original Catholic Church in Brisbane and has had many uses in its day including that of a boy's school, which was the forerunner to the famous St Joseph's Gregory Terrace, which still is one of Brisbane's foremost private boy's schools.
Here in the Chapel, formerly known as the Pugin Chapel in honour of the architect, you will find John Elliot's Mary Mckillop which is gobsmacking to say the least.
Masses are held here at 5.10pm on weekdays and it is a very popular choice for wedding ceremonies.
Tours of the Chapel and the Cathedral are conducted following Sunday Masses and are free.
The Cathdral of St Stephen stands on a wonderfully peaceful greenspace right in the heart
of the Central Business District (CBD) of Brisbane. Besides the Cathedral, you will find St Stephen's Chapel (formerly the Pugin Chapel) which houses the wonderfully confronting statue by John Elliot of Mary McKillop. This was the original Catholic Church in Brisbane and has had many uses in its day including that of a boy's school, which was the forerunner to the famous St Joseph's Gregory Terrace, which still is one of Brisbane's foremost private boy's schools.
Also in the Cathedral Close is the original St Stephen's School which closed down some years ago and today houses the Regional Tribunal of the Archdiocese. This building stands right beside an A frame shelter under which the original bell of the Cathedral is sheltered. The bell developed a crack at some time in years gone by, but was kept for posterity in the grounds of the Cathedral.
The Close is a popular spot with city workers who liketo relax on the grass at lunchtime.
The foundation stones for St Stephens were laid by Bishop Quinn on the 26 December, 1863 (the feast of St Stephen). Bishop Quinn was the first bishop of the then Diocese of Brisbane (now the Archdiocese). Due to financial retraints at the time the planned foundations were reduced considerably and work did not really commence till 1870. The cathedral was dedicated in May, 1874 even though it was not yet finished.The gable and spires were added in 1884 in the time of Archbishop Robert Dunne and this was followed by the addition of some of the stained glass and marble. Archbishop Sir James Duhig laid the foundation stone for the transepts in 1920. He had grandiose plans for a huge cathedral to be built in Fortitude Valley on the site of the present "Cathedral Place" residential and shopping complex and the foundations for that church were laid by Archbishop Duhig in 1928 before a massive crowd of people numbering in excess of 35,000. For many years there was a crypt underground on that site, but the proposed Cathedral never came to fruition and the land was later sold and the crypt closed down.
Archbishop Francis Rush authorised the renovations to the Cathedral which were dedicated on December 4 1989. The present Archbishop John Bathersby authorised the new pipe organ as part of the Jubilee celebrations of 2000. He also authorised the renovations to the Pugin Chapel (now St Stephen's Chapel) which was the original Catholic Church of Brisbane and stands on the same block of land as the Cathedral.