St Stephen’s Chapel, the first church built on this site, sits like the child of the much larger cathedral beside it. Designed by prolific church architect George Suter, it lays claim to being the oldest existing church in Queensland, where the first mass was celebrated in 1850 shortly after its construction and worshippers still congregate today.
Built of roughly hewn local tuff, it still has its original roof, albeit with a locomotive’s bell, after the original bell tower was destroyed in a storm.
Not to be missed is the shrine inside, containing the extraordinary scented larger than life camphor wood*carving by sculptor John Elliott of Mary MacKillop, the recently canonized saint. She rowed across the river from Kangaroo Point to worship here between 1869 and 1871.
*Except for her face, which is sculpted from a jacaranda tree.