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St Stephen's Chapel

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St Stephen’s Chapel, the first church built on this site, sits like the child of the much larger cathedral beside it. Designed by early colonial church architect Augustus Welby Pugin (who was commissioned to do so by the first Catholic Bishop of NSW John Bede Polding), it lays claim to being the oldest existing church in Queensland. Here 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.

St Stephen's Chapel

249 Elizabeth st

Brisbane

Map

249 Elizabeth st Brisbane

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