Parish History 1888–1968: Chapter 7

For the full table of contents and a PDF of the booklet, which includes photos, see the Parish History 1888–1968.

Church Finance and Development

Finance was a problem during the period of developing other churches.

Both Chelmer, until it became a separate parochial district, and St. Peter’s helped by paying to St. Andrew’s, an agreed assessment and eventually the debt on the Rectory as well as the debts of the daughter Churches were wiped off.

In 1940 during the war years, 1939-1945, Mr. St. George was called up as a Military Chaplain, and the Reverend V. H. Whitehouse was loaned to us from the Cathedral. He came for a few weeks but remained for a few years.

During that period difficulties arose, but were passed through successfully; and we must remember that Mr. St. George wished to resign his position as Rector or as Chaplain, but the Archbishop (Dr. Wand) would not consent to either. As Mr. Whitehouse had no car, visitation was considerably reduced and congregations began to fall off.

In those days, only 300 families were listed in the Parish Roll. Today there are 1,600.

We were able to pay our own way, but it was not easy to do so, and add to the Special Fund for the new church. In 1944, there was only £200 in that fund, but by 1946, the amount had reached £418, largely due to the Rector’s wish that £10 each month (the balance of his stipend) should be paid into the fund.

Ordinary funds were obtained by the weekly offerings, through envelopes or the collection plate, and by subscription to what was once called the Stipend Fund, but later the General Fund.

Also the Women’s Guild—the one organisation in the parish that has remained constant—gave the Wardens a generous sum annually from the result of a Fete and other functions.

The Parish Hall in Riverview Terrace was proving difficult to maintain adequately, although it was available for hire and brought in a small income. The late Mr. W. J. Phillips, who died in 1963, was responsible for the letting of the hall and the debt of gratitude which we owe him, is here recorded.

As far back as 1936 the erection of the new permanent church was considered, and a fund, called the New Church Building Fund, was opened in the Government Savings Bank. In 1946 the amount to the credit of this fund was £11-15-5.

Owing to the outbreak of World War 2, all thoughts of building this new church were shelved, but the fund was kept open and in 1944 it had grown to £62-4-3.

In 1945, £120 was transferred from the General Fund and this with interest, brought the total credit of £183-3-0.

In 1946 a special offertory of £109-5-6, plus another transfer from the General Account and one or two small donations plus interest brought the Fund to £424-6-5, by March 31st, 1947—the end of the Church financial year.

In 1947, as has been previously stated, the Parish Hall was sold for £1,200 and the money invested by permission of parishioners given at a special meeting.

By March, 1948, the Fund had reached £443, but circumstances necessitated the borrowing of £200 from this fund to help furnish the Church Hut, then in position in the Church grounds.

This internal loan was repaid in due course.

By March, 1949, with repayments and interest, the Fund was £265-17-2, and during that year further repayments, plus a bequest of £50 from Mr. H. E. Wetherell, brought the amount to £374-19-10.

By this time the two accounts No. 1 General and No. 2 Special were merged into one account.

However, once again the Wardens were obliged to dip into this New Church Building Fund for £160 to paint the rectory in 1950.

Previous to this, another £200 was invested in Government Bonds, thus in 1957, the fund was down to £14-19-10. During this year £52-8-0 was repaid and the total rose to £66-17—10.

During 1951 and 1952, £111-6-0 was repaid from the General account and 1952, £190 was transferred to General account for Hall extensions, thus leaving the New Church Building Fund with £22-17-9.

In 1953 another £110 was refunded and the credit reached £132-17-9 by 1954. All this is stated to show the difficulties that had to be overcome, even to keep the Church solvent; but the ultimate intention of building the new church was never absent.

In 1952 the Rector, the Reverend Roy St. George, considered the time has arrived to make some start on the permanent Church as the wooden building was beginning to show signs of deterioration, so during 1953, the matter was further discussed and Mr. A. J. Dickenson, the present Rector’s Warden was requested to draw sketches and designs, which were submitted to parishioners at the Easter meeting in 1954.

After much deliberation and careful thought, a design was evolved, submitted to the Archbishop and approved by him. This was then approved by parishioners in November, 1954, and preparations were made for the laying of the foundation stone of the new church in June, 1955, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Mr. St. George’s arrival in the Parish.

The original intention was to build the Columbarium (now called the Chapel of All Souls) with the sanctuary and two vestries above it, and to move the wooden building and join it to the new portion until such time as funds would allow for the completion of the brick church.

However, even this scheme had to be modified for, although subscriptions were sought and generously given and with the sale of our Government Bonds (£1,400), there was only sufficient money to finance the first portion of the new church, namely the Chapel of All Souls.

The laying of the foundation stone on the 26th of June, 1955 brought a congregation of 500 people, and the collection for the day was £400.

The little church was packed and more people listened to the service outside by the aid of a public address system.

Immediately after this ceremony a No. 2 account was opened for the Special Fund, to be known as the St. Andrew’s Church of England War Memorial Church Fund.

Tenders were called in August 1955, for the original intention, but being too high, had to be rejected. Fresh tenders were then called for the erection of the Chapel only. A tender was accepted and the contract signed on the 11th of April, 1956, and work began in June.

It was to have been finished in September, but various causes prevented this and the Chapel (or Columbarium) was not completed until early in 1957 for the sum of £3,800.

The Archbishop dedicated the Chapel, now called the Chapel of All Souls, with its beautiful gifts of (a) the marble and sandstone altar donated by the Rector and Mrs. St. George in memory of their son Harold; (b) the marble shelf above the altar by Mr. & Mrs. A. J. Dickenson; (c) the candlesticks by Mrs. Coates and her family in memory of her husband and their father; (d) the altar cross by Mr. & Mrs. J. Watson-Will as a thank offering for the recovery of their daughter from illness; (e) later, in 1959, the communion rails were given by Mr. & Mrs. J. D.          Macfarlane in memory of their son, Graeme; (f) the credence table in 1961 in memory of Percy Llewellyn Adams by Mrs. E. M. and Miss J. Adams; (g) a side table in 1967 by Mrs. R. D. Sherrington.

After the dedication on the afternoon of the 22nd of September, 1957, the Parochial Council discussed how to finance the second phase of the building scheme, which was to erect the Sanctuary and Vestries above the Chapel at an estimated cost of £5,000. The Wardens had hoped for a generous offering at the Dedication Service, but were disappointed.

However, schemes were devised and eventually a decision was made to launch out into the deep, raise as much money as we could, and borrow the remainder from the bank—with Diocesan approval and guarantee to back up our commitments.

At one stage (in 1956), the Parochial Council listened to a very convincing address by a representative of the Wells Organisation, but after serious consideration it was felt unwise to introduce a new scheme until the work begun was already completed; so with the heartening experience of the “Aid the Aged’ appeal in 1958, with its astonishing financial result, the Council asked Mr. Dickenson to prepare plans and specifications for the second phase of the Building Scheme.

This was done and yet difficulties arose, and it was not until March, 1959, that work on the second section actually began.

This was finished in the year and with the help of Mr. C D. Thomas, arrangements were made for an overdraft to meet the commitments.

It is interesting to record that in the process of obtaining funds £55 was collected by children by the sale of bricks — on paper — for one (1/-) each.

Later in this year a decision was made to put the church finances in such a satisfactory way that the new church could be finished in reasonable time.

Meanwhile other events were happening. To show our appreciation of the work done by Mr. and Mrs. St. George for a quarter of a century, the Wardens inaugurated a fund for the purchase of some personal gifts for them.

A very gratifying response was received and on the 3rd of May, 1955, we were able to present Mrs. St. George with a beautiful chiming clock and the Rector with a really beautiful set of Vestments.

During 1958, Mr. Percy Brier retired from the position of Rector’s warden after 25 years of service and he was succeeded by the present Rector’s warden, Mr. A. J. Dickenson.

Six months later the Reverend Roy St. George announced his intention of resigning as from the end of April, 1959, so that he could complete 40 years as an ordained priest.

At the end of April a large gathering of parishioners and residents of Indooroopilly as well as personal friends of Mr. St. George assembled in the hall that was once our Parish Hall, but is now the Returned Sailors Soldiers and Airmens Hall, to bid farewell officially to Mr. and Mrs. St. George, and to present Mrs. St. George with a beautiful white handbag and Mr. St. George with a wallet containing a cheque for £250—both as tokens of appreciation of all they had done for the Church in the 29 years of his incumbency.

At this meeting Mr. Percy Brier thanked those present for what they had done and also told them not to be surprised if they were invited within 12 months to subscribe to a fund for the completion of the new church. He hoped that this would come to pass very soon so that it could be a fitting memorial to one who had done so much for the Parish in the past.

Alas! Mr. St. George was not spared to see the fulfilment of his dream, as he died in April, 1962, three years after his official farewell.

By this time, April, 1959, the Reverend M. A. Paxton-Hall, had been offered and had accepted the Parish, and Mr. St. George had agreed to carry on as locum tenens until the beginning of June, when the new Rector would take up residence and begin work. During July, His Grace, the Archbishop, inducted and installed the Reverend M. A. Paxton-Hall as Rector of St. Andrew’s, and thus began a new era in St. Andrew’s history.

To return to church finances, it is to be noted that shortly after Canon Shand took charge of St. Peter’s in 1957, he outlined a scheme of fund raising for the whole Parish, but this did not come to fruition.

A subcommittee was then formed to investigate the Diocesan Promotion Scheme.

This also had to give way to the final decision in the latter part of 1959 to engage the Wells Organisation to conduct a canvass or planned-giving programme — a decision that seemed necessary to stir up the lethargy of so many nominal church goers.

This canvass began on the 26th of February, 1960, and included first of all an overhaul of the Parish Rolls, then a decision to allow St. Peter’s own fund-raising scheme pledgers to be excluded from the Parish canvass unless they specifically agreed to come in.

The enthusiasm shown in the “Aid the Aged” appeal in 1958, was again manifested, and a team of earnest and active men went out to visit the greater part of a total number of 900 families and bring back with them promises amounting to £23,500 over a period of 150 weeks.

In readiness for the great day when the new church would begin to appear, Mr. D. M. T. Forster sold to the Parish portion of his property adjoining the church grounds, whereto the old wooden building could be moved and there be no loss of continuity in the services of the church. This removal was effected in January, 1963, a few weeks after the church hut had been put into position ready for the two buildings to be connected. The next step followed soon afterwards. Tenders were called for the completion of the new church, but as they were all much higher than the Wardens expected, none was accepted.

However, another arrangement was made and a contract signed in December, 1963, with a promise to begin work in February, 1964. Various developments prevented this, but at last on the 29th of May, 1964, work began with the necessary foundations.

What follows is wrapped up in the story of St. Andrew’s as from 1960; but before continuing this story, a slight pause must be made to think of what has been done.

This shows us that the history of our Parish is bound up in three important eras of Parish life.

The first between 1889 and 1930, deals with the early life of the Parish and the work of three Parish priests, namely, The Reverend T. St. John Pughe, the Reverend Canon Thomas Jones and the Reverend Thomas Ashburner.

This will be found in the Chapters 1 to 7 and part of 8 of this story.

The second era concerns the work of the Reverend Roy St. George and the development of the Parish during his incumbency from 1930 to 1959.

Much of the great work achieved by him is to be found in the sections dealing with the daughter churches of St. David, Chelmer and St. Peter, Moggill Road, and with the finances leading up to the beginning of the New War Memorial Church.

The third era deals with the work of the fifth rector, the Reverend Michael A. Paxton-Hall. Several matters have overlapped and been mentioned in more than one section of the story. This in inevitable.

And so we return to St. Andrew’s — the Mother Church.

For the full table of contents and a PDF of the booklet, which includes photos, see the Parish History 1888–1968. Alternatively, go to Chapter 8.