Church of England

CQ Family History Association Inc.

Church of England

The history of the Church of England in Rockhampton dates back to 1862, when Rev. T. Jones sponsored the erection of a church. Previously services were held in an East Street building, which was destroyed by a cyclone. The church was built on the site now occupied by St. Paul's parish hall. For many years the need of a more commodious church was keenly felt. In 1873, when the Rev. Richard Leigh was incumbent of the parish, an appeal for funds resulted in £1 300 being collected.

On September 16, 1879, the cornerstone of St. Paul's Cathedral was laid. the ceremony being performed by Bishop Stanton. The cathedral was completed in October, 1883. The first confirmation in the new church was on Saturday, October 20. The cathedral was crowded the following day, one of the interesting parts of the service being the ordination of A. C. Yorke to assist Rev. W. A. Diggens in the parish. The octave of services in connection with the opening was completed by the holding of a torchlight procession in which the Fire Brigade, Oddfellows, Protestant Alliance and Foresters' Lodges participated led by the Town Band.

In 1888 a conference was held in Rockhampton and the desirability of forming a diocese was affirmed. It came into existence with the enthronement of Rt. Rev. N. Dawes on November 30, 1892. The creation of the diocese of Rockhampton made the 14th in Australia in 1892.

As the town developed Anglican churches were established in the suburbs and a school and orphanage were established.


The Rockhampton Diocese was involved in two distinct spheres of missionary work, one with the Australian Aboriginals and the other with the South Sea Islanders.

Woorabinda Aboriginal Settlement was established c1932 when the Queensland Government moved a native settlement from Taroom to a 53,973 acre property at Woorabinda, about a hundred miles south west of Rockhampton. The Diocese was granted £25 per year to help with the cost of ministering to the natives. Some
of the priests who were involved with this mission are as follows, Bishops Ash and Housden, Hubert Freeman, James Norman, C.N. Lavender, E. Ullock, D.K. Dunn, C.J. Blow, R. Bodey, C.K. Andrews, Paul Gribble, Barry Hunter, Church Army Sister, Muriel Stanley and Mr and Mrs Michael Perry.

The South Sea Islanders were brought to Queensland by the Government to work mainly as slaves on the sugar plantations. In 1896 there was a large Islander community in North Rockhampton and Rev T.H. Pritt reported that of the 45 parishioners who attended his Xmas service in the little chapel on Kalka Road, twenty were South Sea Islanders.

The foundation block for St John's Mission Room in Ford Street, North Rock- hampton was laid on 25th May 191 2 by Bishop Halford, G. H. Rogers, C. H. Lewin and Adrian Stokes. Hilda Ward was a well known Sunday School teacher there, followed by, Miss lda Kent and Arthur Green.


Nathaniel DAWES - enthroned Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, November 1892.

George Dowgiass HALFORD - formerly head of Bush Brotherhood, enthroned Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, February 1909.

Philip Charles Thurlow CRICK - enthroned Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, 27th February 1921. Remembered mainly for his work in establishing a boys school, St Peter's, in Barcaldine and a girls school, St Faith's, in Yeppoon.

Fortesque Leo ASH - enthroned Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, 2nd February 1928.

James Alan George HOUSDEN - enthroned Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, 2nd November 1947. Well known for his friendliness and his pastoral work in the country.

Theodore Bruce McCALL - enthroned Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, 19th February 1959. Was instrumental in purchasing Tannachy Hospital for the Diocese.

Donald Norman SHEARMAN - enthroned as Bishop of Rockhampton in St Paul's Cathedral, 2nd March 1964.



Alfred Richards             1891
T.B.J. Parker                1898
A.H. Julius                    1899
A. Lee Kenny               1907
W.J.B. Scott                 1912
C.M.E. Hicks               1915
A.H. Badee                  1917
John A. Cue                 1919
S.W.G. Frost                1931
R.B. Davison                1934
R.V. Burrowes              1937
E.H. Strong                  1940
John E. Dale                 1940
E.A. Wight                   1940
W.V. Rymer                 1946
R.C. Johnston               1955
A.R. May                     1955
G.E. Todach                 1956
Edward Ullock              1960
Selwyn Cowen              1962
Philip Boulsover             1965


J.C. Tyler           (legal adviser)       1893
     “                    (chancellor)          1899
B.M. Lilley                                     1922
F. Cross                                         1956 - 1961
Ewan Paimer                                  1961


Holyoake Woodd                     - 1920
C.   Cox                         1920  - 1935
R.A, Standish                 1936  -
T.B. Macaulay                1949  - 1954
H.C. Burfein                   1955  - 1956
T.R. Harwood                1958  - 1959
D.   Batts                        1960  - 1961
K.W. Raff                       1963  -


G.M.L. Lester (Mitchell)   1893
G.D. Halford (Mitchell)   1899
G.H. Rogers  (Rockhampton)  1903
A.Lee Kenny  (Rockhampton)  1907
James Norman (Emeritus)   1930
A.T. Robinson (Rockhampton)  1931
R.B.Davison  (Rockhampton)  1937
S.J. Mathews (Rockhampton)  1940
Arthur Fellows (Rockhampton)  1954
J.B.R. Grindrod (without jurisdiction) 1969
C.E. Torlach (Rockhampton)  1961
Rodney Murphy (of the East)  1965
???   (of the West)  1965

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