Project Canterbury

All Saints' Church, Brisbane 1862-1937

By D. L. Kissick, B.A.

Brisbane: Published by All Saints' Parish, 1937.

The Rev. C. G. Robinson, M.A.

The Rev. T. Jones' successor was a priest who ably followed the parish policy so clearly defined by the late, incumbent. A tall, fair, scholarly man, typically English and very charming he won the heart of the congregation and was staunchly supported in his fight against lowchurch tendencies by Mr. J. R. Dickson, Mr. R. D. Neilson and Mr. Henry Donkin, an uphill fight since Bishop Hale was so very antagonistic to anything in the shape of ritual.

The Rev. C. G. Robinson who was a devout priest, a. very good preacher and had a most exceptional knowledge of the Bible, was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he did an honours course in theology. After being curate at Middleborough for one year, he was priested at York in 1867, then came to Australia as incumbent of Tenterfield. After holding that position for three years he went to Walcha, N.S.W, and from there came to All Saints'. In addition to being Rector of All Saints' from 1877 to 1896, he was an honorary canon of Brisbane from 1891 to 1896. In 1896 he was appointed vicar of St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, and the following year became canon and archdeacon of that diocese as well as commissary to the Bishop. In 1899 he was appointed examining chaplain to the Bishop of Dunedin. It was intended that shortly after his arrival in Dunedin, he should have been made co-adjutor Bishop but the motion for the creation of that position failed to pass Synod.

Early in this century, while still Archdeacon of Dunedin, he returned on a visit to Brisbane and, while here, preached on two successive Sundays to a packed All Saints'. His son was a member of All Saints' parochial council until he was appointed to the position of Chief Justice of New Guinea. The Venerable Archdeacon C. G. Robinson. left New Zealand in 1908 and in the next four years held chaplaincies successively at Karlsruhe, Pau and St. Raphael. On leaving St. Raphael in 1912, he returned to England and lived in retirement at Boscombe, Bournemouth, voluntarily assisting with the services at St. Clement's until his death on November 26th, 1920.

His Easter addresses, which, during his incumbency at All Saints', were printed together with the wardens' report and balance-sheet first on a four page leaflet and later in a sixteen page booklet, preserve for us something of his personality and of his vision for the parish. Through them he still speaks to us as well as giving a very fair picture of Church life at the time.

In 1880 the "sexton" became the "verger." The man who held this position was Mr. Hampson, a bootmaker doing business in Edward St., who was noted as a magnetic healer. He was verger of All Saints' from the time of its opening almost until his death.

In 1887, the Rev. C. G. Robinson said: "The number of yearly communions should be much larger (the figure for the year had been 1602, Easter being 224 and Christmas 142), and it increases only slowly. I live in hope that some day our church people will recognise (as their brethren in England are recognising more and more) the plain fact that the Holy Communion is the Divine Service at which all good Christians ought every Sunday to worship, even if they do not communicate. There are often only two or three present at daily Evensong, few realising how much a short daily service is a help and refreshment. We have a large and attentive body of worshippers, an efficient and reverent choir, and a faithful, attached band of Sunday School teachers. There are also the invisible results known only to God and His good angels--souls strengthened and comforted by means of grace, good seed sown in young hearts, the sick and sorrowing soothed by the balm of the blessed Gospel. I earnestly ask you all to take your individual share in the work which is being done for God and the Church."

In 1888 "Our advance if slow is steady; there are not wanting signs that the true church life is growing amongst us. One of the best tests of the healthy spiritual condition of a parish is the number of communions made-the number this year has been 1904. This is not all one could desire by any means. I ask those of you my friends who ought to have been, and have not been of the number, to take this matter into your most serious consideration. EVERY FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN OUGHT TO BE A COMMUNICANT. I do not dwell on so grave a topic because it is more suitable for the pulpit but, I pray you, do not dismiss it hastily from your thoughts.... We want a band of faithful laity to whom we can turn for consultation and cooperation in good works, as well as in special prayers and intercessions. Ask yourself 'what work am I doing or what help am I giving towards the enlargement of Christ's Kingdom and the spread of His Holy Faith?' If we, one and all, make up our minds to share in this work for God's greater glory, we shall be, surprised at the result which will follow. Let every worshipper 'give as God hath prospered him' and then we will be able to dispense with bazaars, concerts and other amusements. The offertory is the best way of giving to God. Resolve never to worship without offering to God that which costs us at least-some-thing."

Again, "Certainly the attendance at Church on Sundays diminished perceptibly during the summer months and the whole number of communions made during this year shows only a small increase, but I am one of those who do not believe that a purely numerical test is always a safe one, and I do not think that the spiritual life or progress of a parish or congregation can always be accurately Judged by any arithmetical process or the publication of flourishing statistics. The hard times and the increased cost of living account for the falling off of the offertories and congregations but an increased number of parishioners proper are availing themselves of the services and I look forward in time to an increased attendance in this respect as the result of continuous and patient parish visiting. The choir and Sunday School teachers I know do not work for praise or self-glorification, and no spoken thanks could express what we owe to them for their work. 'I hope soon to direct the children's contributions to missionary purposes, but for the present our own needs are pressing and deserve primary consideration, for we should not give away that which is not ours to give there is still a debt on the Sunday School building.

Why should our offertory ever be unworthy? Times are bad just now but if we would only give on the weekly, offertory principle and not on impulse, any financial difficulties would soon disappear.... By active effort, by personal influence, by example, by union in all good works make All Saints' Church more and more a centre of reverent and hearty worship--a church not in name but in reality."

And again, "Believing as I do, that the Grace of the Holy Eucharist is the sustaining force of the Christian life, 'I grieve to see such a scanty few usually gathering around the Altar at the early Communion. Our Church life as a congregation cannot be really healthy, and our individual spiritual life must languish, so long as we habitually neglect 'The Divine Service.' Will you allow me, your pastor, affectionately to urge upon you the need of a real reformation in this important matter--for our Lord's sake and for your own? I am praying myself for you that, as the years pass, we may be more and more one with each other in our Blessed Lord--one in prayer, in self-denying work and in mutual love, so shall we find that our fellowship with Christ in His Church is no fiction, but a living reality."

Again, "The year has been quiet and uneventful, no storms have swept across our parochial path, no strong currents have materially altered our course. Those who are habitual worshippers at All Saints' Church do not look for any sensational developments in doctrine or ritual. Our people understand that we are content unostentatiously and patiently to do the Church's work in the Church's way to the best of our ability, and I am happy to think that during the year last past our efforts have been, with God's help, so far successful that although we may not be able to chronicle any great progress, we can at least be thankful we have not gone backwards.

Confirmation classes are again beginning and I hope a goodly number of young men and women will be found to present themselves for their ordination to that general priesthood which belongs not to the Christian ministry alone, but to the whole body of the faithful."

And the next year, 'We need the help of active, earnest men and women anxious and willing to work for God in some form or another of personal effort and usefulness. We have some but want more, the idea that the clergy alone are called to work for God belongs to a stagnant past, and has no place among the activities of to-day. The universal priesthood of believers means this, that each and every Christian in his or her own sphere of life shall feel it to be a duty and a privilege to be a labourer with and worker for God, by giving personal help in the way of time, money, effort, influence to some of the agencies or influences which the Church uses to advance the Kingdom of Christ and to lead the world to the Knowledge and obedience of His Gospel."

"I wish I could express to you how earnestly I long to see many of you more frequently and more regularly at the early celebrations, and to see more men as worshippers and communicants.

In the early days, a Christian was always a communicant. Exclusion from the Lord's Table would have been to him the bitterest disgrace which he could suffer and voluntary withdrawal from it would never have entered his mind. It would have been more impossible than voluntary exile from his home and family. I yet live in hopes that a return to the old and better way will come with a more adequate conception of the significance and paramount importance of the Holy Communion as the only 'Divine Service' and the highest means of grace. But, in order to achieve this, parents and heads of families must show their children the true and right way by example, they must themselves obey their Lord's command 'Do this, as My memorial.' I miss those who ought to gather at the Lord's Table not on Easter Day alone but month by month. Make monthly communions the rule of your spiritual life. I regret to note in the elder boys a growing irreverence, and lawlessness, due to the Sunday Schools being regarded as a way of divesting parents of all responsibility for the children's religious training instead of as a supplement to parental teaching. Children are quick to notice that their parents do not go to church; church-going is then regarded as a restraint. Parents should bring, not send, their children to church."

This was the Rev. C. G. Robinson's last Easter report, 'he was away for the next Easter and resigned on October 21st, 1896. The church was full to overflowing for his fare-well services on September 27th. Well might he take for his text, 'We have lived together peacefully" for indeed they had done so throughout his incumbency.

During the greater part of the Rev. C. G. Robinson's last three years as rector of All Saints' he had been away from Brisbane, exchanging with priests in the south and then visiting New Zealand. He had differed with Bishop Webber regarding the Leichhardt St. Schools, of which more hereafter, and the congregation heartily backed him in the stand which he took.

They did not wish him to leave nor would they be reconciled to the Bishop's policy. In order to break their spirit, the Bishop put the parish under discipline, would not allow the parishioners to have a voice in the election of the new Rector but placed Archdeacon David in charge till the former came. From 1883, the clergyman in charge had been known as the 'Rector' as distinguished from the older title of 'incumbent' or 'clergyman' and from 1885 the 'parsonage' had become the 'rectory.' In spite of this, the clergyman who followed the Rev. C. G. Robinson was appointed as vicar, holding the parish at the Bishop's pleasure and held office for some time under these conditions, before being made rector.

The most outstanding events of the Rev. C. G. Robinson's incumbency were the building of the Rectory (made possible by the generosity of Mrs. Mary Peattie), the building of All Saints' Schools, the loss of the Leichhardt St. Schools, the death of Mrs. Mary Peattie and the revelation of her benefactions to All Saints' and the Diocese, this making possible the release of All Saints' from debt and its consecration.

Mrs. Mary Peattie (nee Willoughby) was a link between All Saints' and the very early days of Brisbane, for her marriage was the second performed by the Rev. John Gregor after his arrival in Brisbane with Captain Wickham when the city was first thrown open to free settlers in 1843. Mrs. Peattie was a quiet, devout woman who habitually dressed in Quaker style. Her liberality and help to the church was as boundless as it was continuous and her support was always to be relied upon, but it was not till 1878 that her name became attached to her various gifts It was some time before the Easter of that year that she gave the allotment of land, together with the shops and dwellings thereon, to the trustees, the rent to be paid to the incumbent in lieu of a parsonage until the latter could be built. In June, 1880, she bought back this property from the trustees for the sum of £500 in order that the parsonage could be built without further delay. The remainder of the money for its building was raised by means of a bazaar and the building was commenced the next month. Mrs. Peattie died on September 12th, 1881, leaving a will dated June 6th, 1881, which bequeathed practically the whole of her property to the Church. To All Saints' she left £200 per annum "for paying the debt off the Church and when the debt shall be fully discharged the said £200 per annum shall be applied by them in payment, or part payment, of a curate to assist the incumbent of that Church in his ministrations and offices," thus fulfilling her promise to Canon Jones although he could no longer benefit by it. On his advice, she left to All Saints', Holy Trinity (Valley), St. Mary's (Kangaroo Point), St. Thomas' (South Brisbane), and Milton Memorial Church, £60 per annum each for the "relief of widows and orphans, necessitous sick and poor and distressed who shall be members of the Church of England." At Canon Jones' instigation, Mrs. Peattie also directed that except for small legacies and £50 per annum to the Clergy Widows and Orphans Fund, the balance of her estate was to be applied to the assistance of missionaries, for the preaching of the Gospel in the remoter parts of the Diocese of Brisbane.

In 1926 the congregation of All Saints' erected a stained glass window, the subject being St. Mark, in grateful memory of Mrs. Peattie. During Canon Robinson's time the following priests held the position of Peattie curate--the Revs. E. C. Spicer, T. Pughe, G. Wallace, J. Benoy, Canon Jones, G. and G. Pringle and G. Sale.

At the time of Mrs. Peattie's death the mortgage on All Saints' stood at about £900 so would have taken about four and a half years to pay off but, when it was known that Bishop Hale was resigning the see, Sir J. R. Dickson advanced £400 free of interest on being guaranteed the reversion of the Peattie money for two years and it was announced in January, 1885, that the church was free of debt. March 8th, 1885, being the half-yearly anniversary of the dedication, was fixed as the date of the consecration, Bishop Hale and Archdeacon Glennie officiating.

Bishop Webber, on his arrival in Brisbane, desired that the properties left by Mrs. Peattie should be sold and the money otherwise invested, but the trustees (one of whom was Sir J. R. Dickson) would not agree to this course of action. The short-sighted Bishop could not, as the trustees did, foresee the great value to which Queen St. properties would later rise, and he took the matter to court. The trustees lost the case so were forced to comply with the Bishop's wishes and sell the property. It realised £31,481, which was invested and the interest is used in terms of the will. Although this in no way affected the amount annually received by All Saints', the Diocesan funds will always suffer by Bishop Webber's unbusinesslike move.

As has been said, Mrs. Peattie's benefaction made the consecration of the Church of All Saints possible and the following is a contemporary account of that important event.

"Although the building known as All Saints' Church, Wickham Terrace, has been used for Divine Service since 1869) it had not actually been consecrated. The reason for this was that by a wholesome rule of the Church a Bishop must refuse to consecrate any building solely to divine worship until it is free from pecuniary difficulties of all kinds. As, therefore, a mortgage was held over All Saints' Church it could not be consecrated. At the close of last year the debt amounted to £900. By the will of the late Mrs. Peattie £200 per annum from her estate was to be appropriated, first to the liquidation of the debt and subsequently for the use of the church itself. The Church officers by special effort had raised £500 towards the liquidation of the Church when the Hon. J. R. Dickson, M.L.A., generously offered to advance the remaining £400 free of interest, in order that the church might be consecrated by Bishop Hale before his departure from Queensland. The Church officers gladly accepted Mr. Dickson's offer, and gave him the reversion of Mrs. Peattie's benefaction for two years. The ceremony of consecration took place yesterday morning in the presence of a congregation which uncomfortably crowded the building. The Bishop, accompanied by the Venerable Archdeacon Glennie, the Rev. Thomas Jones, of Toowoomba, who was the second incumbent of the All Saints', and the members of the choir, was met at the public entrance to the building by the Rev. C. G. Robinson, M.A., Rector, the Hon. J. Douglas, C.M.G., trustee, Mr. J. B. Stanley and Mr. Walter Barrett, church wardens; and Mr. A. W. Drury and Mr. R. D. Neilson, who were attended by Verger Hampson, who has been more or less connected with All Saints', since its foundation, twenty-three years ago.

The Hon. J. Douglas, addressing the Bishop, read the following petition:

To the Right Reverend Mathew Blagden Hale, D.D., Lord Bishop of Brisbane,

May it please your Lordship:--The petition of Christopher Gerard Robinson, clerk, M.A., Rector; Joseph Bird Stanley, Walter Barrett, church wardens, the Hon. John Douglas, C.M.G., R. Phelan, trustees, on behalf of the congregation worshipping in All Saints' Parish Church, Brisbane, sheweth

That a church was erected in the year of our Lord, 1862, with funds provided by the Right Reverend Edward Tufnell, first Bishop of Brisbane, on the site on which we now stand, being a grant from the Government of the colony of New South Wales.

That the said church proving inadequate for the purposes required, it was resolved to erect the present building.

That the foundation stone of this present church was laid on Monday, 5th April, 1869; that it was opened and duly dedicated for Divine Worship and for the solemnisation of all the ordinances of the Church on the 8th of September of the same year; and that an ecclesiastical district or parish was formed in connection with this church, and known by the name of All Saints' Parish, Brisbane. That the consecration of this church has been unavoidably postponed owing to the mortgage which remained after its erection upon the church and the church lands.

That the said mortgage amounting at the close of last year (1884) to the sum of £900, has now been released, by means of a benefaction to the church by the late Mary Peattie and through the liberality of the Hon. J. R. Dickson so that the Rector and Church officers are freed from any liability connected therewith, and, no other debts having been incurred, there remains no obstacle on this account to the final consecration of the building.

That this church is duly and properly furnished with all necessary ornaments required by the rubrics and canons of the Church of England. That the seats of this church are, and have been ever since its erection, entirely free and unappropriated.

Your petitioners therefore pray that your Lordship will be pleased in virtue of your office as Bishop of this diocese, to consecrate this building, and set it apart for ever from all profane and secular uses, to the greater glory of God and in memory of All Saints, for the celebration of the holy sacraments, and for the solemnisation of all other services, rites and ceremonies of the Church of England.

And your petitioners will ever pray, etc.

(Signed by the rector, church wardens and church trustees).

Dated this Eighth day of March, in the year of our Lord, 1885, being the third Sunday in Lent.

The Bishop having signified his consent to accede to the prayer of the petition, a procession was formed by the choir and the clergy, who advanced up the centre aisle to the chancel, singing the 24th Psalm. Standing at the entrance to the chancel the Bishop read an appropriate address to the congregation, followed by a series of appropriate prayers, and finally the sentence of consecration. A shortened form of Morning Prayer was then proceeded with by the Rev. C. G. Robinson, M.A., the service being choral throughout. A special lesson (1 Kings viii, 22v. to 62v.) was read by the Ven. Archdeacon Glennie. The 'Te Deum' was by Sir Arthur Sullivan in D, and the anthem, "I Was Glad When They Said," by Sir George Elvey. A quartette in the latter was very finely rendered by well known vocalists. After two special prayers by the Bishop, the morning service was closed, and the ante-communion service commenced by the Rev. Thomas Jones, acting for the Bishop. The Kyrie was a beautiful composition by W. G. Willmore.

The sermon was preached by Bishop Hale, who took for his text 1st Chronicles, 29th chapter, 16th verse, "O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build Thee an house for Thine Holy Name cometh of Thine hand and is all Thine own."

In the course of this address the Bishop said: Although this congregation had not come with this building' new and fresh to worship God in for the first time, yet surely it was a joyous occasion--surely it was time for them to rejoice in the Lord. Again he said, rejoice in the Lord on this occasion, for joy at seeing their building now free from the debt which had been hanging over it. This had been accomplished by the generosity of one who had indeed been generous in her gifts, and by the liberality of one who was still a member of the congregation, but who was not here to-day, or he (the Bishop) would not have alluded to the circumstance. They had, therefore, this example before them for their guidance, if they failed to follow it the responsibility resting on them would be very great.

The Bishop concluded with an earnest appeal to the liberality of the congregation, remarking that there were many things requisite for the parish which required an increase of funds.

The Holy Communion was subsequently administered to a large number of the congregation.

In the evening the church was again crowded. The evening service was intoned by the Rector. The anthem was Spohr's "As Pants the Heart," the tenor solo in which was sung by Mr. G. H. Salisbury. The sermon was preached by the Rev. Thomas Jones, from the text 2nd Chronicles, vi., 17, "But will God in very deed dwell among men on earth? Behold Heaven, and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain Thee, how much less this house which I have built."

On March 29th, 1885, the new All Saints' Schools were (opened, the foundation stone having been laid on August 26th of the previous year by Bishop Hale. The Rev. Archdeacon Glennie and the Rev. T. Jones were also present at the laying of the stone. The Rev. T. Jones in his address on this occasion said that he had devoted twelve of the best years of his life to the parish of All Saints' and to a work which must always remain dear to him. He said that he had never been in a parish where work had been so congenial to him and where the congregation was so good. He congratulated the church and parish on the acquisition of a means of educating the young who, after all, were the mainstay of future congregations. He advocated religious instruction in schools according to the system followed by the Church of England, as then the first words put into a child's mouth were almost always of inspired wisdom, and it was taught first of all to recognise itself as a child of God and to do nothing to dishonour such a distinction.

The Rev. E. Spicer, locum tenens in Canon Robinson's absence, said that the building was to be designated All Saints' Schools, not Sunday School, as the parish hoped in future to have day as well as Sunday classes. He did not think that the prevailing State system of education would last.

The following statement, sealed in a bottle, was placed under the stone:--"This Foundation Stone of All Saints' Schools was laid on 26th August, 1884, by the Lord Bishop of Brisbane, Mathew Blagden Hale, D.D., in the presence of a number of clergy and laity; the Rev. Christopher Gerard Robinson, M.A., being rector and the Rev. Edward Clarke Spicer, M.A., locum tenens. Wardens Joseph Bird Stanley, Walter Barrett, Building Committee, The Hon. J. R. Dickson, R. D. Neilson, J. B. Stanley, W. Barrett, E. W. Cross, A. M. Williams, J. O'Connor, the Rev. E. C. Spicer (qui scripsit). To the Glory of God and in the hope that true religious learning may be established among us. for generations."

For many years the schools were used as Sunday Schools, and later various people rented them as Collegiate Day Schools, but the parish has never attained to the ideal of running a Parish Day School and, in our time, not even Sunday School is held in the building. Since being rebuilt in 1925, the Schools have been known as All Saints' Hall.

As has been said, the building of All Saints' Schools was made necessary by the proposed abolition of the Leichhardt St. Church Schools which had been used by the parish for Sunday School and other parish meetings. These schools which were built on land bounded by Leichhardt, Boundary and Hope Sts., had been erected in 1867 by Bishop Tuffnell with money entrusted to him by the S.P.C.K. and friends for use in the furthering of religious education. The Bishop bound the land and schools up in a strict trust deposing that they should never be sold or alienated. They were placed under the charge of the Incumbent of All Saints', the care remaining his until 1884, and the parish was responsible for the insurance on, and repairs to, the buildings. In a report to the first Synod of Brisbane it is stated that 140 children were in attendance at the Church of England Day School, Leichhardt St. The Church Day Schools were closed in 1875 when State aid was withdrawn but All Saints' Sunday School continued to meet in the buildings on Sundays and a proprietary school was conducted there on week days while the building was let in the evenings for lodge meetings, etc. In 1882, Bishop Hale proposed that the Leichhardt St. Schools should be sold or leased as the money invested in them was lying idle and unproductive. All Saints' objected very much to this being done if the money derived would be diverted to sources outside, the parish, the Rector seeing that not only would the land greatly increase in value but also that a Church School in the heart of the metropolitan area would in a few years again become a necessity. But Bishop Hale was adamant and, in 1883 a resolution was passed saying: "This Synod, not recognising any claim to the exclusive use of the Leichhardt St. Church School property hereby directs the Diocesan Council to lease the property if possible for any period not exceeding fourteen years so as to cover the expenses of maintenance, rates, insurance and other such charges as may be made against it."

In the next Synod, the Bishop again stressed the necessity for obtaining a new trust deed for the properties, on the grounds that the people who gave the money that had been invested in the schools had nothing whatever to do with the tying up of it by means of stringent and unreasonable conditions and the adoption of this course instead of furthering their wishes (i.e. promoting religious education) had completely frustrated their benevolent intentions, neither the money nor the interest on it had been used for promoting religious education, but it had been kept locked up in certain decaying buildings for the ten or twelve years last past. The late Parliament had considered the trust deed as a thing too sacred to be meddled with when it had been asked to abrogate it, but Synod again resolved to request Parliament for permission to alter the conditions of the trust. Bishop Hale left for England early in 1885, so the matter rested for a time but meanwhile the schools were leased to Mr. G. Hermann Schmidt in terms of the trust. Mr. Schmidt conducted a school there until his death when the matter was again brought before Synod. It was once more proposed to ask Parliament to modify the stringent terms of the trust unless the actual site could be used for the foundation of a Church of England High School. Once more All Saints' tried to uphold its rights and a special parish meeting was called to discuss the best possible means of action. The worth of the buildings was assessed at £1275, and it was mentioned that it was only after All Saints' had been required by 'Synod to relinquish the schools that they had become a charge on Diocesan Funds; from 1867 to 1884, All Saints' had been financially responsible for their upkeep. The rector considered it wrong that the schools should be sold and the money used elsewhere, for that would mean that another parish would benefit at the expense of All Saints'. A second reason was that the schools would be of use to Spring Hill in the future. In the "Church Chronicle" of August, 1892, it was said that, although in terms of the trust, the Leichhardt St. Schools property was extra parochial as to legal ownership, it was intended to be, and actually was, parochial as to its use and purpose, hence, while All Saints' endorsed the selling, they thought it only right that the money should be used in All Saints' Parish.

The following month All Saints' wardens wrote: "In deference to the strong remonstrance of the Bishop, but without in any degree altering our opinion as to the moral and equitable claims which the Church of England residents in the district which constitutes the parish of All Saints' have in regard to the Leichhardt St. property, the Rector and church wardens have withdrawn from any further opposition to the bill." The protest was of no effect, for the Bill was passed by Parliament and it enabled Synod to sell, lease or mortgage the property and use the proceeds for educational purposes either in Brisbane or elsewhere so long as it was administered in strict accordance with the terms of the trust.

At the following Easter meeting, the Rev. C. G. Robinson reported: "In regard to the Leichhardt St. Schools I think it right to notify the congregation that the deputation, appointed by the general meeting of the parishioner, in July last, urged upon the Bishop-in-Council without effect the equitable claims of the members of the Church of England resident in Spring Hill; and also, that in consequence of strong representations made to me by the Bishop, I felt obliged to abandon any further direct opposition to the bill dealing with the property, which has now been passed by the Legislature." The property was sold soon after and the proceeds were applied to the fund for the erection of the Glennie Memorial Schools. When in 1927 All Saints' found it essential to have a place in which to hold services in the heart of Spring Hill, the small block of land and the dwelling thereon (a very small portion of the original Leichhardt St. Church Schools property) which was bought for use as St. Francis' Mission, cost as much as had the large block of land, the erection of two schools and a shop in 1867.

Meanwhile the sale of the property had far-reaching effects. Canon Jones indignantly resigned from the curacy of All Saints' and returned to England, neither did the Rector think the breach with the Bishop could ever be, healed. He exchanged first with Canon Kemmis of Sydney, then with the Rev. R. Stephen (later Bishop Stephen) of Melbourne, then he went to New Zealand for several months leaving the Rev. G. A. M. Pringle as locum tenens, and, while there, was offered the position of Vicar of St. Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin. The congregation were highly incensed with Bishop Webber and openly voiced their antagonism with the result that the Bishop placed the parish under discipline and refused them the right to have representatives on the Diocesan Presentation Board for the election of the new rector. But that story belongs to the time of the next incumbent and there are several small incidents of the Rev. C. G. Robinson's regime which are worthy of mention. Two of the most important are the presentation by the Hon. J. R. Dickson of a lectern, an altar cross and candlesticks in 1884. The lectern was the large brass eagle which is still in use; the altar ornaments, the first to be used in Queensland, are also of brass set with agates and are at present in use on the High Altar. Mr. G. Timbury gave a processional cross of Brisbane workmanship and matching the altar cross. This processional cross was used for the first time on Easter Day, 1893. It has since been altered from a plain cross set with five red stones to a Crucifix. On the back of the Easter reports of those days may be seen a reproduction of Mr. G. Timbury's pencil etching of All Saints' Church. Mr. G. Timbury was a loyal and devoted son to the church and an enthusiastic follower of the Oxford Movement. In England he had been Holborn (a near and a church warden of St. Andrew's, sympathetic neighbour of the famous St. Alban's), as a boy he was in the choir of the Chapel Royal and hence invited to be present at Edward VII.'s coronation. He was rector's warden at All Saints' in the days of Canon Robinson.

Between 1878 and 1890, All Saints' spent the following sums over and above general maintenance and stipends (at one period the Rector's stipend was as high as £500 per annum):--£900 off the mortgage, £185 in repayment of a debt to the Rev. T. Jones on account of the shifting, repairing and completing of the organ, £978 for the building of the rectory, £1027 for the building of the schools, and £360 for the retaining wall along Ann St. One single donation to the stipend fund one year was £100. This period was followed by one of depression owing first to a drought, then the fatal floods of 1893 and the consequent panic which caused eight of the eleven Brisbane banks to fail. All sections of the community suffered from these blows and the Church also suffered financially. It had not recovered at the close of Canon Robinson's rectorship, at which date there was a debt of £354. In 1886, owing to the erection of the schools there had been a debt of £602, "this sum when considered in connection with the improved value of the church property and the wealth and number of the many worshippers who so regularly attend the beautiful services at All Saints' should be regarded as a matter of certain, speedy extinction. The wardens do not deem it seemly that All Saints' should for any lengthened period be encumbered with a debt of such comparative insignificance."

In 1887 the construction of the railway tunnel was commenced and the wardens were asked by the Railway Commissioners to estimate the possible damage to the property. They decided on the sum of £2000 but were offered only £5 which they refused to accept. City valuators, assessed the damage at £500, but the Commissioners ignored this second claim and have never reimbursed the parish for taking the tunnel under the property. During the construction of the tunnel, the blasting shook both the church and the rectory to such an extent that it was feared that the masonry would fall or at least be permanently weakened, but fortunately these fears were groundless, for, although both buildings suffered in the great flood of 1893, they will remain solid for many years to come.

As a consequence of the violent rains associated with the 1893 flood, it was found necessary to paint and repair the rectory and to renovate and decorate the church, the latter piece of work costing £150. Cornices and bosses were added above the windows on the interior walls, the altar was raised, by two more steps (making seven in all) and the wall around the east windows was "beautifully illuminated with scroll work in crimson and gold with alternate emblematic designs of crowns, crosses and keys." Peacock blue curtains embroidered with a large fleur-de-lys border completed the chancel improvements. This was done in Canon Robinson's absence, Canon Kemmis being in charge of the parish. The next year white and gold curtains for use at festivals were given.

In 1878, owing to a difference of opinion with Bishop Hale, the Rev. J. Sutton, incumbent of St. John's, absented himself from Synod without leave and did not make that church available for the usual Synod services so, in 1879, the Bishop held the opening Synod service at All Saints'. It took place at 11 a.m., being Matins followed by Holy Communion.

During this year All Saints' Sunday School was presented with a banner made by the Wantage Sisters, the subject being the Good Shepherd. This banner is still preserved.

In the photograph of the interior taken about 1870 there is faintly to be discerned a text painted above the chancel arch and it is more clearly to be seen in the more recent photographs for, in 1883, the Hon. J. R. Dickson paid for it to be re-illuminated.

The steady progress of the parish to a greater frequency of services is very apparent during these years. At least from 1885, Holy Communion was celebrated on all Holy Days as well as on Sundays. At the week day celebrations, Canon Robinson wore a set of white Gothic vestments, probably the first used in Queensland. Matins were still sung at 11 a.m., on Sundays, being followed once a month by Holy Communion. Evensong was said on Fridays and on Holy Days, but in 1887 daily Evensong became the rule and the following year Holy Communion was celebrated twice a month at 11 a.m., while in 1890 daily Matins were begun. The rector had a very busy time for, in addition to the services in the church, he held Sunday and weekday services at the Refuge, Turbot St. The Rev. A. Maclaren was a frequent preacher during his visits to Brisbane, first whilst he was rector of Mackay and later on his furloughs from New Guinea. The news of his death saddened the congregation for in him they had a very real friend.

During these years the Dedication Festival was kept on the Sunday nearest to All Saints' Day and on this and other festivals the choir would render such items as "The Daughter of Jairus," "The Crucifixion," and the "Messiah" and for this Canon Robinson had to bear much adverse criticism, principally that he was bringing the church too close to the music hall. With this view he strongly disagreed as he held that music rendered in church was an act of worship and had more power for good than most sermons. During Holy Week in each year the Rector held lantern services depicting the events of the Crucifixion and the effects of the seven deadly sins as an aid to individual preparation for Easter by the examination of conscience. He also regularly held preparation services for Holy Communion.

During Canon Robinson's incumbency the main changes were the building of the rectory and of the Schools, the institution of daily Matins and Evensong and of Choral. Eucharist twice monthly, and the stress laid on regular and frequent communions. During this time, Brisbane had so grown that from being one of the few, All Saints' had become one of the many metropolitan churches and, as the necessity for the active shaping of Diocesan policy diminished, it had wisely turned its energies towards the development of a deeper spirituality and a greater amount of activity within its own district although not neglectful of the needs of others, for it remained the largest single contributor to the Diocesan General Fund for Church pioneering work in the outlying districts as well as giving a yearly contribution to the Rev. A. A. Maclaren's mission station in New Guinea.

Project Canterbury