A Short History Of St George's Church And The Anglican Parish Of Waterloo Bay.
The Anglican Parish of The Redlands was established in 1874 and included the village of Birkdale. In the early 1920’s Birkdale parishioners began planning for their own church to be built on land donated by the Randall family.
In 1924 the Cleveland Parish Ladies Guild allocated funds which formed the basis of the Birkdale Church Building Fund.
Parishioners met on the 30th October 1934 and accepted the tender of J. Hutchinson for the sum of £750 ($1500) for the building of the church, this sum did not include furnishings etc. On the 25th November 1934 the Foundation Stone of the new church was blessed by Cannon Garland, and St George’s was dedicated on the 10th March 1935. Fr Hely-Wilson was at that time Rector of the Parish.
The following is an extract from the Redland Times of March, 1935.
“When addressing a large and representative gathering at St. George’s Anglican Church at Birkdale on Sunday afternoon after he had opened and dedicated the edifice, the Archbishop of Brisbane (Dr. Wand) said “You have completed one chapter in the great book you are writing and other chapters in the book of the Christian Church which you are inscribing by your acts are yet to be written. The Anglican Parish of the Redlands, founded more than 60 years ago, now possesses two churches almost at opposite ends of the district. Both have been built by pioneers and their descendants.
As the congregation increased a vestry was added to the church. Funds for the addition were donated by Mrs. Martha Alice Lawrence. The new vestry was blessed by Abp Halse on the 22nd of May 1956.
The construction of the hall commenced on 13th of October 1962 and on completion was officially opened on 18th of April 1964.
Thoughts now turned to extending the existing church and representations were made to the Diocese for financial assistance. On the 14th April 1966 permission was given by the Diocesan Property and Finance Board for an overdraft of $12000. The extensions were dedicated by Coadjutor Bp Hudson on the 12th June 1966 and consecrated on the 19th October 1966.
The Rectory was built in 1982 with funds gifted by the Diocese.
At its inception, St George’s was part of Cleveland Parish. As there were no permanent clergymen in the Birkdale area, services were conducted by visiting clergy from Cleveland. In 1936 thirty six (36) communion services were held with an average attendance of ten (10). The number of services gradually increased and today (2016) over 120 regular Holy Communion services are held and many Morning Prayer services are held during the week.
At St George’s worship structure includes traditional and family services each Sunday, with additional services at appropriate times, and morning prayer Tuesday to Saturday. There is an active congregation of approximately 150 parishioners with some 300 on the parish roll.
On Easter Day 1982 we became known as ‘The Mission District of Birkdale-Capalaba’, with The Rev. Keith Foote as ‘’Priest in Charge’. In 1989 Birkdale-Capalaba became a Parish in its own right renamed, “The Parish of Birkdale”, which included ‘St James’ Church at Wellington Point. On the 24th July 2005 Bp Ron Williams announced that the ‘Parish of Birkdale’ would in future be known as ‘The Anglican Parish Of Waterloo Bay’.
The Church Of The Resurrection’ at Alexandra Hills was built as an outreach of the Parish of Birkdale by the parishioners during the incumbency of The Rev John Abbott and dedicated by Abp Hollingworth on the 17th February 1992.
A Memorial Garden was established beside the rectory in 2000 whilst The Rev Graham Moore was the rector.
Our youth are a very important part of the parish and various activities for different age groups are a feature of the Youth Ministry.
Pastoral Care as an outreach is very strong as are the many home and family groups.
Maintenance of Church property is well catered for and in 2008 the ageing roof was renovated and a 20000 litre rain water tank (Qld Govt Water Wise Grant) has been installed so that our precious town water consumption can be reduced.
In 2002 The Rev Nicholas Whereat, became the rector of the parish. His pastoral nature, amazing love of God and His people endeared him to all. Nicholas was and is passionate about the development of lay ministry through Home Group formation which grew substantially under his leadership. He was instrumental in the re-naming of the parish from Birkdale to Waterloo Bay as an inclusive gesture for St James’ Wellington Point. He was an inaugural member of SAILS at Bayside ministry to “at risk” youth and still assists when available. Fr Nicholas was always keen to see new life in the parish and this resulted in the former Rectory becoming the Parish Ministry Centre for 3 years. Nicholas accepted a calling to the Parish of Aspley-Albany Creek late in 2014 and completed his current ministry at the end of 2014.
In the interim period, the Wardens and Parishioners have been very busy with replacing the asbestos roof on the Rectory and a major refurbishment of the interior.
Fr Scott Gunthorpe was commissioned in St George’s Church on Thursday 6th October 2015 by Bishop Alison Taylor.
In 2015 the asbestos roof on St George’s Hall was replaced in 2015, completing the major asbestos roof issues in the parish.
He is ably assisted in his new ministry by the Reverend Canon Sarah Leisemann, Rev’d Jim Cosgrove, Deacon John Bretz and retired clergy from within the area.
We are a very friendly Church and we would love to meet and welcome you and your family to St George’s.