One of Queensland’s last remaining churches with a cemetery attached, Pioneers’ Chapel on Wynnum Road at Tingalpa, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this weekend.
Now a popular Brisbane wedding and special events venue, the chapel was consecrated on October 27, 1868 but the “bush cathedral” was demolished by a cyclone in 1886. The present chapel was built using salvaged materials.
Australian Heritage Specialists Principal Consultant Benjamin Gall is a life member of the Friends of Tingalpa Cemetery Heritage Group and has been volunteering his time to help preserve the chapel and cemetery for the past decade.
Mr Gall said the 150th anniversary was a particularly important celebration to the Group as the chapel was proposed for demolition in the 1990s to have a factory built over the top of the graves as well as having the chapel demolished.
“Whilst the Anglican Church no longer uses the church for liturgical purposes, it is frequented by weddings and events – a beautiful oasis in the middle of Wynnum Road, Tingalpa,” Mr Gall said.
“I am proud to have assisted with the master planning of the site, including preparing a Conservation Management Plan, which allowed for the reopening of the graveyard in 2016, on behalf of the Friends and the Anglican Church, who retain ownership of the site.
“Burials plots can once again be purchased through the Group and these now include ash burials in formalised gardens – meaning the cemetery now also has an important role for local families in present times.”
Some of the area’s earliest pioneers are buried in the cemetery, including Wynnum/Manly settlers who were originally part of Tingalpa parish.
For more information on the Pioneers’ Chapel, visit www.pioneerweddingchapel.com.
Australian Heritage Specialists is an industry leader in the preparation of heritage management advice for cemeteries, monuments, memorials and cenotaphs, and delivers a range of heritage services including heritage assessments, heritage architecture, archaeology and Aboriginal heritage.