Chapel centenary

Chapel centenary

On 4 May 1924, our school chapel was officially consecrated by Archbishop Gerald Sharpe. On Saturday 4 May, we commemorated this occasion, giving thanks for the chapel life of our school throughout the last 100 years.

Rev’d Canon Sarah Plowman, a former associate Chaplain at Churchie and bishop-elect, gave the address. Sarah shared her experience of the chapel, saying:

What has always struck me about this space is that it is not formed by mere bricks and mortar, wood and glass, but it is a space shaped and made holy by the prayers of the many thousands of souls who have passed through these doors and sat on these pews. There is a special spirit about a school chapel that goes beyond being a place for ceremony and ritual. It’s a place for honesty and vulnerability, to bring hopes and dreams.

During the service, we gave thanks for the fabric of the chapel, the symbols and gifts that are used to bring God closer to God’s people. We prayed for the generations of staff and old boys and their families who have sat in the pews and celebrated baptism, confirmation, marriage and life’s end in our chapel. We sang hymns of praise and remembered the life of Canon Jones, a pioneer priest in Queensland, and his friendship with our founder Canon Morris.

Rev’d Sarah concluded her address with these words:

Gathering people in places like this chapel is important, not just because of the building itself and what it represents, Christ at our centre, but because of the community that is built here, the friendships cemented and the shared spirit of service that is proclaimed here. I have no doubt that many boys have brought their dreams and aspirations to God here in prayer, as well as their troubles and trials and their desperate pleas. The chapel itself may be a touching place, a thin place where the prayers of thousands have made it holy, but the rock of Christ on which our faith is founded is bigger and broader than this place and may be found wherever faithful people put their trust and hope, their dreams and vulnerabilities into the hands of God who cannot be contained in four walls or even by time and space. The rock on which we build our faith is deeper and broader than we can imagine.

It is my prayer today that the wise and faithful friendship between Canon Jones and Canon Morris may be for us a reminder of the value of mentors and friends, and of the way in which God’s presence is found in a circle of friends as much as in the hallowed space of this Chapel. May this space, and the beautiful items contained within it, serve as a reminder of the love of God which cannot be contained, and of the faithful prayers of those who have gathered here in the past, and of all those who will gather here in faith for another century or more. In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who is the rock on which our faith is built. Amen.

The Rev’d Sharon Mitchell
Senior Chaplain