Christ Church Anglican Group | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Christ Church Anglican Group

Item details

Name of item: Christ Church Anglican Group
Type of item: Complex / Group
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -35.3548218843 Long: 149.2375372530
Primary address: Rutledge Street, Queanbeyan, NSW 2620
Parish: Queanbeyan
County: Murray
Local govt. area: Queanbeyan
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Ngambri
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT1 DP199191
LOT2 DP199191
LOT3 DP199191
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Rutledge StreetQueanbeyanQueanbeyanQueanbeyanMurrayPrimary Address
Collett StreetQueanbeyanQueanbeyanQueanbeyanMurrayAlternate Address
CNR Rutledge StreetQueanbeyanQueanbeyanQueanbeyanMurrayDuplicate Address
CNR Collett StreetQueanbeyanQueanbeyan  Duplicate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
Anglican Church Property TrustReligious Organisation26 Mar 99

Statement of significance:

The Church is an important landmark within a group of public buildings in the centre of Queanbeyan. It represents a consolidation of the city centre and of the Anglican faith in the region. The Hall is important for its contribution to historic streetscapes and the application of technical details such as cement render and locally (Canberra) made bricks. Its use as a community facility forms a basis for sentimental attachments to the building. (Branch Managers Report to the Heritage Council 26 September 1980)
Date significance updated: 05 Oct 00
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Construction years: 1927-1928
Physical description: The Christ Church Group consists:
a)a fine Gothic Revival Church
b) a rectory,
c) stable and
d) school houses.

The precinct covers an area of about 1 hectare and is a picturesque landmark in Queanbeyan.

The Church is a fine example of a Gothic Revival. It has a cruciform plan with a tower and broached spire at the west end. The walls are of rock faced random stone with dressed quoins and window surrounds. A shingle roof was replaced by iron about 1890. This church was built to replace the earlier one now used as a Sunday School.

The original church building is a simple, small building of stone rubble construction with a gabled iron roof. It was consecrated in 1845 and is reported to be the oldest known building in Queanbeyan. (Branch Managers Report to the Heritage Council 26 September 1980)
Date condition updated:03 Oct 00
Modifications and dates: 1983 - approval for maintenance and restoration
1987 - approval to install a pair of pictorial stained glass windows, replacing a pair of lead-lighted cathedral glass windows in the central north side.
1991 - replacement of part of the floor of the church and electrical re-wiring.
Current use: Church
Former use: Church


Historical notes: Alberto Dies Soares, Anglican Minister to Queanbeyan from 1857 to 1877, was born on November 26, 1830, the fifth child of His Excellency, Manoel Joachim Soares, Knight Commander of the Cross of Christ in Portugal, and Camilla Mary Basset Lodington. His father was Portuguese and his mother English.

Alberto received a sound education at Stoke, Newington, Mercantile & London University schools. He studied in Oporto, Portugal and at the Putney College of Civil Engineers before finishing in Paris France.

In 1852, Alberto sailed for Australia where he had an appointment with the New South Wales Railways as Engineer. En route he decided not to take up his position but to study for the Ministry instead. Following three years of study he became an ordained Minister of the Church of England and was appointed to Collector, New South Wales as Assistant to the Rev Robert Cartwright in 1855. The following year be became Deacon at Collector.

In 1857 Alberto married Catherine Lane of Orton Park, Bathurst and on 18 May of that year he was transferred to Queanbeyan as the Parish Priest. Christ Church in those days was a small building, measuring a mere 44 feet by 24 feet. It had been opened for worship on Christmas Day 1844 on the same site where Christ Church now stands; it was not consecrated however, until the Bishop of Australia, Bishop William Grant Broughton, officiated at the ceremony on 8 March 1845, just four days before he consecrated the Church of St John the Baptist, Canberra. A rather insignificant street, Broughton Place, in Queanbeyan commemorates the Bishop’s visit.

A report in the Goulburn Herald dated 14 September 1859, stated that the old Church of England, Queanbeyan, had been razed to the ground and that a new building was rapidly being erected. Soares, an accomplished architect, set about to design a new church

The Rev Soares, whilst preparing the design and drawings, constructed a small scale model of his church-to-be. Although without its spire, the opening service at the new Christ church was held on 7 October, 1860, with the sum of 860 pounds still owing. The 'Golden Age’ dated 15 September 1860 stated that the opening service took place at 11 am on Sunday 7 October. The same paper of 13 October 1860, indicated that Rev D Spares preached from Zachariah 4:6, whilst at the evening services, the Rev PG Smith from Canberra, read from Corinthians 6:16. The sum of 43 pounds was collected at the opening services. On 2nd March 1861 the spire was completed by the contractors, McLean and Ross at a cost of 336 pounds

The new church wee finally consecrated by the Bishop of Sydney on 30 October, 1861. The contract to build the church was granted to Daniel Jordan. His son Thomas Jordan made the pews. The cost of the church was 4,300 pounds, whilst subscriptions and donations totalled 4,498 pounds. During the month of the opening, tiers of stepping stones, each weighing from 10 to 15 cwt, were laid across the river from the foot of Rutledge Street to where the Severne Flour Mill once stood, thus giving access to residents of Dodsworth and Irish Town to Christ Church School which had been built in 1843. The Rev Soares met the cost of these stepping stones which were obtained from a source some three miles away and laid by Mr M O'Keefe.

Soares' other architectural achievement following his arrival in Queanbeyan was the beautiful Gothic Church of St Philip's at Bungendore; its foundation stone was laid In 1864. Next followed St Paul's at Burra which resulted from the initiative of Alberto's brother, the Rev Gualter Soares, who was a catechist and a schoolmaster at the Christ Church schoolhouse; St Paul's foundation stone was laid on 12 December 1867. After designing St Mark's at Hoskintown, in 1872 he designed the chancery and extensions to the nave In the church of St John the Baptist, Canberra. He then proceeded with St Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Queanbeyan, (1872); St.Thomas', Carwoola (Molonglo 1874). Next followed the Protestant Hall in Crawford Street which was opened in May 1877. Soares also re-designed the Queanbeyen Rectory and in 1865 was responsible for the brick addition to the old stone schoolhouse which still stands.

In 1877, after 20 years ministering in the Queanbeyan parish, Soares was transferred to Goulburn Cathedral and later became the Diocesan Architect. He was responsible for more then 35 Churches, schools and parsonages in the diocese of Goulburn.

Soares and his wife had five children, three girls and two boys. His first son Alberto died in 1860 as an infant and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery; his second son, also named Alberto, died at the age of 25 with no issue. Soares’ father died in London in 1863 at the age of 37 and a brother Augusto died at the same time in London, aged 4. Soares died in 1909 at the age of 79 and is buried in the Waverley Cemetery.

In January 1978, vandals tried to burn down the church, but only the vestry door and a portion of the floor were destroyed. (The History of an Anglican Minister, Rex L Cross on behalf of the Queanbeyan Historical Society)

In 1978 the Heritage Branch was advised by the Queanbeyan and District Historical Museum Society that a building application had been approved by Queanbeyan Council for the construction of a large and unsympathetic church hall on part of the site of Christ Church. The construction would involve the demolition of the original school and church buildings.

To enable guidance for the erection of a more sympathetically designed hall and control over the restoration of the school houses and stables, an Interim Conservation Order was made over the property on 24th November 1978. The placement of the order halted the development plans.

A Permanent Conservation Order was placed over the property on 11th February 1983.

In 1991 through the Heritage Assistance program a $ for $ grant was provided to assist in the replacement of part of the floor of the church and electrical re-wiring.

The PCO listing was transferred to the State Heritage Register on 2nd April 1999.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
2. Peopling-Peopling the continent Ethnic influences-Activities associated with common cultural traditions and peoples of shared descent, and with exchanges between such traditions and peoples. (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Social institutions-Activities and organisational arrangements for the provision of social activities (none)-
9. Phases of Life-Marking the phases of life Persons-Activities of, and associations with, identifiable individuals, families and communal groups (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
The Church is an important landmark within a group of public buildings in the centre of Queanbeyan. It represents a consolidation of the city centre, and the Anglican faith in the region. (Branch Managers Report to the Heritage Council 26 September 1980)
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
The Hall is important for its contribution to historic streetscapes and the application of technical details such as cement render and locally (Canberra) made bricks. (Branch Managers Report to the Heritage Council 26 September 1980)
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
Its use as a community facility forms a basis for sentimental attachments to the building. (Branch Managers Report to the Heritage Council 26 September 1980)
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0004302 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0004311 Feb 83 28 

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Written 1980Branch Managers Report to the Heritage Council 26 September 1980
WrittenJohn Armes1999NSW State Heritage Inventory Form
WrittenRex L. Cross The History of an Anglican Minister

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez rez rez rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045730
File number: S90/04579 & HC 32123

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.