150th Anniversary of the Dedication of St Mark's Anglican Church, Warwick
Member for Southern Downs, Mr James Lister MP; Archbishop of Brisbane, His Grace the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall; Rector of Warwick and Archdeacon of Cunningham, Anglican Parish of Warwick, the Venerable Rodney Winterton; Mayor, Southern Downs Regional Council, Councillor Tracy Dobie; Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I pause first to acknowledge the traditional custodians of Warwick, and extend my respect to their Elders.
It is Kaye’s and my very great pleasure to be here with you for this momentous milestone in the life of the Church on the Darling Downs.
Both physically and spiritually, St Marks is at the very heart of Warwick.
For those arriving or transiting by bus, St Mark’s is the first sight to greet them – and if they are lucky, they might wander across the road to St Mark’s and smell the beautiful roses out the front.
The roses stand near the place where the ceremony was held 150 years ago to dedicate the new church to the glory of God.
On that occasion, as the procession made its way to the foundation stone, the choir sang the Te Deum. It is testimony to the endurance of faith, that a hymn which was written in the fourth century on the other side of the world, would be present at the planting of a new church in a new colony.
The history of the Anglican Church in our State is twinned with that of Queensland itself.
When rumours began that a new colony was to be established, separate from New South Wales, steps were taken to have the new colony formed into a new diocese.
Approval was given for the establishment of a Bishopric, and so both the Colony of Queensland and the Bishopric were constituted on June the 6th, 1859.
On the same day the Moreton Bay Courier announced the appointment of Sir George Ferguson Bowen as Governor of the new colony it was announced that 'the long-promised Bishop' would be the Reverend Edward Wyndham Tufnell, Prebendary of Salisbury Cathedral.
During the dedication service 150 years ago, Bishop Tufnell concluded by saying that he hoped, “blessings untold would arise to those who might come after them”. I respectfully echo those sentiments, and I thank you all so much for inviting Kaye and me to be present at your joyous celebrations.