The present St. Brigid’s Church, in Matthew Street, Rosewood, was built in 1909-10, and replaced an earlier timber building. The new church building was designed by Father Horan of Ipswich, who also funded the cost of the building’s foundations. Construction was supervised by R.J. Murphy, a local builder and contractor, with much of the labour, material and expertise being willingly donated by local residents.
Prior to the building of this Catholic Church building at Rosewood, services were initially conducted in the private homes of various local people, but also were later held in a room at the local hotel. A link with this early church history in Rosewood is provided in the form of an altar table in the present church, which is said to have been used in some of the first services in Rosewood, coming from one of the early settlers’ homes.
St. Brigid’s Church was opened on 13 February 1910 by Bishop Duhig. It contains a number of notable features including stained glass windows by R.S. Exton of Brisbane and flanking murals by the well known Queensland artist William Bustard. A number of other artistic features are contained within the church, adding to its overall historical importance and it remains one of the largest timber churches in Queensland. The church has undergone various changes and renovations during the more than 100 years that it has stood. These include the removal of altar rail gates, repainting, the replacement of the roof as well as external landscaping.
This image, dating from 1910, may show the Church’s actual opening day visitors.
In acknowledgement of St. Brigid’s important place in the history of Rosewood as well as Ipswich itself, it is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Brian Randall, Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland.