HISTORY OF ST PAUL’S ROMA
From April to October, guided tours or access to the Church for viewing the windows is possible on Tuesdays only (9:30am-11:30am) for visitors and locals to learn more about this magnificent building. This living house of worship with its inspiring leadlight and stained glass windows, magnificent timbers, pipe organ, history and atmosphere, delights everyone who steps inside the building.
Sometimes we accept what we see around us without knowing how and why it all began, therefore the parish invites all to enjoy some facts of St Paul’s history.
- The first Anglican church in Roma was constructed from wood and opened on 17th October 1875, costing 1,200 pounds. This building, which seated about 200 parishioners, outgrew its congregation around 1910. The present church was built between 1913 and 1915, but due to financial problems the bell tower and the plastering of the arches and pillars were not completed until the 1960’s.
- Approximately 16,000 concrete blocks, made with two block making machines imported from the USA, form the construction of the building. One of these machines could make 100 blocks a day, and is on display.
- The oldest windows date back to 1876, and the latest 2006. Ten windows were removed from the first church with three of these shipped out from England. The other 26 stained glass and 11 leadlight windows have been designed and constructed in Australia.
- The tiles on the roof are from France. They landed into Brisbane Port in late 1890 and are called Marseille tiles, with a symbol of a lion on the back.
- The magnificent timbers in the roof are Oregon and Hoop Pine, and the floor is made from Crows Ash and Huon Pine. The majority of the pews are constructed from Queensland Silky Oak.
- The High Altar and Pulpit were constructed in Little Roma Street Brisbane. The Sandstone is of a fine grain buff and was sourced from a quarry at Ravensfield near Maitland NSW.
- The Lectern was purchased from England in 1888 and is solid brass. It was in the first church.
- The Font was also in the first church.
- The Pipe Organ was installed in 1928 by Whitehouse Brothers, Brisbane at a cost of 1,288 pounds and has 567 pipes.
- A Carillon was installed in 1955 and on a clear morning can be heard for 10 kilometres (6 miles).