Our History

Sherwood Uniting Church (706 Sherwood Rd)

In 1913 a decision was made to build a new church due to the growth of the congregation and the need for a better location.

A 60-perch site on Sherwood Road was selected and the foundation stone of the Sherwood Methodist church was laid by the Queensland Premier, D.F. Denham on 13 June 1914. A bottle containing historical Church documents was placed beneath the foundation stone. In a departure from normal building techniques, the new church was built with reinforced concrete. A contract for its construction was let to engineer Walter Taylor for £1109. It was built to a design lent to Taylor by a friend. Walter Taylor had studied re-inforced concrete construction in England between 1902-12. When he returned to Australia he began contract work, initially specialising in this type of construction. Taylor was also a stalwart member of the Methodist Church and for over fifty years was involved in its hierarchy.

The Brisbane Courier of 14 September 1914, described the church as

a handsome structure of reinforced concrete, [it] is 60ft by 35ft, and has an open red tiled porch of 20ft by 10ft. The roof is red tiled and there are three coloured glass windows on each side of the building. The interior of the walls is shaded light green, and there is a handsome raised pulpit.

The church was designed to seat 350 people (doubtful) but a part of it was initially partitioned, forming two vestries. According to the Daily Mail, the church was surrounded by an ornate and substantial fence erected by members of the Circuit at no cost.

A hall was built in 1918, and subsequently extended in 1933.

In 1977, when the Uniting Church was formed by the amalgamation of Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, the church became known as the Sherwood Uniting Church. It continues to serve the local Uniting Church community.

The Uniting Church, Sherwood Road, Sherwood, is a place of cultural heritage significance. It has aesthetic, historic and social significance for past, present and future generations and satisfies one or more of the criteria utilised in the assessment of local heritage significance:

Sherwood Uniting Church, Brisbane City Council Heritage Unit

This place of worship is significant:

  • as it reflects the determination of a very willing band of local workers to establish and maintain a church to cater for the spiritual needs of families living in the Sherwood area and for the evidence it provides about the development of the Sherwood area to 1914;
  • as a site of non-conformist observance since 1914 and for the evidence it provides of the importance attached to both religious observance and religious education in Sunday schools by the non conformist community;
  • for its connection to an important part of the lives of the successive generations who have worshipped there since 1914 and the lives of the generations of children who attended Sunday School there;
  • for its contribution to the non-conformist communities in the southern suburbs such as Annerley which formed part of the Sherwood circuit from 1913;
  • as a rare example of a small, Gothic style reinforced concrete church, built in the 1910s;
  • as an example of the work of the prominent engineer, Walter Taylor, who constructed the building;
  • for its contribution to the streetscape of Sherwood Road;
  • as part of a group of buildings which includes the Hall (1936) which was originally part of the Sherwood Uniting Church, Oxley Road.

Chapel Gardens (36 Primrose St)

In 1989, Church Elder Colin Fenwick was reported as stating that “it was likely that the church would be demolished in the forseeable future”, however redevelopment of the site for aged-care units has seen the retention of the church as a chapel.

Chapel Gardens, Brisbane City Council Heritage Unit

Reference: Brisbane City Council, Heritage Unit
A Heritage Study BRISBANE PLACES OF WORSHIP Pre 1940, Volume 2 (1996)
Heritage Unit, Department of Development and Planning, Brisbane City

Sherwood Uniting Church - Then
Sherwood Uniting Church - Now

Download Sherwood Uniting Church – 100 Years of History (1914 – 2014)    (PDF – 4MB)