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5 Standout Features of the Ithaca Presbyterian Church

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by Gillian Ching (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane who loves exploring quirky places with my dog. Join me on my quest to find, experience, and share fun things to do and interesting places to go.Please like, share and subscribe if you enjoy the articles.
Published June 3rd 2022
Historic, Gothic Style Brisbane Church
Brisbane's Red Hill is home to two historical Presbyterian churches which have served the community since the 1800s and remain historical monuments to the area and the city with several unique features. Here's why:

The Ithaca Presbyterian Church is located at Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill, just 4 kilometres from the Brisbane Central Business District. The street is the gateway to the boutiques and cafes of Paddington and runs parallel to a main entry point to the Central Business District.

Of course, the church is a place of solemn worship and that in itself makes it important, but there are also some other qualities about its present and its past which make it standout as one of Brisbane's most loved buildings.

So, just what are some of the things that make this church standout? Let's take a look.

The church is heritage listed
Well, to start with, The Ithaca Presbyterian Church is a Queensland Heritage Listed Building. If you explore the site closely, you may come across a memorial headstone commemorating Reverend James Gibson, who died in 1942 and was instrumental in the creation of the church.

Brisbane City Council records that in April 1922, the congregation of the Church, under the stewardship of Rev James Gibson, established a building fund to erect a church which they hoped would be "a credit to the Presbyterian Church, not only of Brisbane or Queensland, but of Australia". So it is fitting that he is remembered at the site he worked hard to create and his contribution have a lasting memory for future visitors.

The building is designed in the Gothic style
The gothic style of architecture often features several architectural elements such as large stained glass windows, pointed arches, rib vaults, flying buttresses, and ornate decoration.

I particularly like the big, red wooden doors which provide the strong entry to the church.

The site has spectacular city views
While the front of the church is indeed striking and bold, the back of the building is equally impressive but for different reasons. You see, if you wander down the slight slope of the concreted driveway to behind the church, you will be met by some of the most commanding views of the Brisbane CBD.

From here you can see Suncorp Stadium (nicknamed The Cauldron), the home of key sporting and entertainment events including Brisbane Broncos home games, the State of Origin and the NRLs' magic round of all team games.

But it's hard to escape the statuesque commercial and residential skyscrapers of the city centre. It is a special space to see yearly fireworks like the Brisbane Riverfire and New Years' Eve celebrations.

The site has also hosted Christmas Carols in the Carpark in past years.

The name Ithaca is no longer a suburb of Brisbane
Ithaca was once a distinct and separate suburb of Brisbane. Since 1975, Ithaca has been designated a neighbourhood within the suburb of Red Hill, however, the church has retained its original suburban reference.

Other remaining buildings like the Ithaca Creek State School have also kept the name.

It replaces the original church
The original Ithaca Presbyterian Church was designed to hold up to 270 people, and the first church assembly, conducted by Reverend C McCulloch, was held on Sunday 6 December 1885.

Photo courtesy Brisbane City Council

The original church was much smaller and less grand but remains standing on the corner of Surrey Street and 78 Enoggera Terrace Red Hill. Local builder E. Farris of Wellington Road, Red Hill constructed the church at a cost of 250.

The church moved to the present site at 100 Enoggera Terrace when the new church was constructed in 1928/29.

So the next time you are looking to explore some unique pieces of local history, why not check out the Ithaca Presbyterian Church to experience a part of our past and a continuing piece of our present.
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Why? Historic Brisbane church
When: Services on Sunday at 9:30am
Where: 100 Enoggera Terrace, Red HIll
Cost: Free
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