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History

The history of the parish begins in 1889 when the Rev Manley Powers, Vicar of Christ Church, Milton, was asked by Bishop Webber to explore the possibilities of building up a congregation at New Farm, which had until then, formed part of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Fortitude Valley. A portion of farming land was purchased in Brunswick Street for £2,500, and on 6th June 1890, the first meeting of Church of England residents was held at the home of Mr. A.V. Drury, who afterwards became the first Churchwarden.

It was decided to proceed with the arrangements for the erection of a building to serve as a church, school, and hall. The building was completed in November 1890, but unfortunately burned to the ground almost at once. Another similar building was erected and dedicated by Archbishop Webber on 19th March 1891. The Rev. Manley Powers resigned from the Parish on 16th April 1893, and returned to England. 

The following years saw two short incumbencies, the Rev A.R. Rivers (1893-1894) and the Rev F. Anstruther Cardew (1895). On 7th July 1895 the Rev Walter Thompson took up the first part of an incumbency that would last over 40 years. In 1889 he left for England to study for his B.A. degree and returned to New Farm in 1901. The intervening years were guided by the Rev J. Auchinleck Ross (1898) and the Rev T.L. Jenkyn (1899-1901).

It was during the second part of Rev Walter Thompson incumbency (1901 - 1941) that the parish hall and rectory were built, and the construction of a permanent brick church was first mooted. Plans were drawn up and appeals launched in 1923. However, the vision gradually faded and the schemes dwindled away. After the elapse of another 34 years, the vision of a permanent church was fulfilled with Archbishop Reginald Halse laying the foundation stone of the present church at Michaelmas 1957. 

The Rev E.H. Smithy became Rector in 1942 and utilizing his many talents was able to consolidate the life of the parish and pave the way for the coming in 1945 of the very enthusiastic Rev Cecil Brook. During Rev Brook’s ministry additional property was purchased in Balfour Street, and a new brick hall was constructed, on top of which the old wooden church was placed to make way for the new brick church. His unexpected death in 1955 was a great blow and was felt by all parishioners with the poignancy of a personal loss.

On Palm Sunday 1952 (22nd March), Archbishop Halse dedicated the new church in the name of Saint Michael and All Angels and “In recognition of the Service and Sacrifice of the Men and Women of New Farm in the World Wars”. The church was consecrated by Archbishop Felix Arnott on 8th December 1974.

The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw great changes in New Farm in the form of urban renewal. Old buildings gave way to apartments, cafés, restaurants, and galleries. New Farm became highly sought after for inner city living. However, low cost housing remains as do numerous hostels, nursing homes and welfare services.

In the midst of the many changes over the past 100 years St. Michael’s continues to witness to the love of God, and remain hopeful and open to the future.

List of Incumbents:

1893                The Rev Manley Powers
1893-94 The Rev A.R. Rivers
1895                The Rev F. Anstruther Cardew
1895-98 The Rev Walter Thompson
1898                The Rev J. Auchinleck Ross
1899-1901 The Rev T.J. Jenkyn
1901-1941 The Rev Walter Thompson
1942-45 The Rev E.H. Smith
1945-55 The Rev Cecil Brook
1955-59 The Rev C.W. Smythe
1959-1968 The Rev Des Williams
1968-85 The Rev Ken Lashford
1985-90 The Rev Bill Carter
1990-99 The Rev Jack Phillips
2000- The Ven Olaf Anderson