In the year 2016 parishioners of St Andrew’s Anglican Parish of Lutwyche celebrated the culmination of 150 years of faith and witness. Although St Andrew’s Church at Lutwyche in its present form dates from 1926, an Anglican church has stood on the site at 673 Lutwyche Road since 1866.
The existence of a church in this place is due to the benevolence of Judge Alfred James Peter Lutwyche who was the first Supreme Court Judge at Moreton Bay from 21 February 1859 and also the zeal of The Reverend James Matthews, Rector of the Parish of Holy Trinity in Fortitude Valley who began the building of much-needed churches in the outlying areas of Brisbane..
Situated approximately two hundred metres uphill from Kedron Brook and set back from the now busy Lutwyche Road, the land was originally purchased as a 47 acre lot by George and John Harris on 5 April, 1859. It was subdivided into once acre lots of which Judge Lutwyche purchased subdivision 16 of the original portion 195 on 12 January 1864. The Judge donated this block to the Church in 1865 in response to the unanimous decision by residents to build a church near Kedron Brook. On St Andrew’s Day (30 November) 1866 a Gothic-Style wooden church was opened, free of debt, due to public subscription.
On 1 December 1866 the Brisbane Courier newspaper described the original St Andrew’s Anglican Church at Lutwyche as being “comfortably accommodating 133 persons with the architect [Richard George Suter 1827-1874) endeavouring to produce, as far as the material at his disposal would permit, a building which should remind those who frequent it of the quiet English village church and at the same time prove the possibility of coming ecclesiastical character with the use of common everyday materials.”
Judge Lutwyche, who was an active and benevolent lay member died on 12 June 1880 and he requested burial in the grounds of St Andrew’s Church and left 100 pounds for the upkeep of his grave. A Celtic cross was erected as the headstone by his widow the grave remains a feature of the churchyard, located on the southern side of the Church. Generous to the end, James Lutwyche gave an acre of land adjoining the Church grounds to the parish for a parsonage.
By 1923 it was recognized that increased accommodation with a new church was required. Mr Louis R. Williams of Melbourne was appointed architect on the advice of the Bishop of Bathurst. The foundation stone was laid for the new Church on St Andrew’s Day 1925 with the Church being opened on 8 August 1926 by the Bishop of Brisbane, Bishop Le Fanu in the presence of the Governor-General Lord Stonehaven and Lady Stonehaven and crowd of over 2000 people.
The completed exterior includes a Church tower and clock. St Andrew’s Lutwyche is one of the few Churches in Brisbane to house 13 bells and the Church is well known in the local community for its beautiful bell ringing. The peel of bells was dedicated on 20 November 1927 made by the English bell-founders John Taylor and Co. at the famous Loughborough Bell Foundry.
The stained glass windows that date from the original church depict the natures of Christ; the Evangelists; the Blessed Virgin Mary; Sts. Andrew, Alban, Augustine, David, George and St. Clare. Memorials such as that for Captain Claude and Mrs Whish, early benefactors, who died when the RMS ‘Quetta’ sank on the Great Barrier Reef in February 1890 are featured within the Church. A banner from the original church in 1866 which was used in street parades is displayed above the original font in the baptistery.
As the parish continued to grow, the Church was extended again in the 1960’s when the present sanctuary was added approximately doubling the size of the Church. Incorporated in the front left pillar at this time was some Caerbwdi stone from St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, dating from 1180CE.
In October 2016 St Andrew’s celebrated 150 years of faith in a variety of ways. A Celebration Eucharist with Bishop Godrey Fryar as Celebrant and Preacher was held Sunday 30 October at 9:00am with over 200 people in attendance. A Celebration Anniversary Fete was held on 22 October and a Hymm Fest was held on 3 September.