Happenings at the Old Friary

Covid-19 and the Old Friary

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Old Friary - like other Anglican properties - was closed to the public until August 2020. However, the Old Friary has reopened, albeit with a Covid'safe plan in place.

Chapel services have begun again at 5:30 pm on Sunday evenings

Bookings are again available for community groups and events, managed by the Ministry Education Commission (MEC).  Please phone Linda on 3514 7424 or email:  LBurridge@ministryeducation.org.au.  

Old Friary to be sold

As many will now know, the Anglican Church Southern Queensland has decided to sell the Old Friary to Uniting Care, the current owners of Iona, the Blue Care Retirement and Aged Care facility next door.  We thank all of those people who contributed to the community debate around this issue and we believe that this debate has helped to make the conditions of this sale the best outcome that could have been achieved.

We understand that Uniting Care intend to use the Old Friary land to extend Iona to become a much larger facility, including the building of a multitude of independent living units. Importantly, they intend to upgrade the three heritage buildings on the site so that they can continue to be used by the broader community. 

It is our sincere hope that Uniting Care will do their utmost to preserve the heritage value and spiritual character of the Old Friary, so that its role in the community, while transformed, will continue in a meaningful way in perpetuity.  

We understand that the sale is likely to be effected in May 2021 so in the meantime, community use of the Old Friary is still possible. Chapel services are anticipated to continue albeit with Covid-19 restrictions for the time being.

To gain more insight into the character of the Old Friary, please see our Photo Gallery page.

Short history of the Friary in the Diocese   Fr Robert Bates, an Anglican priest and Franciscan, purchased the site in 1932, so the Old Friary has been in Anglican hands for almost a century. In 1955, Fr Bates bequeathed it to the Archbishop of the day.  Based on Franciscan values, the site has been used to care for others:  aged men (1932-4), as a school for orphaned or disadvantaged boys (1934-1955), for Comrades or St George and youth camps (1956-1964), as a Friary for the Franciscan order (1965-1987) whose outreach to the marginalised was notable, for contemplative use by many as the Centre for Spirituality including school retreats, and used by groups and others from within the wider community.

Current value of the Old Friary for the local community  The Old Friary is widely used by many community groups, being one of few suitable sites within the Kenmore area.  Not only is it an economical venue for local organisations, it is also a key element in the collective memories of people in the district, especially stemming from the time of the Franciscan Friars, where it was open to the community for many events including their famous Friary Fayres and Pottery.. 

For more historical information please see our "About the Old Friary" page.


Quiet Morning - Saturday, 10th October 2020, 9.30 am to 12.45 pm in the Old Friary Chapel.  

This quiet morning is the last of three Patrick Oliver sessions, two of which were successfully held in the chapel prior to the coronavirus lock down.  It will be conducted under the Old Friary’s Covid-safe plan.  Morning tea will be provided.  All are welcome.

Christmas Eve 2020

Our Christmas Eve celebration will take place on Thursday, 24 December 2020.  It begins with Port-n-Pud at 10 pm in St Christopher's Lodge followed by an Old Friary-style Sung Eucharist in the chapel at 11 pm.  The service will be led by our new Chaplain, Reverend Sandra Kjellgren.  All are welcome so please join us!

Folk at the Friary

Usually FATF is an eclectic mix of folk, blues, choirs, traditional music or the many talents we have been able to bring to the Friary for all of us to enjoy.  The last Folk at the Friary took place on the  27th October 2018 commencing at 6.30 with Chalk Board and food. We hope that as Covid-19 is rolled back, there will be time for at least one more FATF.

2018 Events

November and December

Art Show November:  "BrizArt"

The Annual Brizart art show is to be held at the Old Friary on Saturday 24th -Sun 25th November.  BrizArt are faithful exhibitors at the Old Friary and this exhibition gives students a chance to showcase their work in a fun environment.  It's a busy and enjoyable weekend for all concerned.  As a bonus, background music will be supplied by Ian Dearden and friends.  More to come.

Advent Retreat - 30 Nov to 2 Dec

...at the Old Friary with Brother Howard, Little Brothers of Francis, Tabulam, NSW

The retreat will be held from the evening of Friday 30 November 2018 until the afternoon of Sunday 2 December

Registrations close Wednesday 15 November

Cost:  Weekend $250pp or Saturday only $100pp 

Please note that limited accommodation is available at the Old Friary.  Billeting is an option or you are welcome to bring caravans or tents.  Please advise your accommodation requirements when booking.

"The Advent Art Show"

All welcome!

Each year at the start of Advent, Brisbane artists group "Visionaries" exhibited paintings with an Advent theme.  While Visionaries won't be there this year, other artists are coming forward to make sure the Advent theme is continued.  We welcome everyone who would like to see a varied series of interpretations on this perennial theme.  Details to come.

Adoration of the Shepherds: David Binns

Recent events

Land for Wildlife Art Exhibition

In September the Old Friary hosted an art exhibition by Land for Wildlife.