Christmas Eve Eucharist at the Friary - all welcome

Port & pudding 6pm 24th December, Eucharist 7pm (details below) 

Photo: © Bernice Ross 2023

Happenings at the Old Friary

139 Brookfield Road, Kenmore Hills, Queensland 


Chapel Worship 5:30 Sunday evenings

Taize / Eucharist / Celtic contemplation / Agape shared meal

Please see "Community" page for details

Sale of Old Friary 

The Old Friary, the beautiful property at Kenmore Hills, which was of enormous historical and spiritual significance to the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane, and to the broader community, was sold to Uniting Care to complement their adjoining Iona Retirement Village and residential aged care facility. The property ownership was transferred in June 2021. Importantly, special conditions of the sale were intended to ensure that the Old Friary remains a community-focused heritage oasis into the future.  

One significant benefit is that worship is allowed to continue in the Chapel, for the time being under the protectorship of the Anglican Parish of Kenmore/Brookfield.  Worship therefore continues to be held on Sunday evenings at 5.30 pm in the Chapel of St Mary, St Francis and St Clare.    

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, the intention is 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.  

Heritage Listed   In 2017, Brisbane City Council acknowledged the historical significance of the Old Friary Complex [St Christopher’s Lodge (large house), St Clare’s Cottage and the Chapel] by including it on their heritage register.  Set amongst 2.6 hectares (6.5 acres) of parkland in Kenmore Hills, this significant property has been a place of spiritual nurture and sanctuary for decades. 

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

Short history of the Friary in the Anglican Diocese    Fr Robert Bates, an Anglican priest and Franciscan, purchased the site in 1932, so the Old Friary was in Anglican hands for ninety years. 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, then for contemplative use by many during the Centre for Spirituality time which included school retreats, quiet days and workshops as well as being used by the wider community.

Current value of the Old Friary for the local community   In the past, the Old Friary was widely used by many community groups, being one of few suitable sites within the Kenmore area.  Not only was it an economical venue for local organisations, it was 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 as well as its Pottery. It is to be hoped that Uniting Care will continue to use the heart of the site to engage with the broader community.

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

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Past Events at Old Friary

Labyrinth Workshop held 23 July 2023


EASTER 2023 

GOOD FRIDAY 7 APRIL 2.30 pm 

A service of Veneration of the Cross with a Reflection on 7 words from the Cross

EASTER DAY 9 APRIL 5.30 pm 

Easter Day Eucharist 

Reverend Sandra Kjellgren to officiate

(Parking Available on site)

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Christmas Eve - Saturday, 24th December 2022 - You are invited to Port-n-Pud at 6.00 pm followed by a Christmas Eve Eucharist at 7.00 pm celebrated by the Reverend Sandra Kjellgren. 

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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.

DAVID BINNS MEMORIAL LECTURE 

Wednesday, 25th October 2017 – 7 PM

in the Chapel at the Old Friary


Lecturer:  Lindsay Farrell

Artist and retired Assoc Prof of Education and Art (ACU)

Adoration of the Shepherds: David Binns


Land for Wildlife Art Exhibition

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