St James Cathedral Appeal
For 122 years, St James' Cathedral has been at the heart of North Queensland. It has ministered to a diocese spread from the Torres Strait to Sarina and to the Queensland-Northern Territory border. However, St James' Cathedral has had only minimal repairs and improvements and now needs urgent work so that future generations can still benefit from the special, sacred space it offers.
The Anglican Diocese of North Queensland’s focus in the past has been, and will always remain on, building the ministry, but more than a century of ecumenical worship, weddings, funerals and other significant community events have taken a toll on the historical landmark.
The Diocese, in conjunction with The National Trust, will use all possible internal funds to restore the Cathedral, but we also need the support of the community to raise the $6 million necessary to ensure the Cathedral can survive.
A cathedral is not just a building; it stands with and for the community and holds the memories of the community's important life events. Help us to make St James' Cathedral beautiful again, so that it can help to show forth the spirit of North Queensland in all its richness.
After a survey was conducted on St James Cathedral in 2004 by Macks Robinson Architects, the Diocese was made aware that conservation work was well overdue.
The survey findings meant urgent attention was required which encouraged the Diocese to register an appeal as it was not possible for the Anglican Diocese of North Queensland to fund the entire $6 million needed for the extensive conservation work.
The National Trust St James Conservation Appeal officially began in early 2007 and will continue over the next 5 to 6 years or until enough money is raised to assist with the conservation project expenses.
The appeal is registered with The National Trust of Queensland which is a Government recognised body that assists with the preservation and maintenance of buildings and landmarks.
As the appeal is registered with The National Trust all contributors/donors can claim their donations as tax deductible under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.
The Diocese welcomes donations of any amount and would like to thank all donors for their support in conserving one of Townsville’s most treasured heritage-listed, spiritual landmarks.
All donations will go towards restoration work and, if the money raised exceeds the costs of immediate restoration, the remainder will be placed in a fund for future conservation of St James' Cathedral.
For more information on the National Trust of Queensland Conservation Appeals please visit http://www.nationaltrustqld.org/appeals.htm
How to Donate
Your donations are helping to secure the future of one of North Queensland’s historical landmarks.
By giving to the appeal, you are assisting the community in an effort to preserve a beautiful piece of architecture and a place in the heart of the people of Townsville.
The Diocese hopes that the community will support the appeal in keeping alive St James’ robust history and continue to utilise the spiritual sanctuary for worship and prayer.
All donations, whether large or small, are supporting the current and future generations of not only the Anglican faith, but of the community as a whole.
Donations to The National Trust St James Cathedral Conservation Appeal can be made:
Cheque or Money Order payable to :
The National Trust St James Cathedral Conservation Appeal
Mail donations should be sent to PO Box 1244, Townsville, QLD 4810.
Bank Transfer to :
The National Trust St James Cathedral Conservation Appeal Bank Account
Westpac Banking Corporation Townsville
BSB: 034-222 Account number: 227775
Regular direct debit :
Please contact the Diocesan Office for details on (07) 4771 4175
Cash and Credit Card payments :
Please visit our office at 155 Denham Street between 8.00am-4.00pm Monday-Fridays
Arrangements can also be made for regular installments to be debited from a nominated account over a select period. Please contact the Diocesan Office for more information.
If you wish for your donation to remain anonymous please advise a member of the Diocese staff.
If you require assistance with making a donation or you would like to discuss making a donation, please contact us.
All donations made to the appeal are tax deductible.
For further terms and conditions on The National Trust of Queensland Conservation Appeals please visit http://www.nationaltrustqld.org/appeals.htm
Thank you to those who have offered their support.
The history of St James' Cathedral is also a history of the pioneering and enterprising spirit of North Queensland. When there were only a few houses and buildings, the first Anglican services were held at the Townsville Court House. By as early as 1871, the 700 locals had pitched together to build a weatherboard church on the current site.
By 1878, the Anglican Diocese of North Queensland was created although Townsville was still a tiny village. Undeterred by smallness of size and distance from the city, some enterprising souls decided to erect a cathedral long before Brisbane had one. The architect Arthur Blacket of Sydney was commissioned in 1885 to design a cathedral church to be built behind the then St James' Church.
Construction began on the Cathedral in 1887 and the first stage was completed in1892. The Cathedral was then about half the current size. Some damage to the roof in 1896 was repaired and the Cathedral was consecrated in 1898. The Cathedral was built in red brick with concrete facings, but limited finances dictated that the roof was only temporary.
In 1903, the temporary roof was lost entirely when, on 9 March, Cyclone Leonta devastated the region and tore off the roof of the Cathedral. Typically, the city picked itself up and started rebuilding the Cathedral.
In 1933, a spark from a fire half mile away caused a fire and damaged the roof in the Lady Chapel. The whole roof had to be repaired again.
Around 30 years later, the second stage was completed. The architects Louis Williams of Melbourne and Ford, Hutton & Newell, of Townsville and Brisbane were commissioned to design further extensions for the Cathedral. Additional work was conducted on the western side and the tower between 1959 and 1960. The well-known white stone statue of St James the Great, situated by the front doors, was erected in 1960.
In the past 121 years, St James has been the centre of a multicultural spiritual community of European, Australian and Torres Strait Islanders. St James has also had special care for The Mission to Seafarers at the Port of Townsville since 1927. The Cathedral continues to accommodate many annual events including –
- The Festival of Chamber Music
- The Opening of The Legal Year Service
- James Cook University’s Multi Faith Service
- The Police and Rescue Services Annual Memorial Services
St James also continues to have a relationship with Townsville’s many military formations, especially the 31st Battalion, Kennedy Regiment. The Cathedral remains as a vibrant civic and community facility and is also hosts organ recitals, orchestras, choirs and other artistic ventures for local schools.
The heritage listed building remains as a focal point for one of the largest dioceses in Australia, stretching from Sarina to the Torres Strait and west to the Queensland-Northern Territory Border.