Archive for February, 2011

St Paul’s Anglican Church, Talwood – appearances can be deceptive

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

St Paul's Anglican Church Talwood

Interior St Paul's Anglican Church Talwood

St Paul’s Anglican Church at Talwood in southwest Queensland does not seem on first appearances to be unusual or remarkable. But it is.

This was the first church in Queensland to be built that was unambiguously modern it is style and represented a clear break from the accepted Gothic or Romanesque. The architect was Edwin Hayes of the Brisbane firm Hayes and Scott.

The driving force behind the construction of the church was local pastoralist and chruch warden Arthur Warner. It was probably Warner who engaged Hayes and the reason why such a striking building was erected in a remote part of Queensland.

Just as remarkable is the interior with an elaborately carved rood screen and Italian crafted reredos. How these two pieces of ecclesiastical furniture came to be in a small rural church is a unusual story.

Warner was born in England and his parents had a house at Hyeres on the French Rivera. His father had been responsible for the construction of a Anglican Church in Hyeres prior to World War I. When Arthur Warner travelled overseas after World War II he became aware that some of the furnishings from the Hyeres church had been removed from the church during the war. Warner managed to obtain the rood screen and reredos and shipped them back to Australia. The rood screen was repaired by Harvey Bros, Brisbane and then installed in St Paul’s.