Happenings at the Old Friary

The Old Friary for Sale?

It is with great sadness that we note that the Diocesan Council of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland has decided to investigate the possibility of sale of the Old Friary or a long term lease.  An Expression of Interest (EOI) campaign is currently up on RealEstate.com and closes on Thursday 25th October at 4pm.


We are very concerned that, in a worst case scenario, the site will be sold to a developer who could remove the buildings (despite heritage listing) so as to level the site for construction purposes. Not only will this destroy our community, it will remove the Old Friary in its many roles as a site for Diocesan and community events.

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

Loss of the Friary to 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), 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.  Lacking a Director since the retirement of Fr David Binns in 2003, it has been under-utilised by the church, and its many possible uses by the Diocese have not been fully explored.  Whatever the outcome of the EOI, its sale or lease means the permanent loss to the Anglican church of a precious resource.  The site is irreplaceable.

Irreparable loss to a unique heritage site for the 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 pottery. Development of the site would irreparably remove this heritage from the local community.  

We urge the wider community to petition the church to retain the site and preserve its Franciscan values of compassion and care of others, and of the environment, so as to protect this beautiful green space, or to ensure that any new owner or lessee will respect and improve its heritage and community values.

Petition and protest: Please feel free to write to Archbishop Phillip Aspinall c/- his Executive Assistant Ann Joseph (ajoseph@anglicanchurchsq.org.au). Even if you feel that there is no advantage to keeping the Old Friary within the church, it would be valuable to request that a buyer sympathetic to the site will be chosen.

A community petition is available to sign (https://chn.ge/2PsmKY0)   

Diocesan day to consider this sale - We are also organising a Diocesesan Day to bring Anglicans of the Diocese together to consider whether alternative uses for the Old Friary might be found and to encourage the Archbishop and church managers to look at these uses rather than selling the Old Friary. This will likely be at the end of October or early November.

Other coming events

In addition to the regular events at the Old Friary, each month brings its special events.  At present or coming up soon are:

Coming up in October

Franciscan spirituality - Brother Donald  A special invitation is being extended to all Parishes and others in the Deanery to join together in fellowship around the meal table with Brother Donald who is coming to talk about Franciscan Spirituality at our Agape meal on the fourth Sunday of this month, 28th October at 5.30pm. 

Please bring a plate of food to share

This is an open invitation so please spread the word in regards to this special event. Let us show our gratitude to Brother Donald and acknowledge the Franciscan Legacy that remains at the Old Friary.

Folk at the Friary

The last Folk at the Friary for 2018 will take place on the  27th October commencing at 6.30 with Chalk Board and food. Round up friends and family and those who have never experienced the joy, fun and laughter of these wonderful musical evenings. 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.  This will be the last FATF for 2018, though hopefully not the last FATF ever.

Coming up in 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.