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St Luke’s, Goodna: history, highlights and a forthcoming anniversary celebration


“Every Sunday when I celebrate the Eucharist at St Luke’s, Collingwood Park, I notice the engraving on the base of the chalice. It does not say ‘Collingwood Park’, but ‘Redbank’ – a nod to the evolving history of the Parish of Goodna,” says The Ven. Bronwyn Pagram

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Every Sunday when I celebrate the Eucharist at St Luke’s, Collingwood Park, I notice the engraving on the base of the chalice. It does not say “Collingwood Park”, but “Redbank” – a nod to the evolving history of the Parish of Goodna.

The Parish of Goodna emerged from Booval in Ipswich during a time when a parish priest would mount his horse after the morning service, and trot off down the path to minister in Riverview, Redbank and Goodna. Small farming and coal mining communities had built small ‘tin and timber’ churches or commandeered ‘army huts’ in which to worship. St Luke’s, Redbank was dedicated in 1915 and sat high on the hill at Redbank surrounded by bushland, overlooking what would become Redbank Plaza shopping centre, the reason for the later shift to Collingwood Park.

The sale of the St Luke’s, Redbank land around 1980 enabled the parish to purchase a large block in the new development of Collingwood Park, and a modern brick hall was built. However, the intent to relocate the wooden church from Redbank to Collingwood Park was stymied when coal mine subsidence (sinking of the ground) around the church land led to a caveat banning any new construction.

St Luke’s hall became a centre of support and aid to the local community during two major coal mine subsidence events in the area. Many houses in Lawrie Drive adjacent to the church were affected and later demolished. At St Luke’s itself, the hall was consequently re-purposed and consecrated as the church in 1982. The area originally allocated for the church became ‘The Green’, a lovely space used for picnics, fairs, and the annual ‘Community Carols on the Green’. The Christmas tableaux pieces were all produced and painted by parishioners in the early 2000s.

The Parish of Goodna’s Christmas tableaux on ‘The Green’ provides a wonderful backdrop for the annual Community Carols event. The tableaux pieces were all produced and painted by parishioners in the early 2000s

The Rev’d Frank Savage was the priest in the early 1980s when St Luke’s was first developed. He ran an energetic ministry designed to ‘Know God and make Him known’. Past parishioners Rob and Jayne Bendell recall weekly courses using overhead projector illustrations to teach the Bible and theology. The goal was to equip the Church (people) for the work of service by having each person sure of their standing in Christ. The classes were open to all Christians, and parishioners benefited from sharing faith with not only their own church, but also nearby parishes and other denominations. The Bendells also recall a ‘Passover Meal explained’ by a Jewish person who converted to Christianity, a course on ‘Baptism in the Spirit’, a mission to Miles, and church camps at Mt Tamborine.

The parish purchased a house across the road from St Luke’s. The assistant curate and his family lived upstairs, and the downstairs area was allocated to Sunday School, men’s prayer breakfasts and meetings. In the 1990s these were transferred to the St Luke’s Activities Building, an old school demountable with two classrooms donated by the Education Department, that was installed below St Luke’s. In addition to worship and mission, the church facilities are a significant centre for social and fundraising events. For many years Mrs Hunt was the President of the St Luke’s Guild. By all reports she was a powerhouse, and the blue cross installed above the eastern end of the building is a thanksgiving memorial to her service.

Parishioners worked hard to landscape and beautify the grounds. This work continued under multiple clergy who encouraged this work, including among others, The Ven. Olaf Anderson and The Ven. Valerie Hoare. The bulk of the care of the grounds is currently conducted by Graham and Gillian Lynn and Brett Madders who are restoring The Olive Grove and gardens. These are beautiful and peaceful places to fellowship, play and pray.

Lorikeets feasting on wildflowers in the beautiful grounds of St Luke the Evangelist Church, Collingwood Park in August 2021

The Ven. Valerie inspired the construction of a community-accessible labyrinth between the church and  activities building. It was a great partnership involving parishioners and many local community groups with sponsorship from Ipswich City Council and state and Federal MPs and local businesses. The Ven. Valerie described it as “a labour of faith and love”. One interesting story is that the excavation uncovered a large (approximately one-metre long) industrial ‘bolt’ emerging from a concrete slab of some sort. The Mines Department was contacted, and they gave permission for it to be cut off. It is likely that the labyrinth sits atop a mining cavern below. In any case, it was completed and provides to this day a tranquil place to walk, reflect and pray.

St Luke’s has seen many changes in its demographic over the last 10 years in particular. Many people went from St Luke’s to underpin the 2015 church plant at Springfield, which was the natural progression of several years of extension worship services in Springfield from St Luke’s. The Collingwood Park area has been ‘gentrifying’ at the same time, as new developments continue to be built towards Redbank Plains and Bellbird Park and the like, where new churches are popping up to serve those communities. The thriving Mainly Music group ministers to children five years and under, together with their ‘big people’. Many Mainly Music families also attend Messy Church and other special family services at Easter and Christmas.

In recent years St Luke’s has been blessed by the South Sudanese-Australian Anglican Ministry (SSAAM), whose members have become an integral part of the church and parish. SSAAM runs a wonderful Dinka-language Saturday (Sunday) School using the Bible to teach language and culture to South Sudanese children.

A joyful baptism celebration for the South Sudanese-Australian Anglican Ministry (SSAAM) congregation in December 2019

St Luke’s is a place where God’s people come together for fellowship, are equipped for ministry, and transformed for ministry wherever they go. The grounds are available to all as a place of quiet contemplation.

On Sunday 27 February, St Luke’s will celebrate 40 years of ministry from Collingwood Park. If you would like to attend the service (pre-registrations are required for COVID-19 purposes), please contact the parish via email at or text 0437 046 664 by Wednesday 23 February. The 10.30 am service will be conducted by Bishop John Roundhill, and will be followed by a bring-and-share lunch. All are welcome to attend the day’s celebrations. Please share our St Luke’s 40th Anniversary Facebook event page to help get word out about this special event.

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