Our Diocesan community is blessed with some stunning sites, many of which include heritage listed buildings.
One of our community’s most loved sites is St Francis Theological College, based in Milton.
St Francis Theological College is a landmark of ministry and learning. It’s where our clergy train for ordained ministry, with the wonderful Roscoe Library and lecture rooms onsite for this purpose.
It also hosts a number of important ministries, including FormedFaith, which educates lay people; Anglican Youth Children and Families, which organises Ichthus camps; Community of The Way, which is an intentional community of young people; our spiritual direction formation program; and urban farm project, Baroona Farm.
The college’s heritage listed Chapel of The Holy Spirit is home to the Parish of Milton community.
And, in the centre of our theological college sits Old Bishopsbourne.
Old Bishopsbourne is a beautiful heritage listed two-storey building that was originally built as a residence for Edward Tufnell, the first Anglican Bishop of Brisbane.
We’ve been gathering in and around Old Bishopsbourne for worship and learning since it was built in 1868.
And, we want to continue using this stunning setting to foster the Church’s mission in the future.
Like other heritage buildings across our Diocese, Old Bishopsbourne needs extensive and expensive work to preserve it and enhance it.
I’d like to see Old Bishopsbourne, and other significant heritage buildings, preserved and enhanced. However, it is expected that millions of dollars will be needed.
As well as preserving the Church’s heritage, the College needs and deserves more current facilities to nourish and form our people. And, the site’s 3.8 hectares of land has space that could be put to greater community use.
We need additional income to pay for these works, so we and the wider community can make the most of the College’s site.
While the Anglican Church Southern Queensland will continue to maintain ownership of the St Francis Theological College site, we will be exploring co-location ideas.
So over the coming weeks, we’ll be seeking potential co-location opportunities for the College site through an expressions of interest process.
Any initiatives that are considered for co-location will need to fit the College and the College’s site; the mission, values and financial needs of our Diocese; and, the wider community.
Nothing is expected to change at the site for at least three years while we explore and make decisions.
While seeking ideas from potential co-location partners via the expressions of interest process, we will be welcoming people both from within the Church and beyond to information sessions.
I believe that this is an exciting opportunity that we need to grasp, as we explore ideas and options.
In summary, it’s important for you to know that:
- We’re not selling the St Francis Theological College site. We’re retaining ownership of both the site and the College.
- The planned expressions of interest process will aim to identify potential co-location opportunities.
- We want to see other community uses that will be in line with our values and provide an income source to preserve and enhance the College and the heritage site.
- Community engagement will form an important part of the process, and so information sessions will be held.
- We expect that things will remain the same onsite for at least three years, and that any co-location options we choose will have a community purpose and be in keeping with our values.
I would like to thank the Property Team and the St Francis Theological College commissioners and staff for their collaboration on this initiative. We are blessed to have such dedicated clergy and lay people serving our Church community.
We look forward to updating you when we understand our options more clearly.
Editor’s note: An information session will be held for ACSQ community members on Monday 9 May at 6pm. The event will be held in Lecture Room 1 at St Francis Theological College, with a Zoom option available. For catering and Zoom link reasons, please register for the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 07 3167 1200, advising whether you will be attending in person or online. St Francis Theological College staff, students and residents and Milton Parish community members will be directly invited to attend other meetings.Jump to next article