The project began as leisurely pursuit. It began when I started traveling around Queensland undertaking heritage studies and surveys as a sideline, I began photographing churches. I thought they are buildings not often photographed and just to make a record of what could be potentially useful. Nothing very systematic but just when the occasion arose would do at least some of the churches in a town or city. Also in doing a number of local government heritage surveys, places of worship were identify churches with heritage significance.
The second aspect of this 'hobby' was to to develop an online database. After setting up my own website, I began dabbling in coding with PHP. I found a useful program based on PHP that made it possible to set up a online database. That worked for about ten years but a couple of years ago that program stopped working due to upgrades. So I decided to built my own database using PHP. So this is what is here now. I also discovered a very useful tool for creating online maps called Leaflet.
As the project developed I became aware of other researchers and enthusiasts that had material that could contribute to the datebase. But more importantly I realised that a comprehensive dataset could have enormous potential in researhicng and analsysing religion in Queensland
The aim is to record all - existing, demolished, converted to other uses - religious places. This includes all faiths and the only limitation that private chapels are not considered
Each record in the database contains these fields:
Location - town/suburb based on current official name
Date of construction
Other/ later name
Source/s of information
Keywords - building material, architectural style, key attributes such as cemetery, pipe organ or stained glassed windows
Status - open, closed, demolished, other use
Date of closure or demolition
Sitting - no of seats
Local Government Area
A remarkable array of sources that make this project more achievable and comprehensive
Theses - Several excellent theses completed in the Department of Architecture such as by Ian Ferrier and Lisa Andersen
Local histories - numerous - paritcularly useful include AE Hermann, The Development of Rockhampton and District; Colin Pfeffer, The Fassifern Story; John Kerr, Black snow and Liquid Gold, the history of Burdekin Shire; JE Murphy & EW Easton Wilderness to Wealth.
Denominational histories including RSC Dingle Annuals of Achievement: a review of Queensland Methodism 1847-1947, R Bardon on the Presbyterian Church The Centenary history of the Presbyterian Church in Queensland and John Macquire A history of the Catholic Church as seen from Townsville 1863-1983.
Church building histories/registers including Clare Hickey, Archdiocese of Brisbane: Churches mass centres and parishes 1843-2004, and Peter Weiss, Short General and Statistical History of the Australian Lutheran Church.
QImagery - online historical aerial photographs of Queensland - very useful for dating from the 1960s onwards.
Google maps - street view - historical street view. Google maps have been photographing Queensland street since 2008 and some of this imagery has proved to be invaluable and it had recorded images of buildings now demolished.
Libraries and archives SLQ - image collection, Archives
Denominational year books, minutes of annual meetings
Existing databases - John Huth
Trove - digtised newspapers - an obvious and invaluable source - not really possible to date many building without Trove - remarkable how the opening of many places of worship are mentioned in Trove
Some of the aims/outcomes
Enable easy access to basic information about a place of worship or places of worship in a locality.
Enhance an understanding of religious places in Queensland including the number of places - more than 4800 places recorded
The location - how widespread
The diversity of religious practice in Queensland -
Denominational/faith characteristics - concentration of particular faiths in different parts of the state - where and where not. Mapping sites with GIS is readily doable with a GPS location for every building.
Timeline - what were the distinctive eras of building
A collaborative project
This project has benefited greatly from the collective efforts or numerous individuals. John Huth developed an database of Queensland churches from street directories and searching google maps. His most significant contribution is the more than 1200 images of Queensland churches that he has taken in the past ten years (350 images in 2018 alone).
Kerry Raymond has make an invaluable contribution to the database. Kerry has researched and authored numerous Wikepedia articles on Queensland topics, in particular Queensland towns and cities and has used these skills and experience in adding to and correcting entries. Her ability to not only thoroughly research digitised newspapers but all parts of the web for obscure references has enriched the entries in the database.
List of denominations and faiths
CC Church of Christ
RC Roman Catholic
U Uniting Church
Apos Apostolic Church of Queensland
CRCA Christian Reformed Churches of Australia
UPCA United Pentacostal Churches of Australia
CCCA Christiam Community Churches of Australia (Bret)
CMCA Chinese Methodist Church of Australia
A2A Acts 2 Alliance
INC International Network of Churches
ACC Australian Christian Churches (AOG)
WPC Westminster Presbyterian Church
CMA Christian Missionary Alliance
Wes_M Wesleyan Methodist
AGC Acts Global Churches
CF Christian Fellowship
FECA Fellowship of Evanglical Churches in Australia
C3C3 Church Global
SSPX Society of Saint Pius X
AELC Australian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Apos_N New Apostolic Church of Queensland
C3 C3 Church Global
CC Churches of Christ
CCC Calvary Christian Church
CCCS Congregational Christian Church Samoa
CF Christian Fellowship
CPE CPE Church
CS Christian Science
CT Church of Tonga
ELCR Evangelican Lutheran Congregation of the Reformation
FGC Full Gospel Churches of Australia
Ind_B Independent Baptist
Ind_CC Independent Churches of Christ
JW Jehovah Witnesses
LDS_RO Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints
Logos Logos Church
Naz Church of the Nazarene
Orth_Eth Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Orth_Mac Macedonian Orthodox Church
Orth_R Russian Orthodox Church
Orth_U Ukrainian Orthodox Churh
P_Reformed Presbyterian Reformed
Ref_B Reformed Baptist Church
RF Revival Fellowship
RFI Restoration Fellowship International
SA Salvation Army
SDA Seventh Day Adventist
SDB Seventh Day Baptist Church
UPCA United Pentacostal Church of Australia