Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Brisbane and is dedicated to St John the Evangelist. Listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, this historical cathedral attracts over 20,000 visitors from around the world every year. It’s magnificent architecture and stunning interior were achieved thanks to the collaboration between stonemasons, clergy and architects over the course of a century. And now, visitors have the chance to marvel at the cathedral’s famous architecture while attending a magical Candlelight concert.
To get there, you can catch the 186, 199, 300, 310 or 415 buses that all pass close by. If you prefer the train, you can take the IPSW or SHOR lines, too. It’s located towards the Brisbane River and it’s just a short 15-minute walk to the Brisbane City Hall.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral
1. It took 100 years to build
The plans to build the cathedral were drawn up in the late 1800s, and construction began in 1906. After four years, the first stages of the building’s construction were completed which included a chancel, sanctuary, the quire and its aisles. Having been postponed by World War Two and multiple logistics issues, construction of the second stage began in 1965, and further extensions were included. In 1989, the third stage of construction was underway, however it was only in 2009 when the cathedral was finally completed.
2. The original architecture was modest but still beautiful
Designed by John Loughborough Pearson, the cathedral was largely inspired by the stunning French Gothic style. The exterior walls are made out of Brisbane tuff stone while the interior is sandstone. In some ways, the cathedral looks similar to the 12th-century Cistercian abbey churches in Europe. The monks believed that religious buildings should be simple and not adorned with gold and priceless treasures, hence the large amount of stone used in its architecture.
3. 12 bells call this place home
The cathedral has a grand total of 12 giant bells that have been ringing and chiming since 1876. They’re usually only rung just before the 9:30am service every Sunday and on special occasions including weddings and funerals. Each bell is named after past deans and administrators of the cathedral, with the oldest one being named John.
As thousands of candles twinkle and flicker, talented musicians will take to the stage at Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral to pay homage to classical and contemporary music icons. From brilliant composers such as Hans Zimmer and Joe Hisaishi to iconic bands like Queen and Fleetwood Mac, these candlelit tributes are celebrating a wide range of musical talents.
This spooky season, you can experience a magical evening dedicated to Halloween favorites, or immerse yourself in the magic of The Nutcracker this November at an enchanting candlelit concert featuring live music and ballet performances.
What else can you do at Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral?
Multiple events take place throughout the year at Saint John’s including, of course, weekly sermons and other religious ceremonies. Every Tuesday between 10:30am and 11:30am, they hold a coffee morning where community members can come and chat to others. They also run meditation workshops and welcome speakers to come and talk at their weekly talks.
Brisbane is full of magnificent venues that are opening its doors to this series of unforgettable Candlelight concerts. In addition to the historic Saint John’s Anglican Cathedral, The Cathedral of St. Stephen and Brisbane City Hall are both hosting these incredible candlelit experiences.