All Saints Church, Canberra

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All Saints Church
All saints church in ainslie ACT.jpg
All Saints Church, with the bell tower moved to the opposite side when it was rebuilt.
All Saints Church is located in Australian Capital Territory
All Saints Church
All Saints Church
LocationAinslie, Australian Capital Territory
Founded1958 (1958)
Functional statusActive
DioceseCanberra and Goulburn
RectorRevd Lynda McMinn
The Mortuary Station in Rookwood Cemetery c. 1865.[1]

The All Saints Church is an Anglican church located in the suburb of Ainslie, Canberra. It is part of the diocese of Canberra and Goulburn in the Anglican Church of Australia.

The original building started as the First Mortuary station in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, as noted on a plaque on the church:

"The stonework of this church was originally used to build the first mortuary station on the branch railway to the necropolis rookwood near Sydney. This plaque was presented by the Australian Railway Historical Society to commemorate the old station which was in use from 1868 to 1948." [1][permanent dead link]

The railway line went underneath the main arch in the building, where the aisle is in the present church. The side aisles are where the platforms for the station were located. Coffins would be taken out on the railway line to the cemetery for burial.

The roof of the building burned down in a fire. The Ainslie parish bought the stonework for 100 pounds, and the stonework was transported to Canberra in 1957 where the current roof was built and work done to turn it into the present church. In the process the bell tower was moved from the left side of the entrance to the right.

One of the stained glass windows was part of a church in Gloucestershire, England, which was bombed during World War 2.[citation needed]

The church bell was originally on a Shay locomotive owned by the Commonwealth Oil Corporation that ran on the former Wolgan Valley Railway in the Blue Mountains, before being dismantled in 1925. The bell was presented to the church by the Australian Railway Historical Society in 1958.

Stone set on the blessing of the church in 1958

A stone on the church was set by the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom, Lord Carrington, to mark the blessing of the church on 1 June 1958.

The church contains a rare 1857 Bishop and Starr pipe organ installed in 1989–90 after being transferred from Wealdstone Baptist Church in Harrow, England.

All Saints maintains a traditional choir, with a weekly sung Solemn Eucharist, and monthly evensong from April–September.

At the east end of the church is a garden and columbarium. The church has several stained glass windows, and gargoyle sculptures on the outside of the building. On the inside stonework are two carved angels. It has two side chapels located on opposite sides of the chancel, one dedicated to Our Lady, and the other after Gethsemane.

It was listed the Australian Capital Territory Heritage Register.[2]


  1. ^ State Rail Authority of New South Wales Archives Section, How & Why of Station Names: meanings and origins..., Second Edition, 1982, State Rail Authority of New South Wales, inside back cover
  2. ^ "20065. All Saints Church (Entry to the ACT Heritage Register)" (PDF). ACT Heritage Council. Retrieved 12 March 2014.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°15′53″S 149°8′22″E / 35.26472°S 149.13944°E / -35.26472; 149.13944