St Mary Magdalene's Catholic Church, Bardon


The St Mary Magdalene's Story

Up until 1917, when Sacred Heart was built, and 1923 when St Finbarr’s church was opened, people of the Bardon area would have had to attend Mass at St Brigid’s, Red Hill. Then, in 1923 Archbishop Duhig purchased “Bardon House” and the surrounding land. This beautiful home was built in 1864 by Joshua Jeays. Mr Jeays was a prominent builder, architect and politician. The house was named "Bardon" at the request of Jeays’ wife who likened the rolling hills of the western suburbs to Bardon Hill in Leicestershire. The name, incidentally, is derived from the Old English “Beorg-dun” meaning barren hill. The surrounding suburb was named Bardon in 1926.

The house was built of rough sandstone called Woogaroo stone which was quarried near to the site of Wolston Park Hospital; roofed with shingles, and featuring gables, casement windows and chimneys in the style of an old English manor house. After the Jeays, “Bardon House” was home to Sir Charles Lilley, Attorney General and Premier during the late 1860s. After Sir Charles’ death in 1897, a succession of notable Queenslanders made “Bardon House” their home.

By the time Archbishop Duhig purchased the property, the large estate on which it originally stood had long been divided up and sold along with “The Drive” that had led to the front entrance. By that year of 1923, the area had become part of the growing suburb of Bardon.

In 1925, Bardon was made a separate Parish, the 38th Parish of the Archdiocese and the first Mass was celebrated in “Bardon House” by Mons. Lee of Rosalie Parish.  The first Parish Priest was Father Maxwell Irvine. He was also the chaplain to Stuartholme Convent and was thus kept very fit walking from “Bardon House”, where he lived, to Stuartholme to say morning Mass.

The people of Bardon quickly rallied around their new priest and within a year they had built St Mary Magdalene’s church – a gracious wooden structure in the grounds of “Bardon House”. The church was built on a difficult sloping site, but the workers were not daunted by the problems involved and they threw themselves into the task with vigour and courage. The church was officially opened in 1926 and blessed by Mons. English, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese. In 1935, Archbishop Duhig bought the house and land in Kennedy Terrace where the old St Bernard’s church stands, and the property at Rainworth now occupied by St Paul’s. He had previously bought land in Rockbourne Terrace, later selling it because the Kennedy Terrace site was more suitable. Some years later he sold part of the Rainworth property that adjoined Boundary Road and, to help the people in the area, he gave the Brisbane City Council the strip of land that now serves as a laneway between church property and the Rainworth State School grounds.   

The enthusiasm of parishioners has always been a hallmark of the Bardon community; this gave the foundation to another building effort which saw the construction in 1963 of the present St Mary Magdalene church. The original church now serves the school and is home to the Outside School Hours Care programme.

Fr Ray Lyons was appointed curate immediately after his ordination in 1936 and  faithfully served as Parish Priest until his retirement in 1978. The curate, Fr Vince Hobbs, was then appointed Parish Priest. Under Fr Vince’s leadership and pastoral presence, the parish flourished and continued to grow.

As part of a pastoral review process, Fr Vince was also given the responsibility of Rosalie and Red Hill in 1999.

Upon Fr Vince’s retirement in December 2004, the recommendations of the pastoral review process were implemented in November, 2006, when the Jubilee Parish was created and Fr Peter Brannelly was appointed as the first Parish Priest. 

Guided by the master plan, St Mary Magdalene church and St Joseph’s school have  undertaken a comprehensive refurbishment and maintenance programme. Part of the plan was the newly constructed Fr Ray Lyons Centre and the 3 new classrooms that were blessed and opened on 24 July, 2011. In 2014 a new servery was constructed and extensive drainage and car park resurfacing was completed.  2017 has seen the construction of a gathering area overlooking the newly refurbished tennis courts.  

Bardon has always prided itself on being hospitable and family friendly and the community extends a warm welcome to join them each Sunday morning for their 8am Mass.


Cecil Road



Mass Times:


Sunday:         8.00am


(*Please refer to the current week’s newsletter for the weekday Masses)


Patron Saints:


Mary Magdalene became a close disciple of Jesus, providing practical support at times. Mary stood beneath the cross of Jesus and also encountered Jesus at his tomb and proclaimed to the disciples: “I have seen the Lord”.



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