The Edward Griffith Room
The Edward Griffith Room was dedicated in 2006 to house the archival collections held at St Andrew’s Uniting Church. Its name honours the Revd Edward Griffith whose ministry at Wharf Street Congregational (Independent) Church from 1860 to 1889 was long and distinguished. Members were added, the chapel was enlarged and several churches were formed around Brisbane. His influence was significant in the wider community especially in social, political and benevolent movements. He worked in the causes of free education, hospitals and temperance societies. He was noted for his punctuality and shrewdness, his knowledge of the leaders of the city and his adhesion to principle. One of his sons became Sir Samuel Griffith, Premier of Queensland and first High Court Judge in Australia. Edward Griffith died in 1891.
The material stored and catalogued in the Edward Griffith Room refers chiefly to the history of St Andrew’s Presbyterian and Uniting Churches and its predecessors – Wharf Street and City Congregational Churches and Wickham Terrace Presbyterian Church. The collections also include historical material referring to other Congregational Churches in Queensland, the Presbyterian denomination in Queensland and Congregational history and practice.
Many objects have been donated or collected. They include badges, moderators’ scarves, a Geneva gown, baptismal records on cloth wall hangings, church crockery, medals and other memorabilia. All are stored in the Edward Griffith Room. From time to time, these articles are displayed in the Vera Wade Gallery, usually in connection with an exhibition with a theme.
Sound recordings of sermons preached at St Andrew’s since the 1970s are held. CDs and DVDs feature church choirs, pipe organ music and other musical performances. A series of talks in 1992 entitled Education for Living has been taped. Other celebratory services and addresses are held including the funeral service of Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies conducted by Rev Fred McKay.
The Dewey system of classification is used to catalogue the book collection on shelves in the Edward Griffith Room. The biggest sections are Church History, Biblical Commentary and Theology. Some of the books were restored. Year Books and Annual Reports are bound.
Authors of some of the books are or were members of the St Andrew’s Congregation.
Communion tokens were used by churches in Scotland. They were distributed to members of the congregation prior to the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The tokens are most commonly made of lead and bear the name of the church, year of manufacture and often the name of the Minister. Some of the tokens are displayed in the church while others are stored in the Edward Griffith Room.
Paper Documents, Minutes
The catalogues for these collections record a wide variety of paper-based material of historical value. Included are minute books, correspondence, orders of services, concerts, occasional addresses and annual reports and year books. Some sets of booklets have been bound. Others are in labelled archive boxes.
The catalogue for the large collection of old and more recent photographs shows for each picture – title, date taken and place. Usually brief notes are added. The photographs are of historical interest and illustrate the life and mission of the present congregation and its predecessors.
Memorials and Plaques
The catalogue of memorial gifts and plaques is available in the Committee Room at the Ann Street level. Each entry records a photograph of the memorial and comments on its origin or history. Memorial gifts include plaques, stained glass windows, furnishings, photographs and framed works of art.