Sketch of the church

St Philip's church building, art work and grounds

Construction of the building

The story of the foundation laying, construction, and consecration of the parish buildings, with photographs, is on the history of the building page.

The Stained Glass Window

West window

The Window of Creation at the entrance of the church is by Georgina Whiley, a graduate student from the Canberra School of Art. The image represents the earth, with human figures symbolising the elements of fire, water, air and love in a dance of creation. Its symbolic use with the four elements echoes the theme of the banners in the space above the church nave. The figures depicted are from Aboriginal, Asian and European ethnic groups which represent our multicultural society. Each figure contributes a gift of love to the earth. The aboriginal woman brings her gift of the rainbow.

Georgina Whiley was assisted in this project by the Rev David Oliphant and Pthalo Price. The window is dedicated to Dr Rebecca Palmer who died in 1996. She was a well known and loved Canberra veterinary doctor and the wife of David Oliphant.

The Banners in the Church: Elements of the Spirit


The banners were designed and created by Marlene Greenwood who was assisted by Leonie Kelly. The banners were conceived as a series of five silk painted panels designed to enhance the architectural setting of the church. They represent the four elements of fire, water, earth and air. A fifth panel represented love in the form of the Holy Spirit. Colour and rhythm are used as elements of the design to create a flow from one section to the next. (See more pictures …)


The panels were completed in April 1998 by a Parish sewing group and dedicated to the memory of Dr Rebecca Palmer on 10 May 1998.

Exposure to sunlight meant that one of the banners had to be retired in 2010. It was kept in the Sanctuary for a while.

The Church Kneelers

The church's beautiful kneelers have Biblical motifs. They were made by a working bee of over 90 parishioners during the incumbency of Bishop Arthur in the 1970s. The motifs on the kneelers were taken from a number of set patterns but parishioners also provided designs of their own.


The kneelers feature in some of the seasonal calendars on this web site: 2005 Advent Calendar | 2005 Lenten Calendar | 2004 Advent Calendar

See more of the kneelers here.

Silk paintings

To prepare for the painting of the silk banners, the artist, Marlene Greenwood made smaller silk paintings. They now adorn the wall of the church

Silk paintingSilk paintingSilk painting

Memorial book

The memorial book records the deaths of people of the Parish.Memorial book

The Courtyard

The Hazel Shakespeare courtyard is a peaceful and green retreat, used often during the better Canberra weather for morning tea and other functions. The two Jarrah seats were donated by the Church Women's Union.

Foundation stone and opening plaque

On the wall of the church hall is the foundation stone laid by Bishop Burgmann on 5 May 1957.


At the foot of the large courtyard cross is the plaque unveiled by Governor-General Field Marshall Sir William Slim on 25 May 1958 to mark the opening of the church hall and commencement of work on the church building.