No. 1068 - Hobart - St Michael's Collegiate Chapel

St Michael's Collegiate School, colloquially known as Collegiate, is Hobart’s oldest independent Anglican school for girls.

St Michael's Collegiate School was founded in October 1892, following an invitation by Bishop Montgomery to the Sisters of the Church, an Anglican religious order established in England in 1870. Sister Hannah became the first principal of the school which had an enrolment of 12 children; six boys and six girls. Classes were initially held in St David’s Sunday School on Harrington street, which also used as St David’s Synod Hall.

In 1895 the school moved from St David’s to Stephenville, which had previously housed the Hobart Ladies’ College. Stephenville was the former home of Alfred Stephen, Solicitor General for Tasmania. It was a two storey stucco building built in 1825. Flanking single storey wings were added in the 1830s. The house was leased to government from 1840 and used as the Queens School until early 1844. It became the official residence of the Catholic Bishop of Hobart until 1872. The house was then sold to William Giblin, a premier of Tasmania, before it was acquired by the Hobart Ladies College in 1880.

A small chapel was was established at Stephenville after the property was acquired by the Sisters of the Church. In 1913 the original chapel was replaced by a new chapel. A photograph of this chapel, which had a ceiling of polished wood and lined chancel, can be seen below.

By the 1920s the chapel, which was primarily for use by the sisters, was outgrown and fundraising began to build a chapel large enough for the whole school. In July 1929 the Mercury reported:

“Collegiate School in the only Anglican Church school in the diocese of Tasmania that has its school chapel. This is now far too small to hold even the boarders and the staff. The Sisters are anxious to build a chapel large enough for the whole school, and one that shall be an inspiration to the girls. It is becoming ever more evident that in a Church school the centre of all its activities should be In the school chapel, and all for which it stands. The chapel fund grows slowly, and as the Sisters receive no financial help whatever from the diocese…”.

Extensions to the chapel were eventually carried out in 1958 which was made possible following a bequest made by Archdeacon Whitington, in memory of his wife and children. In 1958, following the completion of extensions to the chapel, it was rededicated to St Michael.


The 1913 Chapel at Collegiate - source: https://collegiate.tas.edu.au/about/our-history/


St David's Sunday School and Synod Hall (Harrington Street) which was the first home of Collegiate - source: https://collegiate.tas.edu.au/about/our-history/

St Michael's Collegiate school chapel (2016) source: https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelsCollegiate/


Stephensville, which was acquired by Collegiate in 1895. Source: Libraries Tasmania. Item number: AA193-1-2242 


Sources:

Mercury, Tuesday 2 July 1929, page 5
Mercury, Monday 4 July 1938, page 8
Mercury, Tuesday 15 September 1942, page 3

https://www.facebook.com/StMichaelsCollegiate/

https://collegiate.tas.edu.au/about/our-history/


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