Promoting Christ-centred Biblical Ministry

Index of Articles
The Mathew Hale Public Library, Brisbane

reprinted from the Autumn 2006 edition of Essentials

  Mathew Blagden Hale (1811-1895) was the second Anglican Bishop of Brisbane. He came to South Australia in1847, and was appointed Archdeacon of Adelaide. He was then made the first Bishop of Perth. In 1875, he succeeded Bishop Tufnell in Brisbane. Before he retired in 1885, he presided over the General Synod of the Church of England as Senior Bishop in the Australian Colonies. Alex Crawford is the Secretary of the Simeon Association and an active member of St Mark's Clayfield, Brisbane.
  Influenced by the evangelical movement at Cambridge University in 1830's, Bishop Hale developed a keen interest in the Church overseas. During his time in South Australia, he established one of the first "successful" Christian missions to Aboriginal people at Pooindie near Port Lincoln.
  At the age of 64 he reluctantly accepted the unanimous call of the Australian Bishops to the Diocese of Brisbane, which was in financial difficulties with struggling remote parishes and independent city churches that would not help them.  
  His personal discipleship and commitment were recognised by those who knew him. His biographer wrote: "Each morning he was awake between 5 and 5:30, and after an hour of prayer, worked on a comparison of the Authorized and Revised Version of the New Testament from the Greek until breakfast. This was his normal prelude to a full day's work."1  
  He was a man of prayer with a firm evangelical zeal for people's spiritual welfare, a faithful pastor to his clergy, and was committed to missionary outreach to Aboriginal people. Generous with his own resources and able to relate to a wide range of people, he was known as "the Good Bishop".  
  The Mathew Hale Public Library, based on the evangelical Anglican tradition, will provide resources to people and churches for Biblical research, study and education in Brisbane and beyond. The Simeon Association is a group of mainly lay people, who seek to encourage Anglican ministry in the Diocese of Brisbane and beyond, particularly in relation to preaching and pastoral ministries. The Association intends that the Library will honour this largely forgotten Christian leader and hopes that Anglicans today will be encouraged by his personal example in difficult circumstances. It is hoped the Library will grow to a stage where it has international recognition and be considered one of the key repositories for Biblical research, education and study.  
  The Library is being established in a spacious area of the basement of St Andrews Anglican Church South Brisbane as its first home. The current location allows for book cases capable of housing the initial collection, seating and study arrangements and computer facilities. Details of the lecture program at the Library and a number of addresses given at the Library can be downloaded from  
  The Simeon Association Inc has tax deductibility status from the Australian Taxation Office for gifts to the Mathew Hale Public Library. Please do contact us for more information.  
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1 Rev Dr A de Q Robin, "Mathew Blagden Hale the Life of an Anglican Prioneer Bishop", p181.