St Christopher’s Chapel - Shared from the Explore Rockhampton App
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St Christopher’s Chapel at Berserker was erected in 1943 by the American 542 Engineers, Ship and Shore Battalion. The timber and stone chapel was built on land made available to the U.S. Army by the Queensland Government. It reflects the presence of American troops in Queensland during the Second World War and stands as the only structure of its kind in Australia.
The area around the chapel was used as a camp for American troops based around Rockhampton, and other U.S. units which had been sent to Rockhampton to rest after combat operations in the Pacific islands. In 1943 army chaplains recognised the need for a non-denominational chapel, and the 542 Engineers Ship and Shore were tasked with building the chapel.
When the work was completed, the four chaplains (two Protestant, one Roman Catholic and one Jewish Rabbi) consecrated the chapel as a place of non-denominational worship.
After the United States troops left in 1944, the chapel fell into disrepair. Various groups attempted to raise funds for the repair and restoration of the chapel, until a 1959 committee was appointed from the R.S.S.A.I.L.A. and the 41st Division Association to preserve and maintain the chapel.
The committee established an annual service held on the Sunday closest to 4 July, American Independence Day. In 1986 the committee dissolved, at which time the R.S.L. was approached to be the new caretakers for the chapel. The chapel is now under the authority of the Livingstone Shire Council and is a public place.
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