The mission was founded in 1908 and succeeded to such an extent that by 1911 it needed a building. Land beside the church was bought, and in July 1912 the foundation stone of the mission hall was laid by the Reverend Girdlestone. During the Depression the mission distributed welfare to those in need.
Educated at St Peter’s College, C.S. Hornabrook began his career in an architect’s office before travelling to England and entering the ministry. He was ordained by the Bishop of Lincoln in 1890. When he returned to Australia he went to New South Wales for several years. He returned to Adelaide as curate of St John’s for two years between 1892 and 1894.
Fourteen years later, in 1908, while Archdeacon of Mt Gambier, Hornabrook was appointed missioner of St Mary Magdalene’s (built by St John’s parish). It was during this second period of involvement with the church that he worked zealously to extend the mission's activities.
Hornabrook was backed by past and present boys of St Peter’s College when he suggested to the headmaster, the Reverend Girdlestone, that St Mary Magdalene become the college’s mission. Only too keen to support the missionary activities, the college’s involvement soon saw a flood of donations. Because there was only a small church and a small rented cottage on the site from which to conduct general welfare and relief work, a purpose-built mission hall was built. An anonymous gift of £1000 helped construction along.
When built, the mission also provided a free day school kindergarten with free meals for poor children. It ran clubs for adults, girls and boys, as well as a troop of Scouts and Guides. Its removal to the Elizabeth region in 1957 reflects demographic changes in the metropolitan area during the 20th century.
The building is currently used by the Department of Education.