Next stage of conservation work for St. Carthage’s Cathedral Lismore to commence
Carrying forward the vision of the Most Reverend Jeremiah Doyle, the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese more than a century ago, the Most Reverend Geoffrey Jarrett has announced the commencement of the next stage of the conservation work of St Carthage’s Cathedral.
The six month project to restore and refurbish the interior of one of the region’s most notable buildings follows on from the essential exterior works that were undertaken in 2010 and 2011 to repair extensive storm damage, and repoint and clean the brickwork.
This new stage focuses on the renovation of the sanctuary, the central altar area, including the preservation of its heritage features and the eventual completion of its marble paving according to the original intention.
“The plans for the sanctuary have been considered over ten years, to give it a beauty and permanence worthy of the modern liturgy which at the same time remains in harmony with the original design of Herbert Wardell, the son and successor of Australia’s famous 19th century Gothic Revival architect, William Wilkinson Wardell,” said Bishop Jarrett.
“Based on recent engineering advice, we can make permanent the later timber alterations under the sanctuary, provide additional burial spaces, and fix some unevenness in other parts of the 108 year old floor.
“I have a deep sense that in carrying out this work we are doing our part to keep faith with the past generations of Catholics from Lismore and the diocese, onwards from the pioneers who rallied around Bishop Doyle, who had the foresight and courage against many odds to build this Church for the people of the North Coast. Their memorials and generosity inspire us today.”
The restoration ensures one of Lismore’s landmark buildings will serve the North Coast community with renewed youthfulness for another century and beyond.
The Cathedral will close after the Easter services, and the congregation will move to the adjacent St Mary’s Chapel, which will be enlarged on Sundays by the addition of the older convent chapel immediately behind it.
Further enquiries contact: Greg Isaac 0266 219 444
About St Carthage’s Cathedral
St Carthage’s Cathedral was built between 1904 and 1907. The tower was added and the peal of twelve bells installed in 1911. Its construction was the great project of Lismore’s first bishop, Jeremiah Joseph Doyle, who died two years after the Cathedral’s opening.
In 1892 Bishop Doyle had entrusted the design of the Cathedral, in the Gothic Revival style, to the architects Wardell and Denning. Herbert Wardell was the son of William Wilkinson Wardell (1823-1899), who as a young architect in England was a close associate of the “father” of the Gothic Revival, Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852). W. W. Wardell, Australia’s greatest nineteenth century architect, designed among many other buildings, St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, and St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney. The influence of his famous father is clearly evident in many features of Herbert Wardell’s design of St Carthage’s.
At the dedication of St Carthage’s in 1907, Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, paid a glowing compliment when he said: “He did not know, outside the great Cathedrals of Melbourne and Sydney, any finer Cathedral than St Carthage’s had been erected in Australia.”