St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta

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St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta
St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta.jpg
St Patrick's Cathedral spire and section of 2003 additions
Basic information
Location Sydney, Australia
Geographic coordinates 33°48′32″S 151°00′13″E / 33.808808°S 151.003622°E / -33.808808; 151.003622Coordinates: 33°48′32″S 151°00′13″E / 33.808808°S 151.003622°E / -33.808808; 151.003622
Affiliation Roman Catholic
District Diocese of Parramatta
Year consecrated 28 May 1837
(as St Patrick's Church)
29 November 2003
(as St Patrick's Cathedral)
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Cathedral[1]
Leadership Bishop Anthony Fisher O.P.
Architectural description
Architect(s) Romaldo Giurgola (2003 rebuild)
Architectural type Church
Groundbreaking 17 March 1836 (initial foundation stone laid)
Completed 29 November 2003 (rebuild following fire)

St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia.


With origins of the first mass occurring on the present day site of the Cathedral going back to 1803, St Patrick's was extensively re-built after a 1996 fire devastated the original church, established in 1854. A tower was built on the original St Patrick's Church, that was consecrated in 1880 and blessed in 1883. A cast broze bell was installed in the tower in 1904. As the needs of the parish grew, a new church was built on the site in 1936, incorporating the existing tower and spire (pictured above). When the Diocese of Parramatta was established in 1986, St Patrick's Church was designated as St Patrick's Cathedral.[2][3][4]

Building design and works[edit]

Under the incumbency of Bishop Kevin Manning and the then Dean, the Very Reverend Peter Williams, the current building was designed by Romaldo Giurgola and the firm MGT Architects. Giurgola was commissioned in 1997 for the restoration and design of the new Cathedral complex after fire destroyed the previous building. Romaldo Giurgola was previously the architect of the new Australian Parliament House in Canberra.[3]

A programme of major art works, craft and special design for the Cathedral was also undertaken at the same time so that the art, architecture and furnishings of the new Cathedral would be in harmony. The commissioned artists included Sydney sculptor Anne Ferguson (who worked in stone), Tasmanian designer Kevin Perkins (who worked in timber), and Sydney sculptor and jewellery designer Robin Blau (who worked in metal). The new Parramatta Cathedral was dedicated on 29 November 2003.[2]

The Norman and Beard late-Victorian English romantic pipe organ was installed in 2006. This 19th-century organ was originally installed in St Saviour's Anglican Church in Knightsbridge, London. A new organ case was designed by Stephen Bicknell in collaboration with Romaldo Giurgola, and the instrument was restored and installed in Parramatta Cathedral by Peter Jewkes and Associates.[4]

The building design and construction team were awarded the 2003 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings from the Australian Institute of Architects.[5]

Bishop and clergy[edit]

The current bishop is the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher O.P. The current dean is the Very Reverend John Mcsweeny (appointed 2012).

The current director of music appointed in 2006 is Bernard Kirkpatrick, B.Mus. and Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Other cathedral musicians include Organ Scholar, James Dixon, Assistant Organist Michael Taylor, cantors, St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir, and Cathedral Schola. Sung liturgical services on Sundays include 6.00pm Vigil Mass (Cantor); 9.30am (Cantor); 11.00am Solemn Mass (Cathedral Choir/Schola) and 6.00pm (Cantor). The cathedral offers stipends/scholarships to students who wish to sing in the choir or assist as cantors, as well as for the training of organists.


  1. ^ "St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta". 15 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta" (PDF). Cathedral Parish of Parramatta. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Crittenden, Stephen (4 December 2002). "A new cathedral for Parramatta" (TRANSCRIPT). The Religion Report (Australia). Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Crittenden, Stephen (3 December 2003). "New Cathedral for Parramatta (Part 2)" (TRANSCRIPT). The Religion Report (Australia). Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta". Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings. Australian Institute of Architects. 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 

External links[edit]