FORGIVENESS: Bishop Gregory Homeming said there was nothing to forgive the man who allegedly caused a fire which damaged the working sacristy and other areas of St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore on 18 September 2020. Photo: Alison Paterson
FORGIVENESS: Bishop Gregory Homeming said there was nothing to forgive the man who allegedly caused a fire which damaged the working sacristy and other areas of St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore on 18 September 2020. Photo: Alison Paterson

Bishop says ‘thank God for insurance’ after $1M repairs

BISHOP Greg Homeming announced that St Carthages Cathedral would reopen for mass on Saturday after being closed for over two months after it was damaged by fire.

Bishop Homeming said the diocese has a massive job ahead of it to fully repair and restore the historic building, which was built between 1904 and 1907.

He also revealed he had prayed for the man who allegedly caused the fire.

“I have nothing to forgive,” he said.

“I think the man has mental health issues and I cannot hold anything against him, even if it was done with malice, which I do not believe there was.”

Bishop Homeming said repairs would go on for at least another five months.

“Thank God for the insurance,” he said.

“I suspect it will cost more than a million dollars to repair.

“The tradespeople working on the repairs have done a wonderful job, they are very proficient, very professional and very reliable, they have created a new temporary sacristy installed under the historic pipe organ and built hoardings to cover damaged walls during the repairs.

“If you had not been in here before you would not know that the fire had ever occurred.”

REPAIR BILL: Bishop Gregory Homeming said he is delighted that tradespeople have been doing quality work in a timely manner to repair St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore after it was damaged by fire on 18 September 2020. Photo: Alison Paterson
REPAIR BILL: Bishop Gregory Homeming said he is delighted that tradespeople have been doing quality work in a timely manner to repair St Carthage's Cathedral Lismore after it was damaged by fire on 18 September 2020. Photo: Alison Paterson

The hoardings delineate the work zone from the main Cathedral and have been painted to minimise visual impact.

“We also have to repair all of the tiles which had to be broken to ensure the fire in the ceiling cavity was extinguished and these are titles which were put in many years ago,” he said.

“I suppose the most challenging part of the fires was the community not being able to use this Cathedral.”

On Thursday night the Cathedral held its first service since the fire, a private Mass for clergy from across the Diocese who gathered in Lismore for their annual conference.

Bishop Homeming also praised the firefighters and other emergency services crews whom he had done a wonderful job in containing the blaze.



DNA left on black cap proves crucial in Byron break in

Premium Content DNA left on black cap proves crucial in Byron break in

A 25-year-old former Byron Bay man broke into a home on Coolamon Scenic Dr with...

Accused hurls obscenities in videolink court appearance

Premium Content Accused hurls obscenities in videolink court appearance

The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges committed while on parole on the...

Group flee after stabbing man, hitting teen with metal pole

Premium Content Group flee after stabbing man, hitting teen with metal pole

POLICE is investigating the fight that broke between a group of teens and the...