Hallelujah! $1.5m repair of St Carthage’s nearly complete
RENOVATIONS to St Carthage’s in Lismore are almost done, with Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett set to officially re-open the cathedral next month.
It’s the first time in the building’s 109-year history that Christmas Mass has had to be relocated as a result of the works.
This year, Christmas vigil and morning mass were held in the St Carthage’s Primary School hall while the midnight mass was held at St Mary’s Chapel.
Catholic Diocese of Lismore business manager Greg Isaac said the structural elements of the renovation and refurbishment project were complete, with only some minor components still needing to be installed and post-work cleaning.
He said the project was on schedule and had experienced only minor delays, which were expected.
The six-month project to repair and restore followed essential exterior works in 2010 and 2011 to fix extensive storm damage and clean brickwork.
The $1.5 million works included the installation of patterned marble flooring down the aisles, in front of the altar and behind the pews, as well as the repositioning of the altar and an extension of the burial vaults space.
The renovations were funded through a combination of donations and cost-planning in the church budget since 2003.
The plans took 10 years to formalise, owing to the desire to keep the new work in keeping with the original design of Herbert Wardell – the son and successor of Australia’s famous 19th century Gothic Revival architect William Wilkinson Wardell.
During the works, congregation was moved to the adjacent St Mary’s Chapel.
The refurbished St Carthage’s will be opened on February 22.
DID YOU KNOW ...
> St Carthage’s Cathedral was built between 1904 and 1907.
> The tower was added and the peal of 12 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 opened.