10 Famous Cathedrals & Churches In Australia | Historical Churches In Australia

24th May 2023 0 By Aparna Patel

Australia is home to some of the most iconic historical cathedrals and churches in the world, with beautiful and unique architecture that have been around for thousands of years. From the stunning St George’s Cathedral in Perth to the oldest surviving church in the country, Holy Trinity Church in Rosedale Victoria, there’s something special about being able to take in the magnificence of Australia’s churches and cathedrals.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most beautiful and historical cathedrals and churches in Australia, providing a brief history on each one along the way.

Famous Cathedrals & Churches In Australia

1. St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

St. Mary’s Cathedral is the Catholic cathedral church located in Sydney, Australia. It is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney and the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

The Cathedral is dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus and was opened in 1868. St. Mary’s Cathedral is the largest church in Australia and the oldest in the country, and also one of the most iconic landmarks of Sydney.

It is located on the corner of College Street and St Mary’s Road, in the suburb of Darlinghurst. The Cathedral features a soaring gothic revival interior characterized by an abundance of rib-vaulted ceiling, clerestory windows, rose windows, doors and arches.

The ceremonial entrance to the church, the great west doors, are usually only opened at special occasions. The Cathedral also has a significant collection of stained glass windows that are among the most important in Australia. The Cathedral is also home to the marble tomb of Archbishop John Bede Polding, the first Bishop of the Catholic Church in Australia.

2. St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne

St Patrick’s Cathedral is the mother church of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and is one of the largest and most important Catholic churches in Australia. Located in the heart of Melbourne, the cathedral was designed in the Victorian Gothic style by architect William Wardell and built between 1858 and 1897.

The building is estimated to hold more than 5,000 people and is home to a number of important liturgical objects, including the altarpiece and stained glass windows. Outside, the cathedral features a peaceful courtyard, filled with trees and shrubs, and landscaped gardens.

The cathedral is also the home of an extensive art collection, which includes paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from around the world. St Patrick’s Cathedral is a designated national heritage site and is open to visitors for a fee.

3. St Stephen’s Cathedral, Brisbane

St Stephen’s Cathedral, located on the corner of Elizabeth and William Streets in Brisbane, Australia, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane. It is the seat of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Brisbane and the focal point of the Catholic Church in Queensland.

The first stone of St Stephen’s Cathedral was laid on 23 November 1865 and was opened for worship on 15 September 1874, making it the oldest brick building in Brisbane. The two stone spires that rise from the park-like grounds give the cathedral its distinctive silhouette.

The exterior of the building is made of local brick and sandstone, while the internal walls are decorated with enormous frescoes by Italian-born artist Domenico de Clario. The cathedral’s stained glass windows were crafted in Munich, Germany by Franz Mayer & Co., one of the most renowned makers of church stained glass in the world.

The towering spires are a landmark in the Brisbane city skyline, and there is a guest chapel located in the cathedral tower. Tours are available and provide an opportunity to explore the cathedral’s remarkable roof and sculptures, as well as its subterranean chambers.

St Stephen’s Cathedral continues to serve as both a place of worship and a centre of cultural life in Brisbane. Throughout the year, the cathedral holds concerts by local choirs, organ recitals, and other special events. Mass services, including special masses for Christmas, Easter, and other major Catholic holidays, are held regularly.

4. St David’s Cathedral, Hobart

St David’s Cathedral is the oldest Anglican cathedral in Australia, located in Hobart, Tasmania. It has a history dating back to the early 19th century. The original building was constructed in 1845 and consecrated in 1847. The current building was completed in 1895 and has undergone restorations over the years to maintain its impressive Gothic Revival structure.

The cathedral’s exterior features an impressive stained-glass window, as well as two towers and a rose window. There also is a bell tower, which dates back to the late 19th century. The interior features a large nave, an impressive arched ceiling and a beautiful altar.

St David’s Cathedral is home to a number of sculptures, including a large sculpture of St. David, which was added in 1910. The building also houses a library, which contains many books and artifacts related to Anglican history. The cathedral has hosted a number of concerts and events throughout the years, including choir recitals, flower festivals and even a royal wedding in 1952.

Today, St David’s Cathedral remains an important symbol of Hobart’s Christianity and continues to bring people of all faiths together. The cathedral is open to the public for daily services, and visitors can also take self-guided tours of its impressive structure.

5. St Michael’s Uniting Church, Melbourne

St Michael’s Uniting Church is located in the heart of Melbourne, Australia. It is an important part of the city’s rich history and culture, and has served its community since 1858.

The church has hosted many events, includingreligious ceremonies, weddings, funerals, and social gatherings. The building has also been used as a venue for film and television productions.

St Michael’s Uniting Church is a non-denominational Christian church that classes itself as “progressive,” “inclusive,” and “contemporary.” It is led by an inspiring minister and faith team and is supported by an active and passionate congregation.

The church works within the framework of the Uniting Church in Australia, which is one of the largest Christian denominations in the country. Services focus on scripture, prayer, worship, and fellowship.

St Michael’s Uniting Church is committed to social justice, interfaith dialogue, and environmental stewardship. The church exhorts its members to build a society that is caring, compassionate, and just. It follows the beliefs of Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.”

St Michael’s Uniting Church is open to all persons of any age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. It is an affirming and welcoming community filled with unconditional love and respect.

6. St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide

St Peter’s Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral located in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. The present building, built in 1980, stands on the site of the original cathedral which was built in 1869.

The present-day St Peter’s Cathedral is a Grade I heritage listed building and has a long history of significance in South Australia. St Peter’s Anglican Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in the state, and its bell tower dates back to 1848.

The original building was replaced in 1880 and then destroyed by fire in 1930. The state government commissioned new designs for the Cathedral, and in 1980, the current building was built with input from many artisans and contractors.

The redesign of the Cathedral was done in the traditional Georgian Gothic style, and it boasts a range of fineries such as stained glass windows, a grand organ, a 50-bell carillon and an impressive bell tower. In addition to this, St Peter’s Cathedral is also home to a number of tombs and memorials.

The cathedral’s role as a spiritual and cultural hub continues into the present day. It serves the growing Anglican Diocese of Adelaide and hosts regular services, events, concerts, and functions.

St Peter’s Cathedral is located at the corner of North Terrace and King William Street, towards the eastern end of the city. The Cathedral is free to the public and open to visitors weekdays between 8.30am – 4.30pm.

7. St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Geraldton

St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Geraldton is a Catholic church located in Geraldton, Western Australia. The current building was completed in 1891 and is the fourth church on the site. The site has been used for religious purposes since 1848 when the original settlers in the area built a church.

The Cathedral is built of hard wearing local limestone and the interior was decorated by Father Punch in the 1920s, which includes a hand painted reredos, a marble altar rail, a marble pulpit and 6 stained glass windows.

The Cathedral is also an important heritage site as it was the first public building built in the town and has a long and rich history in the town. The Cathedral also hosts a number of community events, including a Christmas ceremony, special Masses for Remembrance Day and other prayer services.

8. St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral, Sydney

Located in the heart of Sydney, St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Established in 1868 and named after the patron saint of Scotland, St Andrew’s is the oldest Anglican cathedral in Australia.

The building possesses a rich history and culture, having undergone numerous renovations and expansions since its inauguration. It features a rare Romanesque style of architecture and is considered one of the most significant examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Sydney. There are a number of items in the collection that can trace their lineage back to the 19th century. The architecture includes a Neo-Gothic and parish church tower, a nave, transept, crossing, chancel, and sanctuary.

The cathedral hosts regular Sunday services, and is also a popular venue for weddings and special occasions. It features numerous amenities, including a cafe, bookshop, candlelight lounge, art gallery, and prayer garden. The cathedral is also actively involved in a range of charitable and social initiatives.

It is open to visitors for sightseeing, with guided and self-guided tours available. There are also worship services on Sunday mornings and regular musical events. The cathedral is home to one of the largest organ bodies in Australia, and offers organ recitals and concerts.

9. Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Launceston

Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Launceston, Australia is a church located in the city centre of Launceston. Built in 1846, it is one of the oldest churches in the country and is a symbol of the region’s religious and cultural heritage. The neo-Gothic style building was designed by famous Anglican architect Edmund Blacket and is a National Trust of Australia listed building.

The church is home to an active parish community and hosts regular services, social events, and other activities. It is well known for the Trinity Festival, an annual music festival of international and local musicians. The church also houses the historic Stokes Collection of art and antiques.

The church is open to the public free of charge and is available to rent for weddings, funerals, and special events. It is also the venue for occasional concerts and art exhibitions. Holy Trinity is also a venue for special services such as Remembrance Day, Easter Sunday, and the Christmas Day service.

10.St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Parramatta

St John’s Anglican Cathedral in Parramatta is the oldest Anglican parish in Australia and the oldest surviving church building in the country. It was established in 1803 and consecrated in 1819.

The building is significant for its architecture, as it is one of the finest examples of sandstone Gothic Revival style in Australia.

It is a significant landmark for the city, having been a place of worship for the local community since its construction and a significant contributor to the spiritual life of the area over the years. The Cathedral has an impressive architectural pedigree and is known for its impressive stained glass windows.

It is surrounded by a large historic cemetery which dates back to 1818, and is the final resting place for many of Australia’s first settlers. The cathedral has also been a popular tourist attraction, hosting a variety of concerts, services and other events.