The Conservation and Completion of St Mary's Cathedral, Perth is a historic project of tremendous significance, not only to the Catholic community but for all Western Australians.
Following decades of planning, consultation, research and organisation, St Mary's Cathedral will re-emerge – respectful of its heritage and with the ability to meet the contemporary needs of the Church and the community to faithfully serve generations to follow.
Conservation of the existing Cathedral drives the project forward. The original 1865 and 1930 Cavanagh elements will be partially restored and wholly integrated into the new St Mary's Cathedral.
The Bell Tower foundations will be reinforced, crumbling brickwork repaired, electrical wiring replaced and care given to all works of art requiring restoration. The organ will be fully restored with new pipes added - a major undertaking in itself.
The beautiful design, by local Perth Architect, Peter M Quinn, revolves around providing the opportunity for active participation in the Sacred Liturgy.
The Sanctuary will be relocated to the middle of the Cathedral which will be expanded on each side - this expansion will be integrated into both the existing western and northern ends.
Fourteen rows of pews will completely surround the Sanctuary, providing uninterrupted views with seating for 1200 people. Expanded capacity for seating up to 1600 people is available by utilising the external piazza areas, which will also afford direct Sanctuary views.
A much needed new Parish Centre will be constructed in the undercroft area. This will include a sunken courtyard, hospitality areas and facilities, meeting rooms, choir rehearsal rooms and storage areas.
A new crypt will be constructed where all the Bishops of Perth will be interred – with provision for future Bishops. New public toilets, parking for 91 vehicles and a heritage display area are included in the overall plans.
On Completion, St Mary's Cathedral will be revitalised
Our Cathedral will be a place where people will be engaged, nurtured, inspired, welcomed, embraced and guided.
It will continue to watch over the City of Perth and its inhabitants, continuing its tradition of service, maintaining its historical and cultural integrity whilst reaching out to the future.
After 144 years, St Mary's Cathedral's journey will finally be complete.
I hope you will join with me in support of this magnificent undertaking.
Thank you and God bless,
His Grace, Most Reverand Barry J. Hickey. Catholic Archbishop of Perth