Saint Patrick’s parish in York is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its first church later this month.

The original church is one of three on the site on South Street alongside the presbytery and the current church. Recently renovated, the old building is now the church hall.  

The celebration will take place on Sunday, March 15, with a mass conducted by Archbishop Barry Hickey at 10.30am. This will be followed by the launch of a history of the parish called, Glorious Apostle, and a picnic lunch.

Built in 1859, the old building is single storey rendered brick and corrugated iron roof with influence from the Victorian Gothic style. It and St Patrick’s are the only existing examples of buildings of their design in the Perth Archdiocese.

The buildings received interim listing on the register of heritage places in 2003 because of their significance in the development of the local parish of York and evolution of the Catholic Church in WA. 

In the statement of significance, the Heritage Council says St Patrick’s has a landmark quality created by the impact of its prominent tower and its relationship to the other buildings and the grounds. “The place forms a picturesque setting and makes a significant contribution to the streetscape and character of York ... enhancing the historic fabric of the town.”

The old church (hall) was built by the Benedictines from New Norcia. Convict, Joseph Nunan was the architect of Saint Patrick’s church and Father Patrick Gibney the parish priest from 1868 -1901 during its construction.

Anyone interested is invited to attend the celebration and bring a packed lunch and a chair. Drinks will be provided and the history book will be on sale. Further information may be obtained by ringing 9641 1477.

Lindsay McNeill

BELOW: Buildings on the site of St Patrick’s Church in South Street. The original church (see also photo above) is on the left.