STS. PETER & PAULíS OLD CATHEDRAL RESTORATION APPEAL

Our Restoration Appeal was launched at a dinner at Parliament House in June, 2006.  We anticipated that the Appeal and Project would run for five years but now realize that it will take much longer, given the unexpected need to stabilize the northern wall, and other problems that may arise.

The Launch Dinner proved successful in that many parliamentarians were present and supported an application to the Prime Minister, Mr. John Howard, which resulted in our receiving a grant of $1.5 million towards the restoration. This money was received on Monday, 28th May, was used to restore and repair the stonework and replace sandstone sections on the western facade and we can now commence work on the northern wall, the roof and the bell tower as a matter of urgency.

Your support is assisting us with this great venture would be greatly appreciated. Payment options may be obtained from our Help us page.

Our Restoration Prayer is also included in the brochure and we ask that you keep us in your prayers, that we may be successful in restoring our Cathedral to its deserved beauty.  It is the obvious symbol of the faith of Goulburn and it is our responsibility to honour the heritage of faith we have received from those who went before us.

Other areas for fundraising include Corporate Sponsorship, donations for specific purposes, e.g., restoration of a particular stained glass window, repairs to the bell and/or supporting structure items needing restoration.

Smaller fundraising ventures have included the design and sale of Easter Cards using the Resurrection Window from the large windows on the eastern wall above the Sanctuary. Christmas cards are also now available- see our Contact Us Page.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Sts. Peter and Paulís Old Cathedral is constructed from a green stone (diorite porphyrite) and is the only church of this stone in Australia (and possibly the world).  The Old Cathedral is a significant example of 19th century Gothic ecclesiastical design and craftsmanship.

It has been necessary over the years to carry out substantial works to underpin the foundations to secure the stability of the building.

While the greenstone has maintained itís strength and solidity, much of the sandstone components are in need of replacement and/or repair.

Our current project is to raise $5 million dollars to restore and maintain Sts. Peter & Paulís Old Cathedral.  The project has been divided into three sections:

            Restoration

            Conservation

            Enhancement.

The biggest problem we face is to control the damp problem which has existed since the Cathedral was first constructed.  An excavation under the Sanctuary has already made a huge difference to the damp problem.  The roof and guttering are badly in need of repair and replacement.  There are areas inside the Cathedral where water damage is very obvious.

Recently it has been discovered that the northern wall has started to rotate and needs urgent attention.  Plans are already in hand to underpin the wall and erect steel columns to brace the walls and rafters.  The columns will be covered to match existing columns in the Cathedral.  The bell and bell tower have also recently been inspected and urgent work is needed to repair the bell housing and the bell itself.  At present the bell cannot be rung until these repairs are carried out because of the danger of the situation.

At is estimated that most of the $1.5 million Federal Government grant from the Department of Environment and Water will be expended in repairing the northern wall, the roof and the bell tower.

Other tasks include removal and repair of the fleche, repairing and cleaning all the stained glass windows, restoring and repainting all internal surfaces and restoring and cleaning all the marble surfaces.

PROGRESS SO FAR

The excavation under the Sanctuary floor is nearing completion.  It has taken over three years to excavate and remove the rubble which was used as fill under the Sanctuary.  This was a very delicate operation as both Bishop Lanigan and Bishop Gallagher are buried under the Sanctuary.  The excavation has provided a substantial crypt under the Cathedral.

Some of the brass fittings have been repaired and restored.  The sanctuary lamp is now back in its rightful place, suspended from the roof.  The three tabernacle doors have been restored.  Chalices belonging to Bishop Lanigan and Bishop Gallagher have also been cleaned and restored.

The altar rails, baptismal font and other brass fittings are in Melbourne undergoing restoration and repair and should be back in the Cathedral by the end of the year.  It is proposed to replace the altar rails in their original place.

Underpinning of the northern wall will commence hopefully at the end of this year.  Most of the works planned for the immediate future involve stabilising the Cathedral and carrying out external repairs.

An attempt has been made to remove the rubber tiles from the aisles.  This will be a difficult task as they are laid on bitumen base and removing the bitumen may damage the parquetry floor underneath.