Bishop Michael McKenna has welcomed a Heritage Grant of $150,000 from the NSW Government to assist with the restoration of the Cathedral of St Michael and St John in Bathurst.
The money, from Office of Environment & Heritage, will be provided over two years and will need to be matched by funds raised by the Cathedral Parish and the wider Catholic Diocese of Bathurst.
The Cathedral's heritage value was recognised in June 2012, with its listing on the NSW State Heritage Register.
On Friday morning at the Cathedral, Bishop McKenna thanked State Member, Mr Paul Toole and said this support from the NSW Government would be of great help in restoring a '….a part of the historic streetscape of the City of Bathurst.'
Due to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2015, the Cathedral is in urgent need of repair. The stone and brickwork have aged and serious salt and rising damp problems threaten its foundations. The restoration project is anticipated to take four years and cost approximately $3 million.
The priority of the project is to secure the foundations and restore damaged elements.
Specialist stonemasons have painstakingly removed the old mortar from between each of the bricks in the bell tower in preparation for repointing, to prevent further water damage, and the replacement of the damaged sandstone with high quality, heritage sandstone has begun.
RELEASE IN FULL NSW Government supports Bathurst Cathedral restoration