Priest launches $10m campaign to save churches

St Mary’s Church, Ipswich, and St Brigid’s, Rosevale (The Catholic Leader)

A Brisbane parish priest has launched a campaign to raise millions of dollars needed to restore two historic churches. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Franciscan Father Stephen Bliss said the community of Ipswich was rallying behind him as he began the task of raising nearly $10 million to repair and maintain two of the city’s landmarks – heritage-listed St Brigid’s at Rosewood, and St Mary’s in the heart of the city.

“As a community we’ve been praying very hard that people will be generous and give towards the upkeep of these churches,” he said.

“We are blessed to have historic churches and it’s through our history that our faith is strengthened and I invite people of the archdiocese to help us and people of the wider Catholic community, to ensure our historic churches are maintained.”

Fr Bliss hopes government funds will bolster restoration efforts.

St Brigid’s is an ornate weatherboard building built 110 years ago – the largest timber Catholic church in the southern hemisphere.

The church has been declared unsafe because it leans to one side and is sinking. It will cost an estimated $3.4 million to $3.5 million to restump and repair.

St Mary’s, an Ipswich landmark, dates from the 1870s. It requires a new roof and maintenance of its stain-glassed windows. Fr Bliss estimates the repair cost is $6 million.

“Ipswich and Rosewood are working-class areas and the parish struggles to make ends meet at the best of times, so once again we are relying on the generosity of people and the generosity of God to provide for us.”


Ipswich community launches campaign to raise $10m to restore historic churches (By Mark Bowling, The Catholic Leader

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