St Thomas More’s Catholic Church, Newstead


St Thomas More’s Primary School, 125 Abbott Street, Newstead. Google Maps.

Opened 1937.
Now school hall.


Modern in every way, the new Roman Catholic Church at the corner of Abbott and Campbell Streets, was blessed and opened yesterday after noon by Monsignor Monaghan in the presence of a large attendance of parishioners. The building has been given the name of the Church of St. Thomas More, and is an important asset to the Catholic community of Newstead. who have previously worshipped at the Church of the Apostles.

Accompanying Monsignor Monaghan were Rev. Fathers W. A. Upton (administrator at the Church of the Apostles). John Cullen (Hobart). M. O’Loughlin, Mullany (Essendon. Vic.), and T. Murphy. Messrs. J. Madden and D. J. O’Keefe. Ms.H.A., were also present. The ceremonies began with a procession of blessing around the building, led by altar boys, the leader of whom carried the crucifix. Members of the Hibernian Society in regalia and of the St. Vincent de Paul Society formed a guard of honour. After the church foundations had been blessed, the procession moved indoors for a similar ceremony, the parishioners waiting outside for the opening speeches made from a specially erect ed platform on which, in addition to the clergy. were seated prominent members of the church. At the conclusion of the ceremony outside all present entered the church for a Benediction service.

Cost of Building

Rev. Father Upton explained that originally the idea was to build a wooden church with the intention of using it as a hall later, when a better church would be constructed. but it was found that the cost of building in wood would be so high that it was decided to have the work done in brick. The church and outbuildings had cost £2135 3s 3d. In addition, architect’s fees. furnishings, and the brick fence had cost £482 2s. making a total of £2617 5s 3d. There was to be added the cost of the land and other outlay, making a sum of £5713 10s 4d spent at Newstead. This was all included in the parish of Launceston, which was left with a total debt of £3862 13s 5d. Rev. Father Upton then read a list of gifts (including cash. £180 5s) to the church, and valuable furnishings, announcing the names of the donors. He then introduced Monsignor Monaghan. Monsignor Monaghan, Vicar Capitular, said that he was very gratified to officiate at the opening of the church, an honour which fell to him in the absence of the Archbishop. For many years the people of Newstead had been looking forward to the day when they would have their own church, and the day had been well worth waiting for. “You have a splendid building here, and you have to thank Father Upton for the energy he has shown since the day the question of a new church was first mooted,” said the speaker. “I have no hesitation in saying that the confidence he has in the generosity of the people of this district will not be misplaced. You have got full value for the money that has been spent, judging from what I have seen of buildings in other places.”

Named After New Saint

Monsignor Monaghan explained concerning the name of the building that the church was under the patronage of one of the latest saints on the calendar, the great chancellor of the reign of Henry VIII., St. Thomas More. who would watch over the parishioners and pray for them. The speaker considered that it was the first church in the Commonwealth dedicated to that great saint. “I hope that the blessing of God will always be with you,” said Monsignor Monaghan, “and that the work so well begun here will have its due reward in your individual lives.”

Rev. Father Cullen. in an appeal for contributions towards the debt on the church, said that it was a beautiful building, artistic and uncommon in many respects. They had every reason to be proud that a new centre in which the people could worship had been established, a symbol of a strong faith that could not die and evidence of a hope that was unconquerable. He reminded all present that although Newstead now had its own Catholic Church, parishioners in the suburb must not consider themselves cut away from the Church of the Apostles. The Catholic community remained a whole, and what they were doing for the new church they were doing for the whole of the church in Tasmania. Contributions were then received, and the total was substantial. Rev. Father Ryan moved a vote of thanks to those present for their gifts and attendance. and hoped that the work commenced so auspiciously that day would continue through the years. Mr. T. W. Moloney, seconding the motion, particularly thanked those parishioners outside Newstead for their support concerning the new church Rev. Father Upton paid a tribute to the work of the builders, Messrs. J. T. Farmilo and Sons, and to the architects, Messrs. H. H. East and R. Smith. He particularly thanked Messrs. J. E. Heritage and Dave Imlach for valuable services rendered in regard to the church.
The Examiner, 15 March 1937


Foundation Stone Blessed: Religious Education

The expansion of Roman Catholic activities in the suburb of Newstead was further demonstrated yesterday when the Archbishop of Hobart, Most Rev. J. D. Simonds, blessed and placed the foundation stone of the new school in the presence of a large crowd. It was stated that so far a total of £5632 had been spent on Roman Catholic Church work at Newstead, and the school and convent would involve a further £3500.

The school, which will be at the rear of St. Thomas More Church and the large residence which has been purchased as a convent, will have three classrooms 24ft. square, entrance hall, and a large closed-in verandah and cloak room. After the Archbishop had blessed and placed the stone, he was seated on a platform with Monsignor T. Monaghan, Rev. Fathers, and leading members of the Catholic community. Rev. Father W. Upton said it was the second occasion that year on which they had gathered there for, a similar purpose. Four or five years ago. Dean Hennessy, observing the marked progress of this suburb of Launceston, had purchased a fine area of ground, and the church was built upon it. Since then other property had been acquired, so that at Newstead to-day they had a block of ground the equal of any church property in Tasmania. They had a church which was filled nearly every Sunday morning, and now they were building the new school.

Expenditure at Newstead Continuing

Father Upton said that Dean Hennessy had purchased the land for £1200. Since then they had spent at Newstead to date £4432, making a total of £5632. The school would cost £1297. and furnishings for it and the convent would require another £2200. When the school opened in January, and the nuns were in residence, it would be possible to give the total cost of church work in Newstead.
The Examiner, 25 October 1937




Leave a Reply