THE STORY OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL CHURCH
The design of the church was undertaken by William Wardell, a well known architect of the day. It was considered by many to be of a very tasteful design. Wardell designed some 30 Catholic churches in England before migrating to Melbourne.
The original church design consisted of a nave, aisle and chancel. Wardell also designed St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne, St Mary’s Basilica in Sydney and Government House Melbourne. Our Lady of Mt Carmel is therefore in illustrious company as a result of its designer.
Work continued on the construction of the church for the next seven years with the official opening not being conducted until 24th January 1875. Archbishop Goold officially opened the Church in what was a tremendous celebration for the members of the Parish, who at last had their Church to celebrate their faith in.
Additions to the Church in 1878 included the altar, statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an organ and a gallery.
The parishioners provided the funds for the Stations of the Cross which were erected in 1885.
Well known Sunbury pioneering families such as the McMahons, Crottys, Evans and Fannings have been members of the Parish and today descendents of these families continue the tradition.
In 1909 the advent of electricity in the Church caused many to comment that it had a whole new glow about it.
Bazaars, raffles and Balls were a common feature of Parish life as a means of securing the funds to ensure that the beauty and elegance of the Church were maintained.
The Parish celebrated a joyous occasion on the 22nd September 1927 with the installation of the statue of Our Lady on the Church altar.
1932 saw the interior of the church again renovated and redecorated and new Stations of the Cross installed. Archbishop Mannix blessed the works and the church.
The Parish continued to thrive in the ensuing years with an increase in the number of members of the Parish. Despite ongoing renovations and a new seating layout the Church has struggled with the demand and number of members of the Parish. As a result St Anne’s Church, which is located in Riddell Road, was built in 1990 to cater for the growth. The modern architecture is completely different to that of Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church, but equally as impressive.
Many couples are attracted to Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church for the celebration of their Wedding.
Standing proudly in Macedon Street, Our Lady of Mt Carmel is a constant reminder of our and Sunbury’s long and proud heritage.
NEWS FROM THE HISTORICAL COMMITTEE:
Two statues from St Michael’s Church in Bulla have recently come back to the Parish and are on display in the Historic Room.
We are always grateful to receive copies of any photos that relate to Parish. Please write names of those in the picture on the back (for future reference).
PARISH HISTORY BOOK
LED BY THE SPIRIT is the title of a history of our parish since 1852.
Remaining copies for sale availalbe from the Piety Stall or Parish Office for $20.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY PETER SMYTH
Click on photo for a bigger numbered picture that relates to the chart below.
SOME PARISHIONERS MEMORIES
click on a name for some information
OUR FIRST PARISH PRIEST FATHER JOHN GALLIVAN
MARGARET MCMAHON (ne NOLAN)
JACK AND GARY REDDAN
FRANCIS KEALY (NE DILLON)
JOAN HOUSTON (NE O’BRIEN)
LORRAINE ULLAL (NE DUNN)
Fr JAMES FEENAN
CELEBRATING THE SILVER JUBILEE OF FATHER BERT FULBROOK