A short history of St John's cathedral

Many people within the broader catholic community, both locally and nationally, can trace their family connection with the church back to a baptism, marriage or funeral at the original cathedral church - St John the Baptist, Maitland.


The foundation stone of the first permanent church of St John's was laid in 1840 at Campbell's Hill and then moved in 1844 to the current site in Cathedral Street, Maitland (or West Maitland, as it was then known).


st-johns-historicalThe church opened in 1846; its tower was added in 1862.


St John's served as a parish church until Bishop Murray (the first resident bishop of the diocese) arrived in Maitland in 1866 claiming it and declaring it as his cathedral. The cathedral remained in use until 1933 when it became a hall and later had classrooms added as a second floor. The church hall across the road was commissioned to serve as the pro-cathedral because of its greater capacity. It suffered severe damage in the 1989 earthquake and so St John's was re-opened and partly refurbished.


In 2010, due to the deterioration of the stonework and the risk it posed, the church was again closed and remains so today – a sad representation of its historical significance to the life and faith of our church community in this diocese.

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Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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Newcastle West NSW 2030

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Newcastle, NSW, 2300

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