Ashburton, VIC - St Michael's Catholic

Year Built: 1953

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Saint: Michael

Address: 270 High Street, Ashburton, Victoria, 3147

Architect: CONARG

Architectural Style: Romanesque

Traditional Owners: Wurundjeri people

Last Updated: 26/03/2024

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History and Architecture:

The first Mass was conducted by Father Patrick Loughnan on Sunday 11 December 1927 at the Ashburton Hall located on the corner of High Street and Johnston Street, just west of the shopping centre. On 26 April 1946 Ashburton was created a parish, entrusted to the care of Father John Ryan who had been an army chaplain. As the parish grew he had to buy more land from the government to meet the growing demands.

Fr Ryan oversaw the building of the present church, but tragically, 2 months before its completion he suffered a sudden heart attack.
The Church designed by the Melbourne firm known as CONARG and constructed in 1953.

The design demonstrates characteristics of Romanesque Revival comprising sheer massing of form and massive walls. It applies modern interpretations of traditional Romanesque elements such as the brick dentil pattern in place of a corbel table, archivolts, dripstone moulding, stylised and simplified in brick.

A Foundation stone reads, "His Grace Most Rev D Mannix D.D. L.L.D. blessed and opened this memorial Church erected for the creator Glory of God and in Honour of St Michael 15th May 1955".


These names are now in the Database and can be searched individually.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1927 - Father Patrick Loughnan 1958
1946 - 1955 Father John Ryan 1955
1955 - 1972 Father John Connellan 1987
1957 - Father J. G. Fitzpatrick Asst
1962 - Father J. Doyle Asst
1962 - Father R. McGuire Asst
1964 - Father W. Cox
1966 - 1967 Father Desmond Gannon
1968 - Father B. Caldwell Asst
1969 - Father J. Barker Asst
1971 - 1974 Father E. Burns Asst
- 1972 Father Connellan
1972 - Father Phillip Smith
1974 - Father M. Wilson Asst
1977 - Father M. Coleridge Asst
1980 - Father Des Moloney Asst
1987 - 1990 Father Kevin Willams Asst
1988 - 1990 Father Pat Dunn Asst
1998 - Father Bill Attard


The Organ was built in 1869 by George Fincham for Henry Kemmis of Warrnambool. Installed in 1876 at St Barnabas' Anglican Church, Balwyn. Installed present location c.1960 by Harry Marriner. Tonal alteration 1970 Laurie Pipe Organs (Fifteenth in place of Keraulophon). Renovated 1976 Laurie Pipe Organs. It has 1 manual, 6 speaking stops, 1 coupler, tracker action.
For a full description and photos click here.


1. 2003 MDHC
2. Organ Historical Trust of Australia with permission.
3. An Australian Catholic Parish The Story of St Michaels Ashburton. Francis J. McGrath. SLT 282.9451 M17A
3. VHD Heritage Database.