Launceston, TAS - Church of the Apostles Catholic

Year Built: 1865

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Address: 44 Margaret Street, Launceston, Tasmania, 7250

Architect: Henry Hunter

Last Updated: 08/06/2024

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History and Architecture:

The foundation stone for the St Joseph's church was laid on 19 March 1839 by Rev. Gentleman, and the church was inaugurated in October 1842. Two decades later, St. Joseph's Church began to show signs of decay, and it was decided to replace it with a larger church.

The plans for the new church were drawn by the Tasmanian architect Henry Hunter, and the foundation stone was laid on 15 September 1864 by Bishop Willson. By October 1866 the nave and two aisles had already been built, and on 7 November the church was solemnly opened for religious purposes by Rev. Murphy, Bishop of Hobart. The church was dedicated to Mary, Queen of the Apostles.

A Gothic-Revival church with rusticated dolerite with Freestone dressings. It has a slate roof with stone crosses on gable ends. The 1886 Sanctuary was designed by Alexander North.


Eastern facade has a heavily detailed rose window. The interior pillars of the nave arcades are monoliths of dolerite.

A Foundation stone reads, " A.M.D.G. The Bells of the Church of Apostles were blessed by Most Rev Archbishop J.E. D'Arcy 15th January 1989. The Bell tower and spire were blessed and opened by Most Rev Archbishop the Most Rev J.E. D'Arcy on 25th February 1990".

The stained glass windows in the sanctuary of the church represent St. Patrick, patron of the Archdiocese. St. Peter, rock-foundation of the apostolic band founded by Christ, St. Joseph, the incomparable husband of Mary, Mother of God, and St. Francis Xavier, apostle to South East Asia who came close to Australia in the Malaysian archipelago. These together with the window of the Immaculate Conception in the chapel, were all donated by William Dixon in memory of his deceased wife. Ellen.


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1838 - 1844 Father James Ambrose Cotham Monk
1845 - 1880 Father Thomas Butler Locum 1880
1880 - 1923 Father Dan Beechinor 1923
1903 - 1903 Father W. R Mounsey
1903 - 1904 Father Eugene Cunningham
1923 - Father McNay
1946 - Father Peter Hansen approx start date. 1983
1948 - Father Jim Hughes approx start date.
1948 - Father Robert Kennedy 1986
1949 - 1949 Father Gerald Fitzgerald 1978
1956 - 1971 Father Joe Howe 1920 2007
1971 - Father Edwyn C Lloyd 1989
1980 - Father Peter Nicholls 1937 1963
1989 - 1999 Father Chris Hope
1991 - Father Phil McCormack Asst
2010 - 2022 Father Mark Freeman
2019 - 2022 Father Ben Brooks Asst, Moderator from 2022
2020 - Father Chathura Silva Asst
2022 - Father Jessie Banez Asst
2024 - Father Leonard Caldera


The first organ was moved to the Uniting (formerly Methodist) Church in Invermay. The present organ was built in  1933 by George Fincham & Sons. Rebuilt in 1975 by K.R. Davis & Son. It has 2m., 24, 7c., Gt: Sw: Ped:
For a full description click here.


1. 2023 Nick Cronin additional names.


1. Wikapedia.
2. Priceless Heritage. W.T. Southerwood.
3. Deceased Clergy in Australia, 1788-present