Longford, TAS - St Augustine Catholic

Year Built: 1867

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Address: 24 Goderich Street, Longford, Tasmania, 7301

Architect: Henry Hunter

Traditional Owners: Panninher people

Last Updated: 09/12/2022

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History and Architecture:

The first of the imposing bluestones which bind St Augustine's Church at Longford was laid in 1864 under the guidance of Longford's energetic parish priest, Fr John Butler. It was a simple act yet a grand occasion, bringing to an end a 50-odd year battle for land and funding for a church to serve the growing number of Catholic families in the district then generally known as the Plains, after is original name, Norfolk Plains.

In fact, the quest for a church in the north of Van Diemen's Land started in 1821 with the arrival in the colony of its first permanent Catholic priest, Fr Phillip Conolly.

Fulfilling the pioneer priest's dream for Longford first fell to Fr Ambrose Cotham, OSB, then domiciled in Launceston but responsible for Catholics scattered south of the township. It then became Fr John Butler's primary mission. Fr John Augustine Butler came to Van Diemen's Land on November 28, 1863 and was immediately sent to Launceston to minister the Catholic people of Longford, Carrick, Evandale and Perth.

The foundation stone for the first Catholic Church was laid on the 6 June 1866. A subsequent recent foundation stone reads, " Longford Catholic Church blessed and dedicated to St Augustine of Canterbury by Rev FR William Dunne VG followed by Opening Solemn High Mass Bishop Daniel Murphy Presiding November 7 1867".

Mr Henry Hunter was the Architect.

St Augustine’s came under the Launceston Charge in the 1970’s  and 1980's, then Westbury in the late 1980’s. From approx the 1990’s the church came under The Sacred Heart Missionaries, based in Sydney.

During Fr O’Connor's tenure a beautiful wooden cross – part of the 14-cross Way of the Cross pilgrimage around Tasmania – was erected in the church grounds in 2008.

Another history can be seen here.


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
1863 - 1871 Father Michael O'Callaghan
1875 - Father J. J. McKernan 1904
1904 - 1906 Father Thomas Kelsh
1906 - 1915 Father Louis Cochard 1870 1933
1879 - Father O'Callahan
1938 - 1942 Father Denis Murphy
1942 - 1946 Father Peter Murphy 1987
1946 - 1948 Father John Griffin 1979
1948 - 1954 Father Vincent Shelverton 1999
1954 - 1956 Father Ron Lee Archer 1992
1956 - 1959 Father Brendan Hanratty 2000
1959 - 1960 Father Thomas Garvey
1960 - 1969 Father Joseph McMahon 2000
1970 - 1972 Father John Cullen
2017 - Father Desmond Holm


No information currently available. Submissions welcomed.



1. Trove
2. 150th Anniversary (2017) Booklet with permission as per Barb Baker
3. The Offical Catholic Directory deceased Priests.