‘New’ church to bring students closer to God

Renovation work is nearing completion on the ‘new’ St Francis Catholic Church at Riverside in Northern Tasmania.

The church is expected to be rededicated and consecrated in the New Year. West Tamar Parish administrator Fr Martin Aye Ngwe has welcomed the move from the current church in Pomona Rd to the former Anglican St David’s Church, on the West Tamar Highway, almost on the doorstep of St Anthony’s Catholic Primary School.

Fr Martin said: “This is good for the future of our parish, especially for the students.

“This will promote spirituality, not for us but for a new generation.

“It will bring future students closer to God and help them grow strong faith in the Lord.”

Fr Martin pointed out that most Catholic schools are located next to churches.

A date for the move is yet to be fixed due to delays at the ‘new’ church caused by material shortages. The earliest it is likely to occur is in February, Fr Martin said earlier this month.

Once the move to the ‘new’ St Francis Church is complete, the ‘old’ church in Pomona Road, which is understood to have started life as a church hall in the early 1960s, will be sold.

The chair of the West Tamar Parish Pastoral Council, Mark Murphy, said that the delays at the West Tamar Highway site – due to supply shortages in the current building boom – were frustrating but unavoidable.

“It has been a long, drawn out process [but] cost is within what was expected, the builder is doing a good job and the project manager [Andrew Goelst] is excellent,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy said work on the West Tamar Highway church had been under way since January this year and included a new retaining wall and safety glass in church windows. The majority of the contents of the ‘old’ St Francis will be used in the ‘new’ St Francis. The sale of the Pomona Road site will help to fund the new presbytery works.

West Tamar Parish also includes St Canice’s Church at Glengarry and St Francis Xavier Church at Beaconsfield.

Tags: Front Page News, Launceston, Northern Deanery