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Yass man allowed to join fight for church

St Patrick's Church in Braddon.

St Patrick's Church in Braddon. Photo: Graham Tidy

A man from Yass has won the legal right to fight against the redevelopment of a church in central Canberra, partly on the basis of his spiritual attachment to the building.

With opposition intensifying to the planned demolition of St Patrick's in Braddon, regular church-goer Dallas Hosking has been given the go-ahead to join the legal challenge to the project, despite living nearly 60 kilometres away across the NSW border.

Mr Hosking is one of three St Patrick's congregation members who have joined a case in the territory's ACAT tribunal, aimed at securing St Patrick's status as a heritage listing building, which would all but guarantee its survival.

The church authorities have gone to the tribunal to appeal the decision of the Heritage Council to list St Patrick's on the register of historically important buildings.

The listing puts a serious obstacle in the path of plans by the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn to demolish the 80-year-old building, which would clear the way for a commercial redevelopment of the precinct with the profits pumped into a revamp of St Christopher's cathedral in Manuka.

In a decision last month, tribunal member Peta Spender has ruled that Mr Hosking and two other regular St Patrick's worshippers - Vincent Kane and William Meani - could join the Heritage Council as parties to the case.

Mr Meani wanted to be added in his personal capacity and in a representative capacity as the chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council for the past 12 years, while Mr Kane has been a parishioner at St Patrick s Church for over 51 years, and has acted as an assistant and handyman at the church over the years.

Despite barristers for the Archdiocese trying to have the cases of the three men dismissed, Professor Spender found their connections to the church and its congregation gave them the right to join the fight to save St Patrick's.

Mr Hosking and his wife regularly drive 60 kilometres to join their fellow members of the Deutsche Bonifatius Gemeinde, a German language Catholic group, in worshiping at St Patrick's.

The Archdiocese has proposed a church as part of the redevelopment but parishioners are unhappy that the new religious site would not provide ceremonies and services currently provided at St Patrick's, such as weddings and funerals.

Professor Spender took into account the men's spiritual connection with the church while granting them the right to be joined as parties to the action, but it was their status as occupants of the building that tipped the decision in their favour.

But a simultaneous application by the Parish Pastoral Council, represented by Mr Meani, to join the legal stoush on the side of the Heritage Council was refused by the Tribunal.

10 comments

  • Forget the spiritual connection, the fact that it is one of not too many 80 year old buildings here that should ensure the church is heritage listed. Don't let it go the way of the Capitol Theatre in Manuka.

    Commenter
    farnarkler
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    January 02, 2013, 11:43AM
    • You refer to a revamp of St Christopher's cathedral. This project is for a series of multi-story apartment blocks adjacent to the cathedral. Nothing to do with the cathedral, purly a property development. " The Archdiocese has proposed a church " . The archdiocese sole role is to sell the property to a developer. "The developer" has stated that they will provide a " worship place ". They propose to replace a 270 seat church with a 100 seat hall. The 63% reduction, with no facilities will mean that most if not all of St Patricks worshippers will be put out on the street. The Trustees are Trustees for the owners. The owners are the Canberra Central Parish. It is time for the stories to be replaced with the facts.

      Commenter
      dallas
      Date and time
      January 02, 2013, 1:03PM
      • For the true Christian there should be no spiritual attachment to a building built with the hands of men. The true Church is an invisible Church dependent upon no man on this earth and has only one Shepherd, one chief Bishop — and that is Jesus Christ. He alone, by His Spirit, admits the members of this Church & until He opens the door no man on earth can open it. Bishops and synods are of no consequence and man made doctrines and buildings no matter how fine they may be can help a person into the One true Church. Once let a man repent and believe the gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4), & in that moment he/she enters into Christ's Body and becomes a member of the One true Invisible Church & has the baptism of the Spirit. This Church does not depend on churches, chapels, pulpits,vestments, money, governments, magistrates or any act of favor whatsoever from man. Its existence depends on nothing but the presence of Christ and His Spirit; and they being ever with it, the Church cannot die & where sinners are safe for eternity, sealed into Christ's Body from which they can never fall out or away.
        How utterly foolish it is to place such importance upon a building built with the hands of men. A person may have countless outward privileges and knowledge — but if they do not belong to the Body of Christ all secular knowledge and privilege will not save their soul.

        Commenter
        Sheila Hale
        Location
        Ulladulla
        Date and time
        January 02, 2013, 2:48PM
        • It seems ironic that St Patrick's Church Heritage listing is beinmg challenged by the Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn. In June 2009, Father Brian Maher was awarded an Order of Australia(OAM) Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
          The citation read "for service to the Canberra region""through historical organisations and to the Catholic Church of Australia".

          Father Maher was the priest who along with St Patrick's Parishioners restored and rededicated the church in 1984.

          A Catholic Voice article on Father Maher was headlined', "'Ïts a new world, but don't forget the past".

          Commenter
          Patrick Braddon
          Date and time
          January 02, 2013, 2:49PM
          • farmarkler The spiritual connection has encouraged many to look after and fight to keep this Heritage listed building. The overnight demolition of the Capitol Theatre in Manuka was a disgraceful and negligent act.

            I agree with you that we need to preserve our older buildings especially ones such as St Patrick's Braddon, which is now a distinctive Canberra landmark and reminder of the past, especially for North Canberrans.

            Commenter
            Patrick Braddon
            Date and time
            January 02, 2013, 3:25PM
            • St Pats Church-School was built as a multi purpose building for the Northside Catholic parishioners to educate their children and to attend church services. Those parishioners paid for the building via donations to the Church Building Fund. It is their building and they do not want it demolished. They want it heritage listed for posterity as a place to hold regular church services.
              It is ironic that the organisation that requested those doonations in the first place is the one that now wants to demolish one of the few remaining historical buildings left in Canberra. My parents helped fund the building and I was a pupil and an altar boy for Canberra's first Parish Priest, Monsignor Paddy Haydon. He would turn in his grave at what is being proposed by his successors.

              Commenter
              Old Canberran
              Date and time
              January 02, 2013, 5:05PM
              • It's as ugly as sin (pun intended) but even ugly babies are beautiful in their parents' eyes.

                It's interesting that the church would pay expensive barristers to "play the man" rather than playing the ball. Religious ethics would seem (yet again) to be in the same oxymoronic category as military intelligence.

                In my town the Anglican Church has objected to the heritage listing of their 120 year old church, resulting in it being removed from the list.

                Pete

                Commenter
                IrishPete
                Location
                2623
                Date and time
                January 02, 2013, 8:29PM
                • Really? I think the Catholic Church has more pressing issues to attend to at the moment, don't you?

                  Commenter
                  Sceptic
                  Location
                  Werribee
                  Date and time
                  January 02, 2013, 9:16PM
                  • So Catholics are selling their real estate huh? They'll certainly need the money for victims and lawyers so many more mediocre buildings on catholic land like this one will go.
                    It's not new. In my city Catholics sold the 100 year old Bishop's Palace, a unique 2 storey grand victorian, for demolishment over 20 years ago.
                    There is unbelievable Catholic property all over Australia worth an untold amount of money, although with the Royal Commission I guess all the property will be now be accounted for by the Government.

                    Commenter
                    Andrew
                    Location
                    Geraldton
                    Date and time
                    January 02, 2013, 9:41PM
                    • good one you for standing up for the church etc my parents passed now went to school there as braddon was formed rememeber one man changed history as told by the church etc jesus so good on you mate to have the courage to stand up and fight for what you believe in me i grew up in braddon and yes at the moment the place is being raped by money hungry developers its pretty sad day when they have to knock down a church maybe they have a deal going on with the offer on the braddon club oops alterior motives

                      Commenter
                      turntabletreachery
                      Date and time
                      January 03, 2013, 1:16AM
                      Comments are now closed
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