No. 163 - Our Lady Help of Christians at Newnham and Holy Cross at Ravenswood

In February 1968, Our Lady Help of Christians Peace Memorial Church was opened by Archbishop Guilford Young to serve the growing northern suburbs of Newnham and Mayfield. 

A small church school opened in the parish in 1961. With the purchase of a 24 acre property in 1960, there were ambitious plans for the parish with the intention of establishing a boys’ college at Newnham. This project never eventuated but the junior school served local Catholics until 1988 when it amalgamated with St Finn Barr's Primary school at Invermay.  A well know student at the school was Dr Brendan Nelson, one time Federal Opposition Leader and now director of the Australian War Memorial. 

Launceston's northern suburbs grew rapidly in the 1960's and the parish thrived and expanded with the establishment of a new church in the nearby suburb of Ravenswood. Prior to this, Ravenswood masses had been conducted at the local State school and the Ravenswood community hall. In the 1960’s, negotiations with the Anglican community enabled the church of All Saints to be used by Catholics for Sunday Mass. The Church of the Holy Cross was blessed and opened in November 1976 and Ravenswood at last had a Catholic church of its own.

Due to the reduction of priests in Launceston, regular Masses at 'Holy Cross' ceased in 2001. Our Lady Help of Christians shared a similar fate and both the churches have subsequently closed. 'Our Lady Help of Christians' now serves as the Newstead Fellowship Church while 'Holy Cross' has been redeveloped into housing units.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018


Fr. Terry Southerwood: Launceston's Catholic Story (1838-2001); 2001 Launceston.


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