No. 259 - St Peter's at Kempton

St Peter’s Catholic Church at Kempton opened 100 years ago. Kempton, which lies about 50km north of Hobart, was named in honour of Anthony Fenn Kemp*, a pioneering merchant and grazier.

St Peter’s replaced an earlier timber church dedicated to St. Peter and St. Ann.  It stood in Louisa Street, next to the Catholic Cemetery.

The new brick church was designed by Alan Cameron Walker**. Originally the church was to cost £1600 but by the time it was completed in 1923, with the addition of a vestry and sanctuary, the cost had more than doubled to £3400.

The opening of St Peter’s on 29 September 1918 was reported in the Hobart newspaper, ‘The World’:

“The township of Kempton was en fete on Sunday afternoon, on the occasion of the official opening of St Peter’s Catholic Church by the archbishop of Hobart (Dr Delany). There was a large attendance of local residents of all denominations, and also many visitors from New Norfolk, Brighton, Richmond, and Hobart. The religious ceremonies connected with the opening took place in the morning, when the parish priest (Father Arthur Cullen, B.A.) celebrated mass. His Grace, the Archbishop arrived from Hobart by motor-car shortly before 3 o’clock, accompanied by Monsignor Gilleran…”

In his address Archbishop Delany remarked that:

“He was surprised to find that they had gone in for such a fine building, and he certainly had no idea when he suggested on a previous visit, that the old church was really beyond repair and that a new one was necessary, that they would be so ambitious”.

St Peter's did not manage to celebrate its centenary as a church as it was deconsecrated some years back and converted into a house. It remains a visually impressive building on Kempton’s High Street and is a reminder of the significant Catholic presence in the Southern Midlands.


*   Anthony Fenn Kemp
** Alan Cameron Walker  

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

The Weekly Courier 10 October 1918

Father Cullen:  The Weekly Courier 10 October 1918    

The Ladies committee and the Church Committee:  The Weekly Courier 10 October 1918

The Weekly Courier 10 October 1918

The Catholic Cemetery at Kempton

Charles Leo Batt former MHA and MLA Link

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An unusual headstone in that the lettering is carved over an earlier inscription.


The Mercury, Friday 5 January 1872, page 3
The Mercury, Monday 19 January 1874, page 2
The Mercury, Monday 7 January 1878, page 2
The Mercury, Saturday 24 November 1917, page 5
The Mercury, Saturday 23 March 1918, page 8
The World (Hobart), Tuesday 1 October 1918, page 2
The Mercury, Friday 4 February 1927, page 3
The Mercury, Thursday 4 May 1939, page 3

The Weekly Courier 10 October 1918


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