History of Saint Michael’s, Wollombi

The Church of Saint Michael the Archangel is one of Australia’s oldest mainland Catholic churches. On 30th September 1840 the Reverend John Bede Polding, first Catholic Bishop of Sydney, laid the foundation stone on land bought for £5, near Cunneen’s Bridge on the Wollombi Brook. From 1843 services were held in the Gothic-style church, built of locally quarried sandstone.

Following the great flood of 1893 the church was dismantled and, stone by stone, moved and rebuilt on its present site between the Old Post Office and the Forge. The cost of the removal and reconstruction was £850. On 22nd October 1893, The Reverend James Murray, Bishop of Maitland, laid a new foundation stone alongside the old one.

Nearly 100 years later, in September 1991, the church was put up for auction and was purchased by the local community.