St Benedict’s Catholic Church is an iconic part of Sydney’s religious scene, and for a good reason. The church was built between 1845 and 1856, and after it opened, occupied a prominent place right at the corner of George Street West (now Broadway) and Abercrombie Street.
It was in fact, the second key church in the then-colonial era and a few years later, the first organ was installed at the church by renowned organ maker, Fredrick Baker.
St Benedict’s Catholic Church, Mass Times & Address, Chippendale NSW
Following these structural changes, it was decided that part of the church would be preserved and part of it demolished and reconstructed in the same manner. This decision hinged on the fact that it would be essential to maintain the church’s integrity so that generations to come would not notice the stark difference from the original structure.
In the ’80s, the church faced immense pressure that saw the closure of the nearby convent and girls’ school in 1981. The dwindling numbers of congregants, coupled with the fact that the church needed maintenance, saw the convent and the school’s management taken over by the Notre Dame University. Part of the funds raised was used to restore the church, and today, it is one of the city’s oldest churches.
For visitors and locals looking for spiritual growth, St Benedict’s is open for mass between Monday and Friday at 12:35pm – except for public holidays. Confession is held on weekdays between 11:45am and 12:30pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm and 5:30pm respectively. On Sundays, mass is held at 10:30am and 6:00pm. Look out for upcoming events on the church’s official website.
St Benedict’s Catholic Church is easily accessible by public transport. Central and Redfern train stations are nearby, and many bus routes service the area including 431, 432, 433, 434, 436 and 438, among others.