Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane

Brisbane, Australia

Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane


The Cathedral of St Stephen is the heritage-listed cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane and seat of its archbishop in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. St Stephen's was only meant to serve as a temporary seat for the archbishop, and plans for a replacement were made with the Holy Name Cathedral, however the cathedral was never built.

The cathedral is located on a site bounded by Elizabeth, Charlotte, Creek, and Edward Streets, in the Australian city of Brisbane, Queensland. James Quinn, the first bishop of Brisbane, arrived in 1861 from Ireland, and soon planned to build a large cathedral to accommodate a growing congregation. On 26 December 1863, the Feast of St Stephen, Quinn laid the foundation stone for a grand cathedral designed by Benjamin Backhouse, but this did not at first proceed beyond the foundations. R George Suter was then commissioned to design a smaller, simpler church partly on the foundations, and the current nave was built 1870–74, with the front gables and spires completed 1884. No further was undertaken until James Duhig took up the archbishopric in 1917. With plans to build new larger Holy Name Cathedral in Fortitude Valley, he engaged architects Hennessy, Hennessy & Co to complete St Stephen's with a crossing, transepts and sanctuary in a simpler design than intended, which was built in 1920–22.

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