St John’s The Evangelist Catholic Church

38 St Johns Circle, Richmond

Saturday, Feb 24

Sunday, Feb 25

Architect/s: Henry Edmund Goodridge & Augustus Pugin (1835 – 1837), Roderick W Cooper Architect (1972)
Builder/s: Buscombe

Nestled atop a hill overlooking the Coal River, Richmond Bridge and St. John’s Catholic School, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church stands as Australia’s oldest continually-used Catholic church. On land donated by John Cassidy, the church, measuring 15.4 meters by 5.8 meters, boasts Gothic Y-tracery adorned windows and with notable features, all constructed from coursed sandstone with a corrugated iron roof.

The church underwent transformative additions in 1859, when it was significantly enlarged. The updated design, by renowned English architect Augustus Pugin, included a chancel, sacristy, and a west tower with a spire. Due to decay, in 1893 the original spire was replaced by a shorter version by architect Alexander North. Major renovations in 1928-1929 addressed stonework repairs, a new wooden ceiling, chancel floor remediation, a sacristy door, and a finely crafted altar and tabernacle by Eveleen and Marie and Brettingham-Moore. The spire was replaced for a second time in 1972  by Roderick W Cooper Architect in association with Jan Seijka of Continental Builders.

The church represents the resistance movements in Ireland impacting British colonies, and epitomises the development of global Christianity. Richmond, a Catholic hub in the 1820s, gained a primary school that continues to thrive today. Today, St. John’s, along with the nearby School House and cemetery, is a cherished tourist attraction, reflecting its historical and architectural significance.

Open: Saturday 24 February, 10 am – 4 pm, Sunday 25 February, 11 am – 4 pm

Access: Some uneven surfaces and steps

Open House Richmond Experience: The church will be open throughout the weekend – featuring the Brettingham-Moore designed and made altar, along with the Old School House, which will present and display of church memorabilia and regalia. The Modernist lines of the 1957 presbytery, designed by Paul Fox, can also be enjoyed from outside.

Note: There is little on street parking available and St. John’s Circle is one way only. Please park beside St. John’s Church.


Richmond | Coal River Valley

Building Types


Place of Worship

Architectural Period




History of Richmond

New to Program


Uneven Surfaces

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