The 60th anniversary of the opening and dedication of Griffith’s cathedral was celebrated on Sunday.
The church was filled with people young and old, some regular parishioners and some who had returned especially for the event.
Father Rob Harris, Dean of the Cathedral, had encouraged the church to invite former members to attend.
“The original idea was ‘your challenge is to invite someone who you know was here on the day (60 years ago)’,” Fr Harris said.
“I thought it was a great celebration and I was really encouraged by so many people from the community who have had an association with the church from its inception to now.” Bishop Rob Gillion began the service by knocking on the door to the church with his Pastoral Staff, commencing the rededication.
Registrar for the Diocese of Riverina, Michelle Catanzariti, said it was a reenactment of the original opening.
“The tradition was the Bishop would knock on the door, he would be allowed to enter by the Dean, and then the Bishop enters and it becomes his cathedral,” Ms Catanzariti said.
“It’s sort of replicating the original service when the cathedral was first opened 60 years ago, so the hymns are the same ones, the service follows quite closely, its quite special.” Processing with the clergy were Mayor John Dal Broi and Griffith police Superintendent Michael Rowan.
Councillor Dal Broi later spoke of the importance of the cathedral in making Griffith a city. A peace garden had been planted, and a gazebo built, to commemorate the event, and they were opened and blessed by the Bishop.
“It’s a very special place for so many people,” Bishop Gillion said.
“People can come and have a moment of relaxation if they need a place to come and be quiet, and this church echoes that , it’s open all the time for people to come and sit and be a house of prayer,” he said.
Among the congregation were the first child baptised and one of the first couples to be married in the cathedral.
Anne Cullen, nee Morshead, was the first child baptised in the cathedral on 17 April 1955 and she returned to the church for the event.
Shirley and Ron Prendergast, were the second couple married in the church on 30 April 1955.
Anne Forrest, a former choir girl recalled the dedication: “I was 14-years-old, and everything was so pomp and ritual, and it the place was just lit up, it was wonderful. From the old church to the new one “you felt like you was born again, it was so wonderful.”
Bishop Gillion made special mention of the hospitality of the church, and said it was their real gift.