History of St Brendan's Church, Shepparton

In 1878 work commenced on the building of the first Catholic Church in Shepparton.  It is interesting to note that the church was built on an acre of land in Knight Street generously donated by Mr Alfred Leahy to the Catholic Church although he was not himself a Catholic.  This church was completely destroyed by a fire on the 29th January, 1900.

Within a week of the fire Mr J.A.K. Clarke was asked to prepare plans for a new church, with a seating capacity for 800 people.  The builder, Mr Luff, had St Brendan’s Church ready to open 10 months later at a cost of 1,979 pounds.  It featured a solid Irish oak altar, which is still in use today.

In 1923 St Brendan’s was enhanced by a new sanctuary, nun’s chapel, sacristy and room for altar servers, together with a new slate roof, ceiling and redesigned windows.  Some 25 years later the front wall and entrance were rebuilt and a superbly designed round window added.

To mark the centenary year 2000, St Brendan’s was refurbished in response to liturgical changes that had arisen over time.  The nun’s chapel was converted into a space for small group prayer and renamed the Marion Chapel.  A bronze statue of St Brendan was commissioned by the Morison family in honour of their parents and sculpted by acclaimed artist, Leopoldine Mimovich, as part of a water feature at the entrance.

Features added to St Brendan’s during the past hundred years were all designed with due respect for the structure built in 1900 with such foresight and cherished by parishioners over the years.