I am a freelance writer living in the Newcastle NSW area. If you feel I should check out other attractions, or, other restaurants, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Charles Enyaw is my Pen name. :) "Take care and enjoy life"
Are you bored? No money? Need something to do. Then go and visit the Cathedral Church of Christ the King in Newcastle, this church is the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. It sits at the top of Newcomen Street Newcastle NSW.
You might think, how strange, someone telling me to go look at a church? This is no ordinary run of the mill Sunday service church. This church is one of the iconic sites to be found in the very heart of Newcastle, and a very worthwhile visit.
You can see it from just about every angle in Newcastle. It is a very ornate and welcoming service church for Christians, but, it is also open to the public for perusal. On first arriving in the massive gates, one would feel awestruck, as just the sheer size of it from the front gate is inspiring.
You are greeted by a huge carved white statue of the Saviour, (Jesus Christ), with outstretched arms built high on the front side. The building was opened by Edmund Gleeson in 1941. It was later to be known as the Sacred Heart Cathedral on July 16th 1995.
The church's foundations were dug out by the parishioners, and, constructed of bricks donated by mostly the parishioners. This meant that each parishioner would pay twopence per brick towards construction, though the average donation was actually 10 pounds per parishioner.
The idea was created by, Monsignor Victor Francis Peters. I was told by one of the church attendants that Monsignor Peters took the architectural design from an Irish church in Thurles. The total construction was over 700 000 bricks. On going through the front doors I was greeted by a very lovely lady who gave me an amazing amount of information.
On entering the main foyer you come across the baptismal area which is created with amazingly ornate wood and silver garnishments. It makes you feel like you are stepping through time. You then turn right and straight away you cannot help but feel small as you enter such a huge opening of the main church area.
The floors are tiled and the red carpet in the isles gives one a feeling of royalty. All the windows on either side are absolutely beautiful and host an intricate lead light design construction. The ceiling is a criss-cross wood design.
There is gold and silver adorning everywhere you look. The massive pipe organ was being played by the organist at the time. He was getting some practise in before the Sunday service.
Being an avid lover of music, I approached the stair area of the organ pulpit, and asked if he could show me the old world charm instrument. It was so beautiful and I have never seen so many keys, buttons and slides on an organ. The organist was very obliging and even let me play, although chopsticks on a pipe organ sounds quite funny, it felt good.
I then noticed a green door near where the organist was sitting. On asking what was behind there he informed me it was the bell tower entrance. I was told to go and see the lady on the front door and she would give me a key to enter. I could not get there quick enough. I think my walk would have won a gold medal in an Olympic event. With my heart racing with excitement I returned, inserted the old fashioned key, and opened the door. Wow, I was awestruck.
I entered a dark medieval winding staircase which was exactly like that found in an old castle. I turned on the lights and found it led all the way to the room where the ropes to ring the bells were hanging down.
These were only allowed to be used by the clergy to ring the bells. On further climbing we came to the bell room. As they say "OMG" these were the biggest thickest bells I had ever seen.
They were green in colour, and amazing to behold. We then ventured even further up to find that once you open the last door, you come across a small quadrangle area on the roof. From this vantage point you can see all of Newcastle and the surrounding suburbs. Truly inspiring and absolutely breathtaking.
We spent a good half hour just looking at every part of Newcastle. Sadly it was time to leave this beautiful view, but there was just still far to much of this church to see. This church will take you quite a few hours to see absolutely everything.
There is no cost but it's always nice to make an offering in church. Make sure you place this church on your bucket list of free places to see. I give this site a 9 out of 10 for its value and beauty.
This article confuses our Anglican Christ Church Cathedral on the hill behind the city centre with the Catholic Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newcastle West. The location and photos are of tne former while most of the text relating to the interior refers to the latter. Visitors welcome to both!