St Mary's Cathedral is one of the prominent landmarks and tourist attractions in Sydney. Many of us would have visited the exterior and even the interior of the cathedral. However, perhaps not many people are aware about the free guided tour offered by the cathedral's volunteers. These tours are usually conducted on Sundays after the 10.30am mass and last for about 1.5 hours.
It is a very interesting tour which entails the history of the church and its beautiful architectural design. There are several chapels surrounding the Sanctuary. Other main features of the cathedral also include its high altar, the archbishop's throne, the font, terrazzo mosaic floor, oil painting of the 14 stations of the cross, imported stained glass windows, the bells, the organs and the crypt.
I was fascinated by the cathedral's bells, which has a peal of 14 bells hung on the central tower weighing from 281 kg to 1741 kg. These bells are rung and maintained by members of the oldest ringing society in Australia called the St Mary's Basilica Society of Change Ringers who come from various background, age and faith. The other highlight about the cathedral is probably the crypt located beneath the church.
Overall it is a worthwhile tour on a Sunday, which doesn't even cost a thing! I would highly recommend to anyone who hasn't joined the guided tour yet.