- Written by Murray Byfield
- Category: Ghosts & Hauntings
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Desecration and Hauntings
Christchurch Cathedral is a large Anglican Church situated in the suburb of “The Hill” over looking the harbor and city of Newcastle NSW Australia.
The Church had its beginnings as a slab hut that was constructed in 1812 under the instruction of Governor King "You are to cause the prayers of the Church of England to be read with all due solemnity every Sunday." This building was demolished for a more permanent Church to be constructed.
In 1817, the foundation stone was laid under order of Governor Macquarie. There was no resident clergyman at the time and as the church was one of the Government buildings. In August 1818 at a service conducted by The Reverend William Cowper of St Phillips Church, Sydney, Governor Macquarie himself named the little convict built church “Christ Church”.
This newer building was to be the Newcastle’s Cathedral for nearly seventy years. The foundation stone of this building still can be seen today in the floor of the current Cathedral at the end of the Nave.
By the year 1881 this church was in very poor repair with it being described as a “crumbling building”. The foundation stone of the Church that exists today was laid in 1892. It would be 43 years before the Cathedral was completed with exception of tower and transepts.
Problems of maintenance plagued the Cathedral and a crisis was reached in 1974 when much of the roof was lost in a severe storm. The decision was made to complete the building at a cost of some $700,000. By May 1979 the finished building was dedicated and on the 25th November, 1983, the Cathedral Church of Christ the King was consecrated.
On Thursday, 28th December, 1989, Newcastle was struck by a serious earthquake. The Cathedral was badly damaged.
Restoration work began in 1995 and was completed in 1997. The Cathedral building was Re-Hallowed on 31st January, 1997.
Desecration of Christchurch Cathedral Cemetery
In 1966 the Christchurch Cathedral, Newcastle, Cemetery Act was passed. It allowed for any headstones whose inscriptions were illegible to be removed by the Council and the Corporate Trustees and the cemetery to be converted into parkland. Only a three month notice was given in local and state wide newspapers to any family members or relatives of those interred in the cemetery were able with the approval of the Council to remove the headstones at their own cost.
If relatives wanted to remove the remains of their family members, permission from the Director-General of Public Health was needed to transfer the human remains to another cemetery.
In the early seventies the majority of the headstones were removed by council and used as fill. With the stroke of a pen the memories of the founders of Australia’s second oldest city were swept away.
Today only three rows Headstones remain tho the bodies belonging to those headstones do not lie there.
The Cathedrals bell tower is rumoured to be haunted by a resident ghost. Also dark figures have been seen darting around the back of the Church near the cemetery.
The Guide Yourself Tour of Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle Pamphlet.