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Century of faith at Hamley Bridge


Parishioners of Our Lady of the Nativity, Hamley Bridge, will celebrate 100 years since the church’s consecration on Sunday April 30.

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An earlier church, St Benedict’s, was built in 1866 at Pinkerton Plains with an adjoining cemetery. At the time, it was a good location to minister to the various Irish Catholics families who were farming the area.

With the growth of Hamley Bridge as a railway hub, and the number of SA Railways employees also of Irish origin, it made sense to build a new church in the town itself. The parishioners spared no expense.

First they built a presbytery, opened in 1914, at a cost of 10,000 pounds. Work then began on the church itself. St Benedict’s was demolished, with the stone being carted into Hamley Bridge for re-use.

With some delay caused by the First World War, Our Lady of the Nativity was only completed in 1923. The church dominates the southern approach to the town. The windows alone cost 17,000 pounds.

The church had a miraculous escape from the Pinery bushfire in 2015. Both homes to the immediate north were lost and flames lapped around it on three sides. Most of the garden was lost. However, of the church itself, not even the paint on the door was scorched.

The anniversary Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan at 10.30am.

This will be followed by a light lunch at a sports club, $20 per person. As the club can hold only 60, bookings are essential.

All are invited. If planning to attend the lunch, contact the parish office 8566 2064 or


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