St Matthew-in-the-City is the historic Anglican church, built-in 1905 and renowned for its neo-Gothic style. It was to have been designed by John Loughborough Pearson (1817-97), the architect of Truro Cathedral in Cornwall and of St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane, but he died before the work was complete. His son, Frank, took over and Lord Ranfurly laid the foundation stone in 1902.
St Thomas’ Chapel, a humble wooden building set amongst workers’ cottages and part of St Matthew’s mission parish, used to stand in Union Street and was in danger of being demolished to make way for motorways. Its main altar and parts of the Lady Chapel were rescued and stored in the crypt of St Matthew’s, and recently these have been restored and placed in the south transept.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh worshipped here on Christmas Day and the following Sunday in December 1953.
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