Heritage of Church of Our Lady of Dolours Chatswood

Notes from original design description prepared by Architects; Messrs. Hennessy and Hennessy in 1920

Architecturally it is a simplified treatment of Italian Renaissance complete with coloured brick in-lays - campanile, apsidal sanctuary - semi-circular vaulted ceiling with intersecting groins giving necessary height for the lateral lighting. The completed building will* comprise a large nave 40ft (12.2m) wide and 92ft (28m) long and 50ft (15.2m) high. Transepts 40ft (12.2m) wide finished with side chapels, apsidal sanctuary, sacristies, vestry, strong room, three mural confessionals, baptistery, tower campanile and gallery...'

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* C.R. Massent, of Waverley, Sydney, only completed a half portion in 1921. This was caused by a substantial 'blow out' in costs of construction, after the commencement of the project and resulted in plans being modified.

The completed section in 1921 comprised the whole of the front with baptistery, entrance vestibule, gallery, two confessions (instead of three) a temporary sanctuary and vestry, finished with asbestos cement. Walls and ceilings were finished in Keen's cement and plaster.

The front elevation consisted of a large semi-circular arch, springing form lonic entablature flanked each side by large piers in coloured brickwork. The arch divided by two Ionic columns into three main entrance doorways surmounted by modelled panels. The columns supported two adoring angels that divided the semicircular arch into three large leadlight windows. The arch itself was flanked by panels containing a set each of Arms of the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Archbishop of Sydney.

1961 - completed and extended but with modifications owing to difficulties with the site which had been restricted in size owing to the building of the East Wing of St. Pius X College in 1957 and which was part of the original Church portion.

The Sanctuary, which is normally separated from the nave and transepts has been brought forward. Behind the altar is of sandstone, the table being in a single great stone. It rests on stone legs at the end, infilled at the front with carved panels with a red granite centre-piece bearing the symbol of Our Lord in gold, on the face. The floors of the sanctuary, which is on two levels, are covered with parquetry.

The tower was added in 1960.  The church can accommodate 800 people.

Opening of church newspaper article - Church History

Bishop Anthony's Homily on Our Lady of Dolours Church's 100th Anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone.