Pictures of St Paul's Glenreagh Catholic Church as it was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning.
Pictures of St Paul's Glenreagh Catholic Church as it was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning. Su Crocker-Salmon

Bishop approves plans after historic church fire

JUST over a year since Glenreagh's St Paul's Church was destroyed by fire and the Lismore Catholic Diocese has today committed to upgrade another of the Orara Valley's historic timber churches.

Coramba's historic riverside St Therese's Catholic Church will be upgraded, but the former St Paul's Catholic Church at Glenreagh will not be rebuilt, with uses for the church-owned Boundary St site to be further discussed. 

Since the Glenreagh church was razed by fire in May, last year, Lismore Diocese Bishop Greg Homeming called a series of community listening forums, held in February and early July, that provided insights into how to best serve the Catholic community of the Orara Valley.

Coffs Harbour Parish Priest Fr Peter Padsungay said extensive consultation took place with parishioners impacted by the situation.

St Paul's Church Glenreagh
St Paul's Church Glenreagh contributed

On a recommendation by the local Coffs Harbour Parish Finance Council, the Diocesan Council of Priests, and subsequently endorsed by Bishop Homeming, it has been decided that the Glenreagh Catholic Church will not be re-built.

"The greater good will is best served by rejuvenating St Therese's Church at Coramba," Fr Padsungay said.

John and Pam Pade and Jennifer Tuxford local Parishioners of Coramba outside the St Therese's Catholic Church that will be rejuvenated.
John and Pam Pade and Jennifer Tuxford local Parishioners of Coramba outside the St Therese's Catholic Church that will be rejuvenated. Matthew Deans

"Additionally there will be an increase of pastoral services and support to Catholics of the Orara Valley."

The Parish Finance Council is now considering what other community use can be made of the land previously occupied by the Glenreagh Church and surrounds. 

The church's damaged foundation stone was put in place on February 1st, 1931 and the building was blessed and opened on May 31 of that year. 

In August, Coffs Clarence police charged an 18-year-old man with arson over the church fire.

That matter proceeded before the Coffs Harbour Children's Court.

 

St Pauls Catholic Church burnt down. Glenreagh.. 28 MAY 2018
St Pauls Catholic Church burnt down. Glenreagh.. 28 MAY 2018 Trevor Veale