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April 21, 2024

Privately owned, but still ‘sacred site’ – Nimbin church burns to the ground

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St Patrick’s in Nimbin burned to the ground on Sunday October 17. Photo Judi Kent.

Last night at around 9pm, St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Nimbin burned to the ground.

Nimbin resident Judi Kent said she knew there was something wrong when she heard the Nimbin fire station alarm going off three times in quick succession.

The church before the fire.

‘I live on the same street so I went down to have a look. The fire trucks were already there but the whole thing was on fire. It was burnt to the ground in about 20 minutes.

The fire quickly destroyed the building, which collapsed in on itself.  ‘It was shocking how fast it burned,’ said Ms Kent.

Property is now privately owned

The and Lismore Diocese priest Father Bing Monteagudo said that Masses had not been celebrated at Nimbin for some time.

All of the holy items were removed but St Patrick’s was still a consecrated building.

‘Though all the holy items were removed, St Patrick’s was still a consecrated building and therefore a sacred site in the Catholic Church.’

Originally the church was used as a school conducted by the Sisters of St Joseph who lived in the convent next door. When a priest was not available the people and the sisters gathered to hear the Gospel of the Sunday and recite the Rosary.

Fire crews successfully extinguished the blaze, and police from Nimbin and Lismore have established a crime scene and secured the area.

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  1. Why are the words sacred sight in the article have inverted commas? Is this because the paper doubts the legitimacy of a church’s sacredness? Wouldn’t dare do such a thing if referring to an Aboriginal sacred sight would you.


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