Anglican Cathedral Church of St. Alban the Martyr Griffith
The Early Days
The original parish of Griffith was established in 1920 during the initial years of the town’s growth. The first services were held in the town picture theatre before a Rectory was built in 1923. A church of humble beginnings, Weddings and Baptisms were conducted in the rectory lounge room until the Church Hall was dedicated and opened by the then Lord Bishop of London, the Right Reverend A.F.Winninton-Ingram, on the 22nd of March 1927.
In September 1937, the groundwork for the building of a cathedral church was laid by a Griffith Parish delegation, led by the Rector, Reverend W.G.Bennett and in 1947 Louis R. Williams, F.R.A.I.A., was commissioned to design a church which would be “spacious, lofty, seating around 300 in the Nave with ample room for extra seating, cloistered aisles, Chapel, Choir Gallery, separate Baptistry, good vestry accommodation, no doors opening to the southwest and to be free of any dust-catching ornamentation”.
“St Alban’s combines modern and traditional architecture, designed for Australian conditions and was described by Louis Williams as ’20th Century Gothic”.
18 years after the foundations were laid, the Church of St Alban the Martyr was opened and dedicated by the Bishop on Saturday, 16th April, 1955. An affair not to be missed, the Bishop was greeted with a fanfare of trumpets and crowd of approximately 750 people seated inside the church and a further 1200 celebrating the opening outside.
On Tuesday, 1st May 1984, as part of the Riverina Diocese Centenary celebrations, St Alban’s Church at Griffith became the Cathedral of the Diocese. The Right Reveerend Barry Hunter, seventh Bishop of Riverina, knocked at the West Doors three times to claim St Alban’s as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Riverina and was placed in his Cathedra by the archdeacon of the Riverina, the Venerable G.R.Lawrence.
St Albans Today
In addition to being the Parish Church for Griffith, the Cathedral aims to be a focus for the life of this large diocese in regional New South Wales. The statement of purpose for the cathedral is:
To proclaim the Gospel in Word, Sacrament and action and to be a centre of excellence for worship and service for the Diocese of Riverina.