After more than one hundred and fifty years of history, it was with heavy hearts that the parishioners of St Peter’s in Wedderburn held their final Mass on Christmas Eve 2020.
In the days of the search for gold, Wedderburn Catholics were under the care of the Castlemaine Mission, then Carisbrook and Inglewood Missions. In January 1877 a block was purchased in Wedderburn as a site for a church. Tenders were called for in March and by August construction of St Peter’s was complete. On November 25, 1877 the church was consecrated.
In 1978 St Peter’s became part of St Joseph’s Parish, Charlton. On March 13, 1978 the centenary of St Peter’s was celebrated.
In 2020 a difficult decision was made, with consultations of the last four loyal parishioners of the church, to close its doors. The final Mass to be offered in St Peter’s was the end of an era. Over the years St Peter’s has been the centre for many baptisms, funerals and weddings – the last wedding being a massive affair in 2018 with over two hundred guests.
Lay Led Assemblies of Word and Communion began in 1998. Joan Steel, Berna Reeves, Kathy Whale, Pat and Frank Canfield organised Sunday Assemblies of Word and Communion for two weeks and then Mass was celebrated the other two weeks. In later years Lou Gamble helped out, as Joan was the last soldier standing!
Joan Steel and Frank Canfield are our oldest and longest worshippers with over sixty years attendance at St Peter’s.
Written by the parishioners of St Peter’s Wedderburn
Article and photos printed in “Our Diocesan Community” March 2021.