Our history

The history of the church goes back to 1872 when Jesuits purchased land in Walpole Street. By 1875 Archbishop Gould had laid a foundation stone on 14 February for a school. Early services for local Catholics were held in Richmond, Collingwood and later Hawthorn. By 1899 the land for the current church was purchased after a donation by Mr James Crotty of £3,000.00. The foundation stone was laid on 15 December 1918 by Archbishop Mannix.

Among the earliest Masses celebrated in Kew was one in 1864 at 'Yarra Bend Asylum. In 1865 Bishop Goold said Mass there. In the early years, the Jesuit Fathers were in charge of the 'Mission'. Fr. Nolan SJ was the driving force behind the Mission but other Jesuits associated with Kew were Fr. Dalton Si, Fr. Mu!hall SJ, and Fr. O'Flynn Si. Before the Chapel-School was built on the corner of Walpole and Walton Streets, Kew Catholics went to Mass at Richmond, Collingwood, and after its opening in 1869, the Church at Hawthorn.

The first Church was to be used as a school on weekdays, and as a Church on Sundays.

The dimensions of the church were to be 139 feet long by 77 feet wide with seating for 850 people. The cost of construction was £15,000.00.

December 15th 1918 saw the Foundation stone of the current church laid by Archbishop Mannix. There were 5,000 people in attendance. Dimentions of the church are 139 feet long, 77 feet wide, 48 1/2 feet high and it could seat 850 people.

Sacred Heart Church, Kew, Vic., circa 1920-54. Photographic print of a Rose Stereograph Co. postcard in the State Library of Victoria collection.