• Location: St Mary’s Catholic Church Concord

St Mary’s Parish Concord is celebrating its sesquicentenary this year, 2020. St Mary’s Concord was founded as a separate parish in 1870 although a church had existed on the site since 1845.

Prior to European settlement, the area now known as Concord within the City of Canada Bay was occupied by the Wangal clan.[1] The name Wangal was derived from the word for their country, wanne meaning ‘west’. The Wangal were a clan of the Darug (sometimes spelt Dharug) tribe or language group. They called themselves the Eora, meaning ‘the people’. They were living in the Sydney area for at least 10,000 years.

The Wanngal clan’s territory is thought to have originally extended from Darling Harbour, around the Balmain Peninsula almost to Parramatta in the west, the Parramatta River formed the northern boundary although it is uncertain how far south their land extended.

The first church on the Concord site was near Parramatta Road where the Parish Hall now stands. It was built in 1845 and blessed by Archbishop Polding on 7 December 1845. At that time there was no resident priest. A priest came from Parramatta, established in 1827. The parish of St Mary’s Sydney that became the Cathedral church had been established in 1821.

When the parish of Petersham (now Lewisham) was established in 1851, the church at Concord became part of Petersham parish. The first church was also used as a hall and a school until the second church was opened in 1874. The present church was officially opened in March 1929 although the first Mass had been celebrated in the church on Christmas Day 1928.

[1] Information from the Heritage Society of the City of Canada Bay



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