Sacred Heart Basilica, Timaru

The Sacred Heart Basilica is a Catholic church in Timaru.

This is the third church to be built on the Craigie Avenue property. A wooden chapel opened in 1874. This was replaced by a larger church three years later.

A further larger church building was needed as the parish continued to grow. Parish Priest Father John Tubman visited his brother in the United States who was a priest at the Catholic cathedral in Reno, Nevada. Father Tubman was impressed with the design and had plans drawn up for the new church based on his photographs of the Saint Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno.

Dunedin architect Francis Petrie designed the church in Renaissance Revival style. It is constructed of Oamaru stone, brick and reinforced concrete. The foundation stone was laid on 6 February 1910. The church was completed in 1911 and was consecrated on October 1st that year.

The Basilica’s twin towers and copper cupola dominate the Timaru skyline and are visible when approaching the church.

The Sacred Heart Basilica is located at 7 Craigie Avenue, Timaru.