Cardinal George Pell
Cardinal George Pell has described a new biography of St Mary's Cathedral architect William Wardell as a tribute to his "irreplaceable contribution to the colonies of NSW and Victoria".
Paramount among Wardell's contributions were the magnificent Gothic revival buildings of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne and St Mary’s Cathedral, Cardinal Pell said at the launch of William Wardell – Building with Conviction, by Anthony G. Evans, according to The Catholic Weekly.
Cardinal Pell told the audience that Wardell built more than 20 churches and presbyteries in England before he came to Australia in 1858.
“I have a mild affinity with Wardell that comes from the fact that he designed the two magnificent cathedrals in Sydney and in Melbourne, and I’m the only one, so far, who has been archbishop in both those two beautiful cathedrals,” he said.
“Wardell worked for 20 years on St Mary’s Cathedral and was a stickler for excellence,” he said, “even insisting to Hardman’s, the stained glass manufacturers in England, that the stained glass they had chosen was much too pale for the Australian sunlight, and that he needed deeper colours ... and he eventually got them."
Cardinal Pell said the “magnificent Gothic revival buildings rival anything in most parts of the world”.
Author Tony Evans said Wardell “possessed an extraordinary missionary zeal to bring the benefits of the Industrial Revolution, the inventions, the new technology and skills to the world overseas”.
Author’s tribute to cathedral architect (The Catholic Weekly)