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Welcome to the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Wellington. Located in the parliamentary precinct, together with our sister Anglican Cathedral at the other end of Hill Street, Sacred Heart Cathedral plays an important part in the life of the City of Wellington and of New Zealand. The first church to be built on the Hill Street site was St. Mary’s Cathedral, blessed and opened in 1851. It was gutted by fire in 1898, during repainting. Because the Catholic population of Wellington was then mostly based in the Te Aro and Newtown areas, it was decided that a new cathedral should be erected in that part of the city and a ‘serviceable church in brick’ built on the site of the old cathedral. However the new church, called the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, was rather grander than this. Its foundation stone was laid in 1899 and the building blessed and opened two years later. In 1983 the Basilica was elevated to the status of a cathedral by Cardinal Thomas Williams. The following year it was made a Category 1 Historic Place.