Our parish of St Thomas, named after the Apostle, ‘Doubting Thomas’, emerged from the Cottesloe Parish in 1904 with Mass celebrated in Bowers Hall, opposite Claremont Railway Station, by Fr Thomas Masterson. A Catholic School was established in Reserve Street and this school doubled as a place for Mass and other parish activities until it burnt down in 1913. Whilst rebuilding was in progress Mass was held at the Council Chambers and again at Bowers Hall. As the parish expanded, various organizations, for example St. Vincent de Paul began to develop.
Our present church building was opened in 1936 and Fr Tom Masterson was the first Parish Priest. In 1953 a new Presbytery was built adjacent to the church. The then parish priest, Fr. McCormack took up residence. Subsequently, in 1954, a new school on the Church land was erected and opened in 1955.
The cross and icon at the entrance to our Church commemorate the day the World Youth DayCross & Icon graced our Parish – 24th May 2008.
Among the many pieces of art in our Church please look at our beautiful icon of the Holy Trinity, Abraham’s Hospitality, near the Baptismal Font; this was created by Sr Patricia Downey, PBVM
The C1850 Relief of the Virgin Mary to the right of the Tabernacle is from Florence, Italy.
In the 1960’s our church was found to be too small and was extended. The architect was Brian Jackson, one of our parishioners. The extension was blessed by Bishop McKenna on 8 December 1963.
The windows in the extended church were installed in January 2006. Their description with donors can be found on the adjacent commemoration mount.
The scriptural panels – Old Testament is to the left and New Testament is to the right of the Tabernacle. Their placement signifies that the Eucharist of Jesus and our salvation not only emerge from the Scriptures but that as we receive His Eucharist we become part of the Word of God.