The Church of St Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Blumberg, was solemnly dedicated on 8 September 1867 by the Very Rev. John Smyth, the Vicar General. “From an early hour numbers from the surrounding districts were assembling to witness the ceremony. Shortly before 11 o’clock the Vicar General assisted by Fr Dowling, Pastor of the district, commenced the blessing at the porch of the Church, making the circuit of the exterior, and reciting the psalms and prayers prescribed by the Roman ritual. Re-entering the Church he recited the litany at the foot of the altar, and then blessed the interior. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated by Fr Dowling and at the Post Communion the Vicar General preached the dedication sermon. After the sermon, which was most appropriate to the occasion and occupied a full hour in its delivery, during which the attention of the congregation never flagged, a collection was made, which realised the magnificent sum of £122.00, a sum truly marvellous for so small a community, and considering how short a time it is since the foundation stone was laid. The church is built of bluestone of the neighbourhood, with white cut stone dressings, all neatly pointed, and roofed with galvanised iron on open stained timbers. It is in the early English Gothic style and consists at present of a nave, entered by a porch in keeping with the building, provision being made for future extension. The gables are surmounted by a plain cut-stone cross, and are pierced by a quarter foil ventilator. The size of the building is 40 feet by 20 feet and 16 feet high to the eaves. The architects were Messrs Wright and Woods of Adelaide and the builder Mr Hick of Blumberg. The church was dedicated 17 years later, on 24 August 1884, by Bishop Christopher Reynolds. This occurred when its extension was completed and the bishop erected the Stations of the Cross at the same time. In 1921, when Fr Joseph Minetti was parish priest, a sub-committee comprising Dan Jenkins, John Formby and Michael Guthrie was formed to preserve the building and had the outside walls cement rough cast. Birdwood was originally part of the Mt Barker Mission. It became a parish in its own right in 1885 under the leadership of Fr Thomas O’Neill. The area included Mannum, Woodside and Harrogate and went as far north east as the Victorian border, taking in Morgan and Waikerie. It was scattered and sparsely populated with poor Catholics and in 1891 the community returned to be part of the Mt Barker Parish Mission for a further four years. It became a separate parish again in 1895, with Fr Patrick Ryan as their pastor for the next 18 years. Other priests would follow in his footsteps and then, just over a century later, in 1996, the Birdwood Parish became part of the newly-formed Adelaide Hills Parish, with Fr John Swann as Parish Priest.