Pinjarra’s original Anglican rectory was constructed around 1873, serving its purpose for 80 years before being demolished. It was built to house the first Reverend of the Murray District Anglican parish, James Stuart Price and his family. It is widely believed that the original site was chosen to escape the regular incidence of flooding of the Murray River. Before residing in the rectory, Reverend Price lived with the Oakley family on their farm on the east side of the river.
Reverend James Stuart Price
Reverend Price arrived in the colony in 1861 and soon after was appointed to Surrogate of the Murray District, which included Waroona, Mandurah, Coolup, Dandalup as well as Pinjarra. He energetically threw himself into developing Pinjarra, not just spiritually, but culturally and educationally, being a keen amatuer artist (selling his watercolours to raise funds for the church), establishing a choir, serving as Chaplain to the Pinjarra Mounted Volunteers and on the Murray Districts Board of Education. The Price family became very popular and well-liked within the small community.
Reverend Price died in Pinjarra in 1878 at the age of 47 and is buried in the St John’s Churchyard.
Story of the Four Rectories
The original rectory was demolished in 1953. Pinjarra was without a Reverend at the time and the local girl guides group was using the building, particularly in the winter months. However, after the Christmas break of 1952-53, the chimney and part of the roof had collapsed.
The building was replaced with a timber framed, aesbestos clad, home featuring five rooms, a kitchen and dinette. The second rectory was demolished sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The only remnant of these rectories is the mound on which the buildings stood.
The third rectory was built in a fetching brown brick and tile, popular at the time, on the north side of Henry Street at the intersection of Murray Street. In the mid-1990s the land occupied by the rectory, the Glebe Land, was resumed by the State Government. The use of the building as a rectory ceased with the dwelling then being privately rented. The third rectory is due to be demolished later in 2016.
The current and fourth rectory is located in Henry Street next to the Anglican Parish Centre.