Saturday 19 January marked the end of over 150 years of Anglican worship in Pinjarra’s St John’s Church and the return of the amenity for community use.
A large crowd gathered at the site on the Saturday to witness the historic proceedings, during which the Bishop of Bunbury, the Right Reverend Dr. Ian Coutts formally de-consecrated the Church and handed the keys to the community via a presentation to Shire President Cr. David Bolt.
Among attendees was Member for Murray-Wellington Mrs. Robyn Clarke MLA and representatives of Pinjarra’s founding families, many of whom assisted in raising $170,000 as part of the St John’s Church Heritage Appeal, coordinated by the Shire of Murray in 2018.
The de-consecration follows the Diocese of Bunbury’s decision to gift the church to the Shire of Murray, to ensure it continues to be used by the community into the future.
According to Cr. Bolt, the Shire of Murray will now oversee urgent conservation works to address damage to the church roof, which is threatening the building’s structural integrity.
“The works will enable public use and access to this significant heritage asset and allow adaptive reuse of the building to compliment the surrounding heritage precinct, which includes Edenvale Homestead,” Cr. Bolt said.
Over $288,000 will be spent on the conservation of the asset.
“Council had previously allocated $50,000 towards the conservation fund, and at the December Council Meeting allocated a further $68,000 to ensure the works are completed concurrently rather than through a staged approach.
“The decision demonstrates Council’s commitment to not only this significant building but preserving Murray’s rich heritage,” Cr. Bolt said.
Works will commence in early February and will include the repairing of wall cracks, installing an external drainage system, replacing the roof drainage system and existing roof tiles with lightweight cladding, restoring brickwork, replacing wall plates and upgrading the roof structure to meet current standards.
Cr. Bolt said the St John’s Church Conservation project is an apt example of what can be achieved when the community and Shire work together to achieve community-driven initiatives and we thank its members and the Diocese of Bunbury for the support to date.
Cr. Bolt further thanked and acknowledged the leaders and members of the Local Pinjarra Anglican Church.
“Their desire that the building continues to contribute to community life, has been instrumental in reaching this milestone,” Cr. Bolt said.