The Murray community has rallied to save one of Western Australia’s oldest church buildings, St John’s Church in Pinjarra.
An overall target of $400,000 was sought for conservation and adaptive reuse works, to repair damage to the church roof which is threatening the building’s structural integrity and to activate this significant community and heritage asset.
Built in 1860, St John’s Church is one of the oldest existing church buildings in Western Australia, and an early example of a small rural church designed in a rustic British architectural style.
As one of the oldest structures in Pinjarra, St John’s Church and its churchyard are integral components of Pinjarra’s heritage area which among others includes Edenvale Homestead, the Old Schoolhouse and Teachers Quarters as well as the Exchange and the Premier Hotels. This area contributes considerably towards the community’s social fabric and sense of place.
The church is valued by the community for its associations with the district’s early settler families many of which are buried in the churchyard, along with several of the church rectors.
The church is also valued for its religious use, having had an association with the Anglican Church since 1843.
St John’s Church is listed as an asset of exceptional significance in the Shire’s Local Government Heritage Inventory, is included in the Shire’s Town Planning Scheme Heritage List and is classified by the National Trust of Western Australia.
In addition to its heritage importance, St John’s Church forms part of the Murray River Foreshore boasting a pathway, jetty, lighting, seating and trail signage and has significant community-use potential.
Damage to the church roof is currently threatening the building’s structural integrity and short term works are necessary to repair the damage, prevent further degradation and restore the building to a standard befitting of its significance.
The Shire of Murray has finalised ownership of the church from the Anglican Diocese of Bunbury, to ensure it continues to contribute to Pinjarra’s social fabric and sense of place.
Public ownership enables a continuous foreshore reserve within the town and the ability to explore community beneficial, tourism and educational opportunities.
Following informal discussions, it was apparent that the local community value St John’s Church and Churchyard and would be prepared to contribute toward restoration works.
The appeal for St John’s Church was therefore developed to raise awareness, garner community support and engagement and encourage community members to unite to protect a piece of Murray’s history
The Murray community is rallying to protect this significant community asset and the fundraising appeal provides a fantastic opportunity for residents, businesses, community groups, schools and the like, to affiliate themselves with a project of significant community importance.
The St John’s Church Fundraising Appeal has been proudly supported by:
- Douglas McLarty
- Gordon McLarty
- Jane-Anne McLarty
- Adams Family Ravenswood
- Mervyn Beacham
- G.P Riley
- Wally and Anne Barrett
- Anne Cubitt
- Gwen Atkinson
- Kevin, Jean and Family
- Ronald Richards
- Peter Bostock and Amelia McLarty
- Fiona McLarty
- Mervyn Williams
- William Austin
- Michael Eddy
- Leigh and Greg Angilley
- Malcolm John McDonald
- McLarty Brothers
- Blythewood Pastoral Co
- Josephine Douglas McLarty
- Bill Cook and Derk Luiten
- Norma Tuckey
- North Blythewood
- DA & V McLarty
- Owen McLarty and Family
- Brian and Caron Tisdale
- Ella Middleton
- Anthony Devitt
- Leon Griffiths
- Julie Gray
- Stuart McLarty
- Dr Fred Lovegrove
- Judy Trembath
- Brian Cotterell
- Theone Anne Maloney
- David Bolt
- Justin and Kim Taylor
- Merv and Anna Cox
- Emily McLarty
- Rebecca McLarty
- Helen McLarty
- Lloyd Parker
- C and S Lane
Works to restore St John’s Church will be rolled out in two stages, with stage one anticipated to commence by early 2019.
At the September Council Meeting, Councillors endorsed the advertising of a Request for Tender for conservation works on the St John’s Church building, following finalisation of the transfer of ownership to the Shire of Murray.
In May, Murray community members rallied through the St John’s Church Fundraising Appeal, to raise a determined overall target of $400,000 for conservation and adaptive reuse works, to protect and activate the significant community and heritage asset.
A total of $230,000 was raised through fundraising campaign efforts, including a community contribution of $170,000 and a $50,000 Shire allocation.
The Shire anticipated that half of the overall amount required would be secured through grant funding, but informal discussions were unsuccessful.
With the current condition of the building and the substantial community contribution, it was prudent that the Shire proceed with conservation works to secure the building from further degradation, and with the intent that building amenities including a kitchenette, toilets and storage, could be added as and when needed or when additional funding becomes available.
It is anticipated that the tender will be advertised and the successful contractor selected in December, which will enable sufficient time for the works to be approved by the Heritage Council and undertaken in the dry summer months.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been entered into between the Anglican Diocese of Bunbury – the current owners, and the Shire of Murray, in relation to the transfer of the site for nil consideration.
Transfer documents have been prepared and the transfer process is underway and expected to be completed by December.
Architectural and structural engineering documentation has determined that in order to preserve the integrity of the building, conservation works should include repairing 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.
Thanks is extended to all purchasers and sellers of tickets for the St John’s Church Fundraising Appeal Raffle.
Over $4,800 was raised through raffle efforts.
Raffle winners were selected during the Appeal Quiz Night, held at the Pinjarra Civic Centre on Friday 15 June.
The winning ticket numbers drawn from first to fourth, are shown below.
Five night stay for two adults at The Royal Beach Seminyak Bali including breakfast daily, return hotel transfers and a AUD1000 Flight Centre voucher
Twelve Month Murray Leisure Centre Gold Membership
“Full Steam Ahead” Artwork by Stephanie Boyle
Six Month Murray Leisure Centre Gold Membership
The St John’s Church Fundraising Appeal Quiz Night took place on Friday 15 June at the Pinjarra Civic Centre.
Over 274 people, a total of 34 teams, participated and helped make the event a grand success.
The event was a sell-out with 274 people across 34 tables raising over $7,650 toward the appeal.
Thank you to all participants and sponsors.
Proudly supported by:
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Alternatively, email the payment proof together with your name, address and contact number to Communications@murray.wa.gov.au.
* Please note: raffle ticket purchases, quiz night entry and auction purchases are not tax deductible.
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