ST Luke’s Anglican Church members celebrated the Maylands church’s 110th anniversary this month, after the foundation stone was laid on October 20, 1906, by Sir Edward Stone.
In the early 1900s, Maylands Brickworks and Mills Pottery provided industry and the Maylands Aerodrome and Railway Station were an important part of the town.
St Luke’s was the first Anglican parish in Maylands and people previously travelled to Perth or Guildford for services.
Church member Roger Tomlins said the church was a centre of activity for Maylands in the early 1900s.
“(The church) was the thing, the carryover from England when they had the parish; the parish was the area, the suburb,” he said.
In 1911, a rectory was built and in 1931, the foundation stone for the current church laid.
In the 1940s, the church hosted dances at Maylands Hall to raise money for the war effort.
“When I first came to this church 30 years ago, there was a little old lady at the front who had dementia, who said the same sentence over and over again with such a warmth and a delight that you could listen to it over again,” Mr Tomlins said.
“It wasn’t until later I found out she was the wife of Sid Lawrence, the priest who was here for 12 years, just after the war.”
He said older church members he spoke to when he joined gave a glimpse into what life was like back then, as little written history existed.
In the 2000s, St Luke’s opened an op-shop and community garden, and hosted ‘rainbow lunches’ for people with mental health challenges.
In 2006, its first female priest, Margaret Beach, was commissioned and these days a large Burundi community has joined the church, bringing with them singing and drumming.
Mr Tomlins said the church was less popular than it had been and hard decisions had been made, including selling a building they owned to pay for upgrades and extensions.
“From this being a centre of activity for Maylands before the war, with heaps of young children and families, noting the decline now to our Sunday service where there are only 20 people, of an older demographic,” he said.
“It’s a shame to see how we’re fading.”