Pinjarra St John’s Church reopens after major repairs

Pinjarra Rector Rev. James Tabor, Bishop of Bunbury Rev. Dr Ian Coutts & Murray Shire President David Bolt Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au   d493562
Pinjarra Rector Rev. James Tabor, Bishop of Bunbury Rev. Dr Ian Coutts & Murray Shire President David Bolt Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d493562

JUST one year after the Pinjarra community began fundraising for major repairs to St John’s Church, the historic building was re-opened before a big crowd on Thursday.

More than 100 donors and sponsors and others with a strong connection to the church building gathered to celebrate the re-opening after conservation work to address damage to the roof and walls that was threatening the building.

Shire of Murray president David Bolt said the church held important and fond memories of key events and occasions.

It was a celebration of the town at its best with stakeholders collaborating to protect an asset of considerable sentimental value for many people not only in the Shire of Murray but further afield.

Many had associations with early settlers, some of whom were buried in the churchyard.

There were representatives of Pinjarra’s founding families, many who had helped raise $170,000 as part of the Appeal efforts coordinated by the Shire of Murray that, together with a $130,000 Shire contribution allowed the conservation works.

Also present was the Bishop of Bunbury, the Right Reverend Dr Ian Coutts who in January formally de-consecrated the Church and handed the keys to Cr Bolt, following the signing of an agreement that named the local government as the new owners.

“The St John’s Church Conservation project is an apt example of what can be achieved when the community and Shire work together to deliver community-driven initiatives,’’ he said.

The Shire will now work to activate the building through hire opportunities including weddings, christenings and networking events.

Cr Bolt said the shire was also collaborating with Edenvale Homestead User Groups and founding family representatives, to explore other community beneficial, tourism and educational opportunities.

“As one of the oldest structures in Pinjarra, St John’s Church and its churchyard are integral components of the Edenvale Homestead Heritage Precinct,” he said.

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