Melville Anglican Church of Holy Cross celebrates 60 years


Leanne Avard with baby Angus, Christine Kenny,  Jill Bowman, and (front) William Kelly, Thomas Kelly, Betty Rushforth and Eloise Avard. Picture: Will Russell
Leanne Avard with baby Angus, Christine Kenny, Jill Bowman, and (front) William Kelly, Thomas Kelly, Betty Rushforth and Eloise Avard. Picture: Will Russell

WHEN Melville’s Anglican Church of the Holy Cross was first erected on McLean Street in the early 1960s it was visible all the way from Mounts Bay Road.

In the late 1950s the suburb of Melville was fast developing and it became apparent there was a need for an Anglican church in the area.

The McLean Street site was selected for its elevated position, easy access and parking and the fact that all roads in the area seemed to lead to the site.

During the post-war years the prospect of building a church was fraught with problems because raw materials, especially bricks, were in short supply and available only for essential construction work.

The problem was solved with the closing of All Saints, a little wooden church in Peppermint Grove that was sawn in half, loaded on to a jinker and transferred to the new site via the Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

During the first three months of 1956 the church was re-erected, clad with brick, and tiled by contractors.

It was dedicated under the title of Holy Cross on Palm Sunday, March 25, 1956.

Since then, the church has established itself as an important part of the surrounding community, hosting countless weddings, baptisms and confirmations.

It boasts a tennis court, has held dozens of fetes and for a number of years was home to a regular Saturday morning jumble.

Betty Rushforth joined the church in early 1960s and four generations of her family are now part of the congregation.

“To me, Anglican Church of the Holy Cross is a happy, caring and supportive church family and a lovely place to be as we take our faith journey together,” she said.

Daughter Jill Bowman echoed her mother’s sentiments.

“We see each other as family and whenever someone is in need we are all there for each other to offer support,” she said.

The church is celebrating its Diamond Jubilee on Saturday, November 5.

Anybody with any kind of connection to the church is invited to the celebration, which will include live music and a sausage sizzle.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to 9330 0815 or for more information call Jill on 0400 513 943.