LAST weekend marked the end of more than 150 years of Anglican worship at Pinjarra’s St John’s Church and its return to community use.
A big crowd gathered at the site to witness the historic proceedings, during which the Bishop of Bunbury, the Right Reverend Dr. Ian Coutts formally deconsecrated the church and handed the keys to the community via a presentation to Shire president David Bolt.
Deconsecration followed the Diocese of Bunbury’s decision to gift the church to the Shire of Murray to ensure it continued to be used by the community.
Cr Bolt said the Shire would oversee urgent conservation works to address damage to the church roof, which was threatening the building’s structural integrity.
He said the works would enable public use and access to the significant heritage asset, and allow adaptive reuse of the building to compliment the surrounding heritage precinct, which includes the Edenvale Homestead.
More than $288,000 will be spent on conservation.
The council had previously allocated $50,000 towards the conservation fund and in December, allocated a further $68,000 to ensure the works were completed concurrently rather than through a staged approach.
Work starts next month and includes the repair of wall cracks, installation of an external drainage system, replacement of 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.