Church’s future heaven-sent

Gingin-Chittering parish priest Father Paul Fox outside the new church. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d401333
Gingin-Chittering parish priest Father Paul Fox outside the new church. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d401333

Funded by private benefactors, construction on the $3 million church started early last year following eight years of architectural design by parish member Peter Anthes.

Located next to Immaculate Heart College, the 27m high structure features a large copper dome and two copper pyramids, which were both erected last month.

Parish priest Father Paul Fox said Divine Mercy was the first domed Catholic church to be built in the Perth region.

Just a short drive from the Swan Valley, the Gingin-Chittering parish serves the communities of Bullsbrook, Muchea, Gingin, Lower Chittering and Bindoon.

The churches of St Anne’s Bindoon, St Catherine’s Gingin and Our Lady’s Shrine Bullsbrook attract worshippers from across the region, and for the past 13 years Father Fox has divided his time between the three communities.

‘Divine Mercy will serve as a mother church to our parish and, being that Lower Chittering is geographically quite central, it will serve that community,’ Father Fox said.

He said the facade of the church would be clad in local moss rock from Bindoon and Wannamal, to help it blend in with the local environment.

‘What has been achieved so far was made possible by a generous bequest and through the non-stop work of many parishioners, who have been fundraising and who have collected about 1000 tonnes of local stone with which to clad the church.

‘The next step is to close in the doors and windows and clad the rim beneath the dome.’

It is expected that the church could be officially opened early next year.

‘I hope it will be an icon and attraction for tourists,’ Father Fox said.

‘We want it to be here for centuries to come.’