Dream for Grace finally fulfilled

Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft with Joondalup parish priest Father David Wood and Irene Saint-Whittle (left) and Steve Haskayne.
Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft with Joondalup parish priest Father David Wood and Irene Saint-Whittle (left) and Steve Haskayne.

THE consecration of the new Grace Anglican Church in Joondalup last Sunday fulfilled a longheld dream for “pioneers” of the parish.

The purpose-built church replaces worship space in an adjacent office building, which the parish occupied for most of its 20 years after relocating from a community hall in Edgewater.

The new church, specialist medical suites and a stand-alone cafe are part of the $20 million Shenton House, a joint Diocese of Perth-Perth Radiological Clinic development, opposite Joondalup Health Campus.

Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft consecrated the new building, which includes 15sq m of worship space expandable by opening glass doors onto a courtyard, offices, meeting room and kitchen, on May 19.

The contemporary church with a nod to 20 centuries of Christian tradition has a stone floor reminiscent of early churches and a cross-shaped font with ever-flowing water for immersion of adults and children.

Dunsborough artist Marice Sariola drew on Christian iconology for her commissioned pieces, including a crucifix above the altar.

About 200 people attended the service, which was doubly special for parish ‘pioneer’ Joyce Geach, who turned 90. The church’s meeting room is named for Mrs Geach and late husband Lionel in recognition of their long service.

Parish priest David Wood said the new building was a ‘cherished dream come true’ for the parish, which had grown slowly but steadily.

Father Wood said that over the years ‘grand’ plans for a cathedral failed and there were no funds for subsequent plans, including a large regional straw bale church.

After the diocese and radiological clinic joined forces in 2008, a new church on a ‘little patch of bush in the heart of the city’ became a reality.

‘Grace Church is a gift to the City of Joondalup and beyond,’ he said.

The old worship space next door is now a parish centre available to the community for conferences, community groups and other gatherings.