This fine example of ecclesiastical architecture in Australia is a mixture of early English and Gothic, a style very popular at the time thanks to the Oxford Movement and subsequent Catholic Revival in the Church of England
History and heritage significance
Constructed with limestone from the Government Quarries in Cantonment Street, the beautiful roof timbers were transported overland from WA’s southern Jarrah forests to Rockingham and then by sea, before being stored on site for two years to season. The nave roof is probably the finest craftsmanship of its kind in WA, king-posts alternating with four arches in the roof trusses, all with molded finishings.
In 1907 a bell turret was added and in 1922 a Choir Vestry, as a tribute to those who served in the Great War.
St John’s contains some fine stained glass, including the Rose Window depicting the Four Evangelists, and the seven lancet windows above the entrance representing the seven Corporal Works of Mercy.
The three-panel High Altar mosaic reredos of the Ascension of the Lord is of German origin. The brass lectern is a fine example of nineteenth-century English craftsmanship, and the pulpit crucifix was carved in Oberammergau. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved in the Lady Chapel, and the Chapel of St Michael is set aside for private devotion.
St John’s Church was placed on the State Heritage Register in 1997.
Recent and current heritage projects include the refurbishment of the toilets and priest’s vestry, including the installation of a mezzanine, as well as the installation of an LED-lit glass walkway over original floor tiles in the south transept.
Over the coming years, more work will need to be completed, particularly on the roof to repair leaks.
Please consider making a donation to the St John’s National Trust Fund to help us preserve this iconic building.
All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.