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St Joseph's Church, Perenjori


Shire of Perenjori

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


cnr Carnamah-Perenjori & Old Wells Rds Perenjori

Location Details

Other Name(s)

St Joseph's Catholic Church

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1937

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
State Register Registered 26 Aug 2008 Register Entry
Assessment Documentation
Heritage Council

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Classified by the National Trust Recorded 27 May 1974

Heritage Council
Register of the National Estate Indicative Place

Heritage Council
Municipal Inventory Adopted 20 May 1999 Category 1

Category 1

POSSIBLE INCLUSION ON STATE REGISTER OF HERITAGE PLACES. Highest level of protection appropriate: warrants further assessment for possible entry into the State Register of Heritage Places. Provide maximum protection under the Town Planning Scheme with encouragement to the owner to conserve the significance of the place. Prepare a floor plan and photographically record the place prior to any redevelopment.

Statement of Significance

The Church of St Joseph has considerable historic significance for its role in the religious activities of the local community since 1937. Further the place is closely associated with the well known priest-architect John Hawes who designed numerous churches in the MidWest Region. The Church is an important built landmark in the town of Perenjori, given its prominent location at the west entrance to the town, its bushland setting and its large scale. The place has high aesthetic significance which is enhanced by the stark simplicity of its design.

Physical Description

Situated at the southern end of the town of Perenjori and immediately to the west of the railway line, the Church of St Joseph is a substantial building of rendered masonry construction. The simple design of the church is enhanced by the stark white finish of the exterior walls and the lack of prominent decorative features. The church appears tall and thin given the 2 1/2 storey height of the nave. This is further enhanced by the very steep pitch of the side roofs. At ground floor level the church has small narrow windows dressed with timber shutters while four round leadlight windows line the north and south walls set high below the roof eaves in fibous cement sheeting. The side elevations have buttresses and a small Sacristy is attached to the north elevation with an adjacent steel bell tower. The front elevation of the church features an arched and recessed brick opening to double entry doors. Set high above the entry is a large round window which is further distinguished by coloured paintwork with a simple cross attached. Internally, the church displays the characteristic coloured banding to the High Altar arch surround which is evident in much of John Hawes's architectural detailing. Timber stairs lead to the organ balcony situated above the church entry. (See Conservation Plan for full detailed description of the place.)


Prior to the construction of a Catholic Church in the Perenjori district Catholic priests sometimes visited the town while en route to or from Mullewa to Perth. In these days the Priests would be taken around the district by horse and cart for one or two days before continuing their journey. The idea of a Catholic Church in Perenjori was suggested as early as 1918 but was not to eventuate for nearly twenty years. The Church of St Joseph was designed in 1936 by Priest-Architect John Hawes. At that time Hawes was also working on the design of two other churches, The Church of St Lawrence the Martyr in Geraldton and one of modernistic design for Three Springs. The foundation stone of the church was blessed and laid by the Most Rev J.P. O'Collins DD, Bishop of Geraldton, on 10 June 1937. The church, which was built by noted Northampton builder Mr T.P. Crothers on land donated by the Hesford brothers, was officially opened by Bishop O'Collins on Sunday 5 December 1937. The opening was followed by a dinner in the hall which was attended by over 200 people.
Always willing to consider new architectural possibilities, Hawes adapted Father Benedict Williamson's book "How to Build a Church" to his design for the large stone baldachin (canopy) which is suported on two substantial columns above the altar. Hawes was responsible for much of the carving in his churches and on the baldachin's fascia is a frieze depicting Christ and the Twelve Apostles. A bell tower was planned for the church but was never completed. The metal braces across the nave were added at a later date on the instructions of the Public Works Department, much against Hawes' wishes.

The Church has been the subject of flooding on two occasions in 1971 and 1989.
(See Conservation Plan for further historical information. Sources: Cannon, E.S., "Golden


Integrity: High




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
"Perenjori Rothsay Heritage Trail".
John Taylor Architect, "Conservation Plan for St Joseph's Catholic Church". 1998
ES Cannon; "Golden Opportunities - A History of Perenjori". UWA Press, 1983
"Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail",
HCWA Database No. 1936 State Heritage Office

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
3536 Conservation Plan for St Joseph's Church Perenjori Western Australia Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1998
8780 Final report - St Joseph's Church, Perenjori. Conservation work to walls. Conservation works report 2007

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use RELIGIOUS Church, Cathedral or Chapel
Present Use RELIGIOUS Church, Cathedral or Chapel

Architectural Styles

Inter-War Romanesque

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall BRICK Rendered Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Land allocation & subdivision
OCCUPATIONS Grazing, pastoralism & dairying

Creation Date

14 Apr 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

31 Dec 2016


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.