St Boniface Anglican Cathedral

Author

City of Bunbury

Place Number

05667

Location

29-33 Parkfield St Bunbury

Location Details

Cnr Cross St This P number was given Cat 2 RC 16/04/04 with recommendation to expand curtilage to include Bishopscourt accross the road.

Other Name(s)

Calvary Wayside Shrine & Memorial Lawn

Local Government

Bunbury

Region

South West

Construction Date

Constructed from 1961

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 15 Apr 2003

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 31 Jul 1996 Exceptional Significance

Statement of Significance

St Boniface Anglican Cathedral, a double volume yellow face brick church with a gabled terracotta tiled roof, a parapeted tower and an undercroft crypt, designed in the Post War Ecclesiastical has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: the place was the first Anglican cathedral to be built and consecrated in Western Australia in the 20th century; the place is a landmark in its elevated position on Brent Tor, one of the highest sites in Bunbury; the place is an outstanding example of the Post-War Ecclesiastical style of architecture and is a fine example of the work of prominent ecclesiastical architect Louis Williams; the place is highly values by the Anglican and wider community, especially that of the Diocese of Bunbury, for its religious, cultural and social reasons; the place is an integral part of an important precinct of ecclesiastical buildings on the outskirts of the central Bunbury area and contributes to the community's sense of place as significant symbols of the growth and development of Bunbury; and the place is associated with Bishop Frederick Goldsmith, with the Brotherhood of St Boniface and the Order of St Elizabeth of Hungary, and the successive bishops of Bunbury; the Calvary Wayside Shrine and Memorial Lawn are important elements on the site.

Physical Description

St Boniface Anglican Cathedral is a double volume yellow face brick church with a gabled terracotta tiled roof, a parapeted tower and an undercroft crypt, designed in the Post War Ecclesiastical style of architecture. There is a gabled double height main entrance porch with a pair of ledge and braced doors with a tall highlight window over recessed into the porch between a pair of wide brick piers. Adjacent to the porch are four tall windows with stone mullions and transoms. Stained glass memorial windows are in place. The Calvary Wayside Shrine is a timber cross mounted with a brass statue of the crucified Christ located in the centre of the Memorial Lawn.

History

St Boniface Anglican Cathedral was built in 1962. It was a replacement for St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral on Victoria Street, which had been built in 1866. St Paul’s was demolished in 1963. (See B221) The first church in Bunbury, which also served as a school, was on the site of the St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral and was a standard building rented for £25 a year from the Australind Surveyor, Thomas Thompson. (The land was later acquired from Thompson.) The first service was held on 29 December 1844. St Paul’s was named a Pro-Cathedral in 1903 as part of Bunbury becoming a Diocese of the Anglican Church in 1904. The last service was held in St Paul’s in October 1962. There had been talk of a building a ‘worthy cathedral’ in Bunbury since it became a Diocese but finance continued to be a problem for many years. A cathedral building fund was commenced in 1911 and in 1916, the Church bought land from George Rose. During World War I, Bishop Goldsmith stated that he hoped the cathedral might be built as ‘a Great War Memorial … No more worthy project can we have for a memorial to the brave men of whom the war has robbed us …’ However, failure to progress the building of the cathedral led to Goldsmith’s resignation and although his successor, Bishop Wilson, also promoted the building of a cathedral proper, the project flagged until Bishop Knight was appointed in 1938. Again, little progress was made until after World War II and immediately after Bishop Redding was enthroned at Bunbury in 1951, he stated that the time had come for Bunbury to have a cathedral. Synod gave approval for the preparation of plans in 1952. Preliminary work was started in April 1955 and building began in 1961. The architect was Louis Williams of Victoria assisted by Western Australian architect Robert Blatchford. Williams prepared designs for a modern Gothic structure, which was built by Jennings Constructions Ltd for the contract price of £91,116. Governor Sir Charles Gardiner laid the foundation stone on 15 October 1961 and the building was completed in November 1962. When the Cathedral was consecrated on 14 October 1962, it had the honour of being the first Anglican Cathedral to be consecrated in Western Australia in the twentieth century. The cathedral contains 410,000 standard bricks, 8,000 special bricks, 75,000 roof tiles, and 700 tons of concrete. The timber includes 24,000 feet of blackbutt for the nave ceiling and 200 square yards of blackbutt floor parquetry. The chapel contains adornments which were previously located in St David’s in Spencer Street, (demolished 1960s) (See B048) and St Paul’s (B221) (both demolished) and the chapel is dedicated to both of these saints. Gifts to the new cathedral included stained glass windows, gold chalice and ciborium, Silver Star of Bethlehem crucifix, candlesticks, a Bishop’s throne, altar, pulpit and clock tower. The clock was made and installed by Cannon Davies who was a priest of the Diocese. Also inside the cathedral is a 15th or 16th century carved panel of St John the Baptist. The Cathedral also contains a consecrated stone from St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral and another consecrated stone from a 12th century church at Bunbury, Cheshire, England, which had been built by Norman Conquerors. The Cathedral was named for the Brotherhood of St Boniface, which was established by the first Bishop of Bunbury. The Brotherhood was named after St Boniface who was born in 674AD and was an Archbishop, an apostle, the Patron Saint of Germany and also the Patron Saint of the diocese of Exeter, England. He was matyred in 745AD at the age of 80. There are several churches and cathedrals around the world named St Boniface. As it was intended to be a memorial to the war dead of World War I and World War II, St Boniface Cathedral is commonly referred to as a ‘war memorial cathedral’. Contemporary newspaper reports also referred to it as the 'Church of England War Memorial Cathedral'. However, there is no mention of it being a war memorial in its name or on site. An Anglican Calvary Wayside Shrine was built in the grounds of the Sister of Elizabeth of Hungary Convent, at the corner of Spencer Street and Clarke Street, in 1938. The Order of Sister of Elizabeth of Hungary was founded in London as an offshoot of the Confraternity of Divine Love in 1916. Both were founded by Reverend Mother Elizabeth (Elizabeth Hodges) and the Order was named for the 13th century saint and princess Elizabeth of Hungary (Elizabeth of Thuringia). The Western Australian Chapter was set up to provide “spiritual encouragement” to young English women, in particular those who had come out as part of group settlements. The Sisters arrived in Bunbury in March 1928 and soon established houses at Margaret River and Busselton. They raised funds for small churches to be built in the group settlements. The Sisters lived their lives according to the Franciscan tradition and wore a habit of grey which resulted in them being referred to as St Francis's "little grey sparrows." As well as providing support for the group settlers of the 1930s, they comforted many in the community through the Great Depression and World War Two. The Sisters also helped the Clergy with parish duties, ran a Correspondence Sunday School throughout the Great Southern and operated a hostel which offered inexpensive board to country girls attending high school in Bunbury. In 1954, the Sisters sold the hostel and their Busselton house and in 1957 they withdrew from Western Australia. One of the reasons given for their withdrawal was that their work with the English amongst the group settlers was finished. The shrine consisted of a crucifix, provided by the Confraternity of Divine Love, and a cross made by Mr Gregory, a skilled carpenter and neighbour. During World War II, Italian prisoners of war detained at nearby Hands Oval paid homage at the Calvary Shrine as they marched past on work detail. In the mid-1950s, the Calvary Shrine was relocated to the grounds of St Boniface Cathedral in a memorial lawn setting. The memorial and commemorative wall, built by J M Best to a design prepared by Forbes and Fitzhardinge Architects, was unveiled by Bishop Donald Redding, the fourth Bishop of Bunbury, in 1956. The commemorative wall is designed to hold plaques celebrating the lives of people associated with the Bunbury Diocese of the Anglican Church. In 2010 the place was included in the State Register of Heritage Places.

Integrity/Authenticity

High degree of integrity (original intent clear, current use compatible, high long term sustainability). High degree of authenticity with much original fabric remaining. (These statements based on street survey only).

Condition

Condition assessed as good (assessed from streetscape survey only).

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
10236 St Boniface Cathedral Brochure 0
11488 St Boniface Anglican Cathedral Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2013

Place Type

Individual Building or Group

Uses

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

Architectural Styles

Style
Post-War Ecclesiastical

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Other METAL Bronze
Other TIMBER Other Timber

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Religion

Creation Date

13 May 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

12 Dec 2017

Disclaimer

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.