History

After some years of Anglican worship in the schoolroom close to the banks of the Swan River (now Claremont Museum), the foundation stone of the present building was laid on 10 September 1892. Built of locally-quarried Cottesloe limestone, Christ Church is one of the oldest suburban parish churches in Perth.

The original part of the church, which extended from the position of the old high altar, westwards, approximately to the steps between the chancel and the nave, was designed by architect J Talbot Hobbs, and consecrated by the second Bishop of Perth, Harry Hutton Parry on 11th April 1893. It was built at a cost of £800. The nearby Rectory followed in 1897. Extensions to the church were built in 1901 and 1909, planned and supervised by distinguished architect T W L Powell. The tower was completed in 1938.

In October 1968, a large part of Western Australia was shaken by an earthquake that had its epicentre at Meckering in the Wheatbelt, about 150km inland from Perth, and some damage was done to the fabric of the church. The original stone had also deteriorated and extensive restoration of the foundations, walls and roof of the church was necessary. These restorations, which cost $100,000 were dedicated by Bishop Michael Challen in March 1981.

The year 1988, the Bicentenary of European settlement of Australia, was marked by the installation of a peal of six bells. These came originally from the church of St Paul's, Canonbury, London and were donated by Mr Laith Reynolds Vice-president of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Bell-ringers, in memory of his brother. The largest bell weighs 390kg, and so the tower needed to be strengthened with a steel frame when the bells were installed. 

The building is entered by the Australian Heritage Commission on the register of the National Estate, and is also listed by the National Trust of Western Australia. In 2004 a full-scale Conservation Report was prepared by Considine and Griffiths Architects to guide the conservation and future use of Christ Church and Rectory for the protection of cultural and heritage values.

This information was prepared by Patrick Armstrong as a Short History and Guide Booklet. It incorporates information from earlier guides and the book entitled A Goodly Heritage: Christ Church Claremont 1892-1992 by Patricia Sharpe and Laurie O'Hara (1992).


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