St Joseph’s Church – Perenjori
The first designs for this church were submitted by Hawes in 1917 when he was relatively new to the Diocese after travelling to the town by the Wongan Hills to Mullewa railway line to meet the people of Perenjori.
The church that was designed at this time was never built. In 1936 he drew a second set of plans for the now growing district. It was designed to seat 90 people in the nave and a further 24 in the gallery but was later amended to seat 150. Mr T P Crothers, who had worked on St Francis Xavier Cathedral and Our Lady of Ara Coeli in Northampton was hired to build the church.
The foundation stone was laid by Bishop O’Collins in June 1937 and the official opening occurred in December 1937.
The building looks tall, thin and white surrounded by the bush and agricultural land. It has a corrugated iron roof and a clerestory of round windows which look like little portholes. St Joseph’s is considered today a unique and remarkable example of the modernist style of architecture that Hawes refined during the 1930’s. His design for the interior was heavily influenced by the book by Fr Benedict Williamson, ‘How to Build a Church’. The neo-Egyptian stone baldachino was inspired by Fr Williamson’s illustrations.
Play the Audio Tour
Visiting the building
The Church is located on the Cnr of Carnamah-Perenjori and Old Wells Rds Perenjori.
As the building was damaged during Cyclone Seroja in April 2021, access to the inside isn't possible until further notice.
Information about the building and the Hawes Heritage Trail can be obtained at the Perenjori Community Resource Centre at 4 Fowler St during office hours or at the Perenjori Post Office after the Resource Centre has closed. Further information - contact Patty King on 0427 734033.
See the summary of Cyclone Seroja's damage in the Diocese of Geraldton here.