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The History


A Short History of
Saint John’s Anglican Church
Northam, Western Australia

Architects and builders of the church Francis Bird in 1890
Architects Howard Evans designed the Parish Hall in 1897

St John’s Anglican Church and Parish Hall, Northam has a high degree of authenticity. The majority of the fabric of both the 1890 church and the 1897 hall remains intact. The hall was extended in 1957 and remains largely as completed at that time. A vestry was added to the church in 1971 and the altar was adapted to conform to liturgical changes. The roof of the church was replaced with shingles in 1928, repaired with sheoak shingles after a fire in 1944, and replaced with asbestos shingles in 1977. No other major changes have been made to the church and it remains largely as it was constructed in 1890. St John’s Anglican Church and Parish Hall, Northam is significant as a pair of well-composed stone ecclesiastical buildings in a landscaped setting constructed in the Victorian Academic Gothic style built over several periods of development.

The Church is a fine example of an Anglican Church constructed in a major regional centre in the late 19th century to a design by significant Perth architect, Francis Bird. The belltower, stained glass windows and tessellated tiles to the floor of the porch are details of particular aesthetic value.

F. G. B. Hawkins designed the WWII Memorial Screen in 1948, Marshall Clifton designed the vestry in 1971, and stained glass artists E. G. Bowers (1955) and A. S. Brown (1982) made the windows.

St John’s Anglican Church and Parish Hall is sited on elevated land on the northern end of the town of Northam.

The buildings are spaced apart with mature trees, landscaped gardens and a recent stone boundary fence. The church demonstrates the growth of the Northam Anglican community in the 1890s, as a larger church was needed to replace the original smaller St James Anglican Church (1851).

The location of the new church demonstrates the pattern of occupation of Northam as the town centre had shifted since St James’ construction. ved.