I have seen the brown heritage signpost from the road for this church many times and each time I drive past I think, 'I'll take a look one day'. Well, 'one day' finally arrived on a hot summer's day in January. I had my children in tow, but that didn't deter me. What was a split decision to turn right at the roundabout, was a brilliant decision and one I am so pleased I did. This church is a little gem.
You do not have to be religious to appreciate or visit this place and it will give you a sense of calm and contentment whilst there.
The car park is unsealed and there is ample parking right by the entrance, so there is very little walking involved. Enter through the lychgate, which was erected in 1929 (restored in 1979) to mark the centenary of settlement in WA.
The small cemetery is interesting and thought provoking. We strolled around; my children entertained looking for the oldest date on the headstones, whilst I embraced the history around me. My children were fascinated and asked lots of questions, some I expected and some I didn't. I tried to think on my feet and keep reasonably upbeat about where we were.
There are graves of a several individuals who were significant to the development of the colony (one being Richard Edwards who built the church) and would be captivating to research further if you are blessed with more time.
There are 2 enormous crosses in the cemetery, one commemorates the memory of the original landowners in the Swan Valley and they are both amazing structures, worthy of a minute or two of your time.
The church itself is built on the spot where Captain Stirling camped in 1827 during his exploration of the area and was originally built of mud brick and thatch by Richard Edwards between 1838 and 1840. The first service took place on January 10 1841. The thatch has long been replaced by a tin roof but the building still oozes charm and quaintness.
Card, of bygone years, available to purchase at the church
On walking inside the tiny but beautifully formed church, you will be blown away. The pews are sturdy and well made, the windows are just stunning, their shape striking, and the stained glass window is poignant. It is a very peaceful and happy place. Sit, close your eyes and enjoy this wonderful historic place.
Services are still held every Sunday: 7.30am Holy Communion, with Sunday School the first Sunday of the month and Evening Prayer taken 6.00pm the last Sunday in the month. Fridays at 9.00am you can partake in Silent Meditation.
All Saints Church (Henry Street, Henley Brook) is the oldest church in Western Australia and, in my opinion, is well worth a visit. Next time you are visiting the Swan Valley, spend an hour here, you will not be disappointed.
Great article. Pleased you posted photos of the Church. The day Hubby and I visited there was a function happening so missed seeing the inside. It certainly has the Peace and Tranquility to put one at ease. The history was interesting and also the times for the services. Once again ...thank you.