All Saints Mount Barker, WA



St Oswald's Cranbrook

The original St Oswald's.

The first recorded Anglican church service at Cranbrook was held on Easter Day 1906, when Reverend J.K. Stansfield came on horseback to conduct services at Cranbrook, Ballochmyle and Tenterden. However, there is evidence of a confirmation service having been held in Cranbrook in February 1902, when the Bishop of Perth, later Archbishop C.O.L Riley, visited the district. Services were first held in a small wooden hall which stood at the rear of the present Shire hall.

Funds were gradually raised for the building of a church, and a start was made on February first, 1918, when the foundation stone was laid by the Venerable Archdeacon Louch of Albany, assisted by the then Rector of Mount Barker – of which the Parish of Cranbrook was a part – the Reverend Henry G. Barnacle. In a cavity prepared for the purpose, there were deposited a record of the proceedings, together with a copy of the parish magazine and coins of the realm.

The contract for the building was in the hands of Mr Jack Haese of Mount Barker, but the work was carried out by Mr Davies (Snr), assisted by his son Ray and grandson Gordon, who were from Albany. Stone was quarried about two miles south east of Cranbrook on the property later owned by Mr Ron Lathwell.

Building completed, the first service was held on March 10th 1918, when 60 people were present at Evensong, conducted by Reverend Barnacle. The consecration was not carried out until November 23rd 1919 when the Bishop of Bunbury, Dr Cecil Wilson, visited Cranbrook for the purpose. The wood carving on the altar and choir stalls was done by Reverend Barnacle. It is thought that the reredos was sent from England.

In 1954, when the Reverend Ross Ball was Rector of Mount Barker, it was decided that Cranbrook, with Tambellup, Tenterden and Frankland, form a new parish. This was inaugurated on December 15th 1954 and the Reverend Frank Todhunter, newly arrived from England, was inducted as Rector. He and his family lived at Tambellup until the completion of the Rectory at Cranbrook. This was opened and blessed by the Right Reverend Donald Redding M.B.E. on 10th March, 1955.

As the church building became far too small for the needs of the district, it was extended. This involved the addition of the vestry and the extension of the nave. On Sunday 12th November 1978, Bishop Stanley Goldsworthy consecrated the additions to St Oswald’s.

[This history is an edited version of a document which is framed and currently hangs in St Oswald's. The photos of St Oswalds are courtesy of Patricia O'Halloran.]



St Oswald's as it is now.

St Werburgh's Chapel

This historic chapel was consecrated in 1874 and dedicated to Saint Werburgh who was an English Abbess in the 7th century AD. Here is a little of the story.

 In 1836 George Edward Egerton-Warburton arrived in Albany, a young lieutenant of the 51st regiment. A little later he sold his commission and returned to Albany where he married and soon after settled at the place we now know as St Werburgh's.

 In 1872 he received 550 pounds from his eldest brother, the Squire of Arley, Cheshire, England, for the building of a chapel at St Werburgh's. With the help of artisans the building was completed in 1873 and Bishop Hale consecrated it on 21st June 1874.

 The walls are made of clay plug and the roof was shingles, probably sheoak. A carpenter from Albany did the woodwork, using local sheoak and jarrah. The iron work was made on the family forge and the font had been the family mortar.

As with all old buildings, preservation and restoration work has been an ongoing concern. A small heritage grant has recently been received which allows for a full inventory to be made of the work that is required.


The church congregation meets monthly and attracts others who love the ambience of this lovely chapel. The chapel is not connected to electricity and so attendees dress warmly in winter! The Egerton Warburton family continue as active members of the congregation and farm the land adjacent to the chapel where generations of family members are buried in the small graveyard next to the chapel. St Werburgh’s is also a popular wedding venue. 

[Thanks to the Reverend Audrey Payne for this brief history and photo.]

St Mildred's Tenterden