Our mission is to know Christ and make Christ known
Who we are:
Southern Ranges Parish is a caring friendly parish with four worship centres. The Parish
was inaugurated in 2006/7 with each centre maintaining its own identity. It combines the congregations of All Saints in Mount Barker, Saint Oswald’s in Cranbrook, Saint Mildred’s in Tenterden and Saint Werburgh’s Chapel. The history of each
church dates back to the late 1800s and the buildings date from the early 1900s. The exception is St Werburgh's Chapel, on which building began in 1873 and ended the following year.
Over the years all these churches have had vibrant family oriented
congregations and have experienced a variety of worship styles. Church attendance has reduced as the rural centres have declined and people have moved away. The exception is Mount Barker town and area, which is experiencing some movement of people from Perth
to the country.
Mount Barker is the seat of the Shire of Plantagenet in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, and has around 2000 inhabitants. It is a farming town with a full set of facilities. The school, Mount Barker Community College,
caters for children from pre-school age to Year 12. There are four doctors practising from a health centre and a district hospital. Aged care facilities cater for the full range of care from independent units to frail aged and full care. A large range of sporting
activities are catered for by shire maintained grounds, together with a skate park and a full length half size olympic swimming pool. This multicultural town has a full range of shopping facilities, including a supermarket and two pubs.
The people of
each congregation within the Parish have a strong desire to follow Jesus, to grow in faith and to make Christ known. In spite of the reduced energy levels that come with age or from busy jobs, farms, family and community involvement, we believe God is working
His purposes out for our Parish and we will see spiritual growth.
Where we are:
Our parish is situated 350 kilometres south east of Perth, the state capital of Western Australia. It is about a four hour drive. A
twice daily airline flight takes an hour from Perth to Albany Airport. Albany is the regional centre, 50 kilometres to the south of Mount Barker, a 40 minute drive away.
St Oswalds, Cranbrook, is a half hour drive north of Mount Barker; St Mildred's
is just south of Cranbrook; St Werburgh's Chapel is west of Mount Barker. It is an historic old church, the oldest in the parish and was built by convicts. All Saints is located in Mount Barker and its rectory is the dwelling place for full time parish priests.
All churches in the Parish are located in rural centres within agricultural areas of the Great Southern region. The region has been a general farming area but is now tending towards horticulture. Northwards, many farming practises such as beef, sheep and
crops abound. To the south east and west there are beef and sheep, dairies, vineyards, olive groves and orchards. A large part of the area was planted to trees in the late 1900's for wood chipping. Some of this is now being returned to farming.
natural beauty of the Porongurup Range to the east of Mount Barker is a popular tourist attraction as are the many vineyards along the way. The Stirling Ranges, to the north east of Mount Barker, are renowned for their flora and fauna - and occasional snowfalls
on the summit during winter. The south coast with its beautiful beaches and the city of Albany are only 40 to 60 minutes easy drive away.
Albany is an historic town dating from 1826, the first European settlement in Western Australia. It is an important
port for grain and woodchip exports. It has a small fishing fleet and is a thriving tourist destination. It is also where the ANZAC tradition of the Dawn Service was born, being the port where the first fleet of troops congregated before sailing for the Middle
East during World War One. The city of Albany has a full range of shops and services, and the region's only cinema complex.
Our buildings include the church building and a rectory in both Cranbrook
and Mt Barker. The Cranbrook rectory is rented out. The Mount Barker rectory is four bed-roomed and has been recently renovated. The original All Saints rectory now serves as a hall for parish activities.
All Saints also runs an Op Shop that sells second-hand
clothes, which is located in Mount Barker. This is run by church volunteers with help from local community volunteers.
Evening Prayer - weekly
Cranbrook Fellowship - monthly
Community Markets - as advertised
See the Coming Events page for more details.
Other Events are for fund raising for specific missionary endeavours or societies.
Thanks to Sue Gillam and
Reverend Audrey Payne for this article. (2016)