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Parish of Midland:
History and Outreach

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Parish of Midland

From notes given to Anglican Archives by Fr Ted Doncaster (6 August 2010)

In 1894 the Midland Railway Company named the railway station at the junction of the Government and private lines Midland Junction, yet when a Municipality was declared in 1895 it was named Helena Vale. In 1901 its name was changed to match the railway station’s name and was finally shortened to Midland in 1961.

The Bishop’s Report to Synod in October 1893 stated that ‘a temporary building to serve both as a school room and for church services is also about to be erected at the junction of the Midland and Eastern railways’ the site being the present Ascension Park on Lot 164. Services were held by the Rector of Swan Parish and on Sunday 21 October 1894 the first church was opened, although the 1937 Year Book claims that it was licensed in June 1893 – the Diocese of Perth, Western Australia, Quarterly Magazine appears to back up this theory. It eventually became the parish hall but was condemned in 1903 and sold in 1904.

The Swan Express dated 21 November 1903 reported: ‘The old Anglican Hall at the intersection of Newcastle and Spring Park roads was sold recently by Messrs W.H. and J. de B. Morrison. Messrs Brown and Sewell were the purchasers at £23 10s. The removal of the building, which will shortly be effected, disposes of a landmark and a building in which a good deal of the history of public life on Midland Junction has been made. The progress of the town has rendered its removal necessary; the building having become much dilapidated’.

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The present building is said to be designed from the 6th to 7th century Basilica of St Clement in Rome. Plans were prepared by Messrs Ernest Wilkinson and Smith and it cost £1,600 to erect. Bishop Riley blessed the foundation stone on Saturday 12 November 1898, it being laid by Walter Padbury, and consecrated the building on Wednesday 2 February 1899.

The bell was the gift of Walter Padbury and the original bell tower was given by Colonel Haynes. The font appears to have been dedicated on 21 October 1900. A lectern, carved by Messrs E J Bickford & Co in memory of Mrs Hummerston, was dedicated by Bishop Riley on 31 March 1901 and a new organ was installed in April 1905. On 22 October 1911 he dedicated a memorial to L G Vincent. A missal stand in memory of W G Moore was dedicated by Bishop Riley on 08 March 1914. The Revd T S Groser gave a Credence Table in 1916 that he had made. T W Roach made a Pulpit in 1916. Thirty-four memorial pews were dedicated on 18 November 1917 by Archbishop Riley.

An Honour Roll and a stained-glass window in the Lady Chapel given in memory of Vivian Belton Daniel (husband of Groser’s daughter) were dedicated by Archbishop Riley on 11 January 1920. In 1927 a brass processional cross, candlesticks for both altars and a new organ were installed. On 25 January 1929 a new altar cross, the gift of Mrs Warner of the UK, and a pulpit crucifix were dedicated – this latter was in memory of Margaret Emily Rickett. An altar missal stand in memory of William George and a credence table in memory of Ronald Twogood. The refurbished Lady Chapel was dedicated by Canon Collick on 4 September 1929 and a children’s altar was dedicated on 15 February 1930.

The west end was completed in 1965 and tiles replaced the former corrugated iron roof. On 22 August 1965 Archbishop Appleton dedicated the new porch. The former Congregational Church was purchased in 1938 and served as the parish hall. A new brick hall was erected on Spring Park Road opposite the church, the foundation stone being laid by Archbishop Moline on 9 June 1956. A branch of The Mothers’ Union was formed in 1908.

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The Anglican portion of the Midland Junction Cemetery was consecrated by Archbishop Riley on 30 July 1916.

The rectory was built at 43 Spring Park Road in 1905 and was in use until being replaced by a new one behind the Parish Hall at 1 Burgess Street in the 1960s. This in turn was replaced by the house built at 95 Blanchard Road in Swan View in the 1980s. The parish still owns the property but is not using it as the rectory.

The Revd W F Marshall was appointed in 1892 to minister to the ‘newly-formed Helena District comprising the timber stations along the railway to the east of Guildford and the Canning timber stations further south’. Midland Junction was in the Swan Parish from 1895 to 1901 when it was made a Parochial District and included Bellevue and Darlington. The Parish of Midland was established in 1916. Gidgegannup has been a part of the parish since 1975.

Christmas Outreach in the Parish of Midland

Every year the Parish of Midland distributes Ascension Food Relief Christmas Hampers. Donations come from Guildford Grammar School, Woodbridge Primary School, as well as other parishes and churches. Anglicare WA makes significant grant towards this annual outreach. The parish is also involved in the Christmas Carols by Torch Light event held at Midland Oval.

Published in Messenger, December 2019

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