St George's Cathedral, Perth

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For other places with the same name, see St. George's Cathedral (disambiguation).
St George's Cathedral
St George's Cathedral from the north, 2007
Location St Georges Terrace, Perth, Western Australia
Country Australia
Denomination Anglican
Dedicated 1888
Architect(s) Edmund Blacket
Style Gothic Revival architecture
Diocese Anglican Diocese of Perth
Dean John Shepherd

St George's Cathedral is the principal Anglican church in the city of Perth, Western Australia and the mother-church of the Anglican Diocese of Perth. It is located in St Georges Terrace in the centre of the city.


St George's Cathedral in Perth, from corner Irwin and Murray Streets, circa 1890

Built in 1888 the cathedral replaced an earlier building immediately to the north-east of the present one. The cathedral is described as Gothic Revival and is made from local handmade clay bricks from Queen's Gardens and Victorian blue stone pillars on footings of Fremantle limestone. It was designed by Sydney architect Edmund Blacket. The site is near the "Rush Church" - the first church built in Perth, by Frederick Irwin, in December 1829, a few months after the city was founded.

From 2005 to 2008 the cathedral was extensively restored with the tile roof replaced by slates as originally built. Earthquake protection was added to two walls to provide bracing and much other work was undertaken. It is planned to restore and develop other buildings in the complex, including the Burt Hall and the 1859 deanery building, which adjoins the cathedral, on the corner of Pier Street.

St George's Cathedral has become noted for its innovative and controversial theological teaching, popular preaching, commitment to inter-faith worship and music. Its Cathedral Education Centre is unique to Australia.[citation needed]

John Shepherd

The Very Reverend John Shepherd has been the dean of the cathedral since 1990. Shepherd holds degrees in arts (history and philosophy) from the University of Melbourne, theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. At St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he was the John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar, Shepherd completed a PhD on the relationship between the theology and music of the English Reformation. As the chaplain of Christ Church, Oxford, from 1980 to 1988, he taught Reformation theology and Renaissance music history. From 1988 to 1990, Shepherd was a chaplain at the University of Western Australia, where he also taught in the faculty of music.


The cathedral has a peal of eight bells set for change ringing and rung by the St George's Cathedral Bellringers' Association - affiliated with the The Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers.

Upon hearing of Queen Victoria's death in 1901 the Perth community created an appeal to fund the creation of the Queen Victoria Memorial Bell Tower at the cathedral. The bells were cast by John Warner & Sons, London, and installed on the second anniversary of Victoria's death. However, the bells were only rung infrequently for the subsequent decades due to a combination lack of the lack of proficient ringers and for structural concerns in the tower itself. The bells were regularly rung every Sunday (but not tolled) up until the 1970s.[1]

The castellated bell tower was damaged in the 1968 Meckering earthquake. All ringing in the tower was ceased after tower bricks were dislodged due to service ringing in July 1973.[2] Following a restoration appeal the cathedral had its original peal recast by John Taylor & Co in 1975 and hung a year later in a cast-iron and steel frame with the new tenor at 11cwt. The original tenor of 18cwt was kept as a service bell.[3] The bellringing band became active again and achieved 25 peals by the end of the 20th century.[1]


2014-present: Acting Dean
  • 1990–2014: John Shepherd
  • 1979–?: David Oswald Robarts
  • 1968–1975: John Hazlewood
  • 1962–1968: James Richmond Payne
  • 1959–?1962: Thomas Brian Macdonald
  • 1953–?: John Bell
  • 1947–1953: Geoffrey Berwick
  • 1929–1947: Robert Henry Moore
  • 1918–?: Ernest Foster
  • 1912–1917: Henry Frederick Mercer
  • 1906–1911: Henry Guy Dampier Latham
  • 1888–1904: Frederick Goldsmith (afterwards Bishop of Bunbury, 1904)
  • 1858–1863: George Purves Pownall

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Evenson, Lilian M. (1977) A short history and guide to Saint George's cathedral Perth: Cathedral Chapter. (Based on a guide book prepared in 1950).
  • A History and Detailed Guide to St George's Cathedral, Revised 2007. Retrieved on 2009-03-03.
  • Tonkin, John. Cathedral and Community: A History of St George's Cathedral, Perth.

External links[edit]

Media related to Saint George's Cathedral, Perth at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 31°57′21″S 115°51′40″E / 31.9557°S 115.8612°E / -31.9557; 115.8612


  1. ^ a b "Perth, St George's Cathedral". ANZAB Tower Directory. The Australian and New Zealand Association of Bellringers. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "St Georges Anglican Cathedral, 38 St Georges Tce, Perth, WA, Australia". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Higson, Andrew (2011). "Perth: Cath Ch of S George". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 6 April 2014.