Monsignor Hawes

Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail

Perenjori is located at the southern gateway to the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail. The trail celebrates the enormous contribution architect-priest Monsignor John Hawes made to the region and highlights 15 buildings of his design and other sites significant to his life.

Monsignor Hawes’ buildings are among the greatest achievements in Western Australia’s architectural history and some consider him to be our leading designer of ecclesiastical buildings. The cultural significance of Monsignor Hawes work within Australia’s natural environment is intrinsically and uniquely connected.

In many respects Monsignor Hawes was a visionary for designing and building structures that matched their respective settings and were highly appropriate for the prevailing environmental conditions.

Monsignor Hawes continued his work when he was transferred from his Australian parishes and posted to the Bermudas and other countries and as a result, there is worldwide interest in the heritage trail, each church unique and with its own defining characteristics.

st joesphs church







The Perenjori Church (Church of Saint Joseph) was designed while he was also working on plans for two other parish churches, supervising construction of Northampton’s Saint Mary’s in the Ara Coeli Church and travelling long distances on horseback as an active parish priest. Starkly utilitarian and much less a blend of architectural styles (as was most of his work), the design of the Perenjori Church was strongly influenced by Father Benedict Williamson’s book ‘How to build a Church’.

In the church’s interior, the huge stone baldachino (canopy) surmounts the high altar and supports one of the illustrations. Another noteworthy internal feature is the baldachino’s fascia which is a frieze carved by Monsignor Hawes, depicting Christ and the Twelve Apostles.

Join the growing numbers of visitors exploring the exciting and totally absorbing history of Monsignor John Hawes, starting at Perenjori and moving north through Morawa, Mullewa, Geraldton, Nanson, Northampton, Yalgoo and Carnarvon.