Name: Church of St John the Evangelist
Location: Darling street, Wentworth
Use: Anglican Church
Constructed: 1871
Demolished: 0
Theme: Services & Community Facilities
Condition: Good
Endorsements: Permanent Conservation Order, Classified by National Trust

Statement of Heritage Significance:

The church is constructed of stone with brick quoins and buttresses. The structure comprises an entrance porch, nave, vestry and spire. The thin pointed arch windows exhibit raised hood mouldings with circular endings mimicking similar geometric design of the stained glass panes. The exterior has an attractive mix of brick, course stone and rendered decorative additions, all highlighting the angular form of the structure. The broach spire is some 28 metres in height and is clad with slender timber louvers, painted grey. The interior is comprised of cedar pews, communion rails and pulpit. The ceiling of the nave has four arches of oregon and pine. The chancel window is 4 metres high and the side windows 3 metres. These windows have stained glass figures of St John, Christ on the Cross and Mary imported from Newcastle-on-Tyne.

The Anglican clergy were the first to visit the Wentworth District. A number of Ministers were stationed at the nearby Yelta mission from 1855 until its closure in 1869. At that time Anglicans in Wentworth attended regular services in the Wentworth Hotel. A visit by Bishop Thomas in 1870 precipitated local calling for the construction of a church. Rev William Cocks formed the Parish of Wentworth in 1871 and established a committee to investigate the construction of a church. The plan supplied by Rev Cocks is believed to be based upon an English structure. Cocks acted as overseer and contractor. The building fund was largely supported by Baroness Burdett – Coutts, Mr Phelps MP, MW Jamieson (Mildura Station), Mr Scott (Para Station), Mr Pile (Cuthero Station), Mr Cudmore (Avoca Station), and Mr Crozier (Moorna Station). Mr William Jamieson performed the opening ceremony. The materials were brought to the site by barge. The locally made bricks were acquired from the Presbyterian Church committee who had abandoned the intention of building, and the stained glass windows intended for the ‘lagging in construction’ Catholic church were acquired from the contractor. St Johns is the first church erected on the banks of the Darling River. The church is one of the most notable features in Wentworth and merits conservation.

Conservation by inclusion within the Local Environmental Plan. Upgrading of grounds should be encouraged.

Cocks W – unpublished letters
Grace N, St Johns on the Darling
Tullock D, Thee Historic Town of Wentworth

Recording Date: 29/11/1988

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