Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Peace in a country church - Mourambine, Western Australia

There is a peace and calm that seems to surround small country churches. They are a place of sanctuary. A place to sit in quiet contemplation.

Over the Easter weekend we visited the St Patricks Anglican church in Mourambine during our return drive home from a few days staying with our family in the central Western Australian wheatbelt.

This church holds a place in our family history.

It sits on a small rise overlooking undulating grain fields which are drying golden in summer and sprouting green and fresh in winter.

The town of Mourambine developed around 1860 and the townsite gazetted in 1884, but it has disappeared over the years - it's fate sealed when the railway line came to nearby Pingelly in 1889. All that remains of Mourambine now is the church and its small cemetery, the rectory (now a farmer's home), the old inn (also now a home) and the house where my father lived between 1939 and 1942. He has told us many stories of his life there. 

 To keep reading and see more pics, please click on "read more" .....

"At the end of 1939 we left the farm at Kulyalling when it was sold after the death of my Grandfather. We moved to Mourambine six miles east of Pingelly. The house was built around 1872. It had two main rooms with walls 18 inches thick made of local stone. There was a veranda all the way around with the kitchen on one corner and bedrooms on the other corners. Originally the house was built with a thatched roof, but had an iron roof when we were there. Over a hundred years on the house is still lived in and is now Heritage listed."

Entering the gate of the church, the path is flanked by two large olive trees. I read somewhere years ago that these were planted by the Benedictine monks from the New Norcia Monastery north of Perth.  A simple bell hangs between two tall uprights in the church yard.

A sheltered alcove protects the heavy wooden door.  The church was built from local stone and was consecrated by Bishop Hale. in 1873.

The rows of dark wooden pews face towards the alter at the far end, a simple wooden cross stands on the window sill, there are three stained glass windows also of simple design, and on the side walls are glass lamps. My father told me that his grandmother played the organ for the church services. Church services are still held here and my Dad noticed on the weekend that they had new hymn books. 

In the church yard lie pioneers of the district - including my father's mother and father and many other members of his family, including our ancestor James Fairhead who arrived in Western Australia on the ship Pyrenees, as a convict in 1853. He was given Ticket of Leave on 1 May 1853, pardoned 15 September 1855, acquired land in Beverley in 1880, married Mary Welsh 1 December 1859 and fathered twelve children. 


You can read information from the State Heritage Council about the church here - State Heritage WA - Mourambine Church

Here is the church again which I have processed with a texture


Below is another little lonely church in the wheatbelt near Mt Stirling south of Kellerberin.....abandoned now....but still peaceful....

Are there any little churches that you feel a connection with?

Thanks for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful week. And for those of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you blessings.

I am linking up to Mosaic Monday, Travel Photos Monday, Our World Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, Travel Photo Thursday, What's It Wednesday, and Oh the Places I've Been. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!   

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World  
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday
 Oh The Places I've Been

You might also like.............

From beach to wheatbelt - a tribute 
Exploring the Western Australian wheatbelt 
Western Australian central wheatbelt


  1. I think it is always special to visit places with family history. And I agree about the peace and serenity that exists in the old churches. I love visiting them, too.

  2. What a beautiful building


  3. What stunning shots.

  4. I'm sure this visit was quite special. The church is small and beautiful.
    Churches do inspire reverence.

  5. What a quaint little place. At least, its history is not lost. That's a good thing.

  6. Looks very interesting place to visit! :)

  7. I love stone buildings. How lovely for you to have such an intimate connection. Is the Church open on a daily basis or only when there is a service?

  8. "Life Images by Jill" has been included in Friday's Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.


  9. I always like little country churches, and that you have such a connection to this town makes the story extra interesting. I really like the view from the front where it's sheltered by trees.

  10. Oh I love the way you've captured the character of these churches. I am always so taken with the construction, the design and decoration of these places of worship that have transcended through the decades. Beautiful shots.

  11. Hi Jill, it's great that even though the town disappeared the church and the cemetery still remained - and your father's house, too! What a great history your family has. It must be a powerful feeling visiting the town and seeing a trace of your root. I love the church - it looks so intimate and peaceful. The abandoned church looks peaceful indeed. I bet it has a lot of story to tell as well.

  12. Hello Jill, This is such a beautiful post. I have long been fascinated by small churches, but there is always such mystery surrounding them. I've enjoyed reading this post which is brought to life by your family's historical links and your thoughtful photographs.

  13. Hi Jill,
    I have a lot of family history connected with this church my Great x 5 grandparents were very involed William and Mary Ingram ,they are both buried alongside the church.
    beautiful pics .

    1. thank you for stopping by and commenting. I will look for William and Mary's graves next time we are there.

    2. Hi they are also my great great grandparents would love to know who posted from Geraldton

  14. Hi Jill, what wonderful pictures and info,
    I have two relatives buried at Mourambine
    William Atkins (died 1902) and his daughter Frances (died 1876. William and his wife Ellen Taylor married in the Mourambine Church (1875)
    Hope its not too much to ask but would you mind getting a pic of their gravesites for me?
    My mother was born in Pingelly in 1920,

    1. Hi Maree, lovely to hear from you. I am not sure when I will be in Mourambine again as it is about 3 hours from where I live. It is such a lovely little church. I will try to remember to look for your family graves and take a photo for you next time I am up that way. I wonder if my father knew your mother - what was her name?

    2. My great GG grandfather William Ingram's Cottage is behind the Atkins homestead

    3. Hi Beverly their my great great grandparents aswell.im Robert Higgins daughter.

  15. He also put down the Ingrams well in Pingelly my great great grandparents along with Higgins family also Helena Higgins aged six years old is buried in the church yard cemetary

  16. I have just read your story on the above. I had two Great Great Grandfathers who were one of first settlers in that area.
    Their names were John Patricks Higgins and William Ingram - both convicts. Both helped build St Patricks Church and many other dwellings in and around Pingelly and Mourambine. By father’s cousin produced a family history of all of the descendants. We all have a copy of that book. It is sad, but I have not visited the towns - I intend to do that very soon.
    Thank you for your wonderful story.

    Jennifer Riley

    1. fascinating connections with this tiny place in the wheatbelt. And such history!

    2. Hi yes we are related Lesley did the family book be great to meet

  17. Mary anne Welsh is my grandmother. And Ingram cottage was built by my great great grandparents I'm a Higgins. Thankyou for your beautiful pictures.


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