Fairbridge Chapel was designed by architect Sir Herbert Baker, in 1928 and completed in 1931. Unfortunately, it was a design he never saw built. Baker was a great believer in Kingsley Fairbridge and his work at Fairbridge Farm. The Child Emigration Society approached him in 1928 about designing a chapel for the Farm School. Baker was more than happy to oblige.
The chapel resembles earlier architectural styles Baker had developed in South Africa, fitting with Kingsley’s origins. The building was largely the gift of Thomas Wall of English Ice Cream fame, who donated £6,000. Construction was carried out by builders, Sumpton and Sons, along with unemployed Fairbridgians’ who helped dig the foundations.
The foundation stone for the chapel was laid on 14th February 1931 by A E Joyner. Dedication followed 10 months later on the 12th December 1931, by the Bishop of Bunbury.
The Chapel is 56 feet long and 25 feet wide, and was built using local material including brick, jarrah and karri and a shingled roof. The most prominent features of the chapel are its high ceilings, glass stain windows and dramatic chandeliers. The glass stain window at the western end of the chapel was placed by the Old Fairbridgian’s Association in memory of its founder.
Kingsley’s grave lies a short distance from the chapel, with views of the rolling hills that lay back drop to the church.
A Pipe Organ was donated by a London hotel and shipped over to Western Australia. The organ can still be heard playing in the chapel today.
The Fairbridge chapel is open to the public 7 days a week from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
The chapel is available free of charge for school and community groups. The venue is for hire for civil weddings, funerals, and christenings.
For more information or to make a booking contact : firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (08) 9531 1177