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Rottnest Island - Henry Vincent's Anglican Chapel

Rottnest Island - Henry Vincent's Anglican Chapel

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Published by Dr Paul Weaver
Rottnest's Anglican chapel is open to all visitors.
Rottnest's Anglican chapel is open to all visitors.

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Published by: Dr Paul Weaver on Mar 03, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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12/12/08 8:53 AMFremantlebiz - Paul's Letter from AustraliaPage 1 of 2http://fremantlebiz.livejournal.com/2008/12/12/
Fremantlebiz - Paul's Letter from Australia
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Friday, December 12th, 2008
Rottnest Island - Henry Vincent's Anglican chapel 
Tucked away between an assortment of 19th century penal structures now converted to tourist accommodation is a tinyAnglican chapel. It was built circa 1858 in association with the 'native' prison known as the Quod, which is located a dozenor so metres to the north.The building has had a variety of other uses beside divine worship - schoolhouse, public reading room, itinerant workeraccommodation, post office and even as a beer storehouse. In 1965 theIslanders saw the error of their irreverent ways. Thechapel was cleaned up and reconsecrated by the Anglican Archbishop of Perth.What goes on inside the building nowadays is strictly churchy type business. All denominations are welcome to worshipthere. It can also be booked for weddings and will seat about forty people. (The first wedding was held in September1873.)If modern wedding guests want to gather together elsewhere in celebration afterwards, then a non-religious islandmanagement authority permit costing about $90 must be applied for a month in advance.I took some photos of the interior of the chapel in October this year. I like this church for its peaceful simplicity.Occasional services are still conducted but I don't know how regularly. Some of the wooden pews are original, some areexact replicas of them.On the rear wall are a few private commemorative plates from peoples of the past who yearned for more 'permanent'recognition of their familial association with the building. There's also an armoured 'poor box.' The main wooden door isvery solid.
Two interior views
Much of the old architectural style on Rottnest has a Spanish village flavour. This is attributed to the the influence of thefirst prison superintendent and construction supervisor Henry Vincent whom had been a British soldier fighting the Frenchin the Iberian Peninsular War for Spanish independence during the early 19th century. Apparently he had sufficient timeduring the war to be impressed by the Spanish building methods and design. He'd reportedly also lost an eye in battle.
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