Spirituality is, above all else, a search for truth. Whatever you believe in, the journey begins inside you and slowly expands to regard your community, the world and universe as interconnected, part of a plan. The best way to celebrate this growing understanding of everything around you is to experience the different ways people around the world celebrate their faith and demonstrate their commitment to something larger than themselves.
Perth is often overlooked as a spiritual destination, but like any major city Perth sports some amazing sites that inspire the spiritual side. And like many cities in Australia, Perth contains diverse examples of spirituality, from the Western to the Eastern to the Aboriginal. Faced with a group of truth-seekers who want to be excited about the spiritual possibilities of your next trip? Who don’t wish to simply consume and enjoy, but rather want to meditate and contemplate existence and God? Perth may not be your first thought, but it certainly should be, as it offers an incredibly varied spiritual experience. Here are just a few of the spiritual places your group can visit.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
This Catholic church symbolizes the steady, patient nature of faith. Originally constructed in 1865 and situated in the center of the city, this beautiful and imposing church – the seat of the archdiocese – was meant to be expanded and modernised in the 1920s, but the worldwide economic depression halted work. For decades, the incomplete cathedral was used by Australian Catholics to worship, but in the early 2000s a serious effort was made to raise funds and finish the work begun nearly a century before. Today the church is a bridge between the old and the new.
St. George’s Cathedral
The main Anglican church in Western Australia is built near the site of Perth’s first church, known as the Rush Church both because it was constructed in a hurry to be ready in time for Christmas in 1829, and because of the rushes used to clad the walls. Today the cathedral is known for its interfaith outreach, its modern and popular sermon styles, and for its simple clay-brick beauty. People of all faiths will feel the spiritual pull of the place.
The wilderness around Perth is filled with the spiritual presence and markers of the aboriginal peoples who lived and worshipped in this land long before European settlers came. Owl Rock is a simple natural rock formation near Perth that has been used for thousands of years as a spiritual stopping place for hunters and pilgrims. Threatened in modern times by quarrying, Owl Rock and similar sights are enjoying a renewed interest among Australians. Their age and simple beauty will fill anyone with a sense of spiritual joy.
All Saints Anglican Church
The oldest church in Western Australia, this humble structure was completed in 1840. There are no soaring towers, no intricate carvings, no golden decorations – but the power and majesty of this simple spot will be obvious to anyone who cherishes a relationship with a higher power and seeks to understand that relationship better. Services have been held at the site since at least the 1830s, and the small cemetery on the church’s land holds the remains of some of Western Australia’s most famous names, reminding us all of our journey through this life.
Wardan Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Although a few hours south of Perth, this is one of the only indigenous-focused areas in Western Australia, and allows visitors to learn about the life and the spiritual beliefs of the people who have lived in this part of the world for centuries. No one with a sincere spiritual life can walk away from this experience without feeling closer to their God and their beliefs, seeing the parallels that link all people together in their sense of awe at the world around them.
The oldest mosque in Perth, built in 1905, this mosque has in recent times been defaced with graffiti and other things. People of all faiths with a sincere spiritual understanding will feel the resilience of faith in this place, where the small Islamic community of Perth persevere despite these incidents. Well worth a visit by any group seeking to learn and to grow.
Perth is a surprisingly spiritual place, a beautiful destinations that combines modern urban convenience with stunning natural beauty. If you need to plan a trip for a serious spiritual contemplation, Perth is your answer. If you’ve been to Perth and visited these or other sacred sites, tell us about your experiences in the comments!