ST JOSEPH’S, BLAMPIED

(ROMAN CATHOLIC)MIDLAND HIGHWAY, BLAMPIED Left to the rats and bats. St Joseph’s, Blampied, well illustrates the kind of church nineteenth-century rural faith was capable of building and twenty-first-century indifference doesn’t want to know about. It is a substantial bluestone building, very satisfying to look at in its solidity and proportions, and stands as a landmarkContinue reading “ST JOSEPH’S, BLAMPIED”

ST JOHN’S, PORT ALBERT

(ANGLICAN)RAGLAN STREET, PORT ALBERT Township’s sole surviving church of four is now threatened with closure. Little country churches like St John’s, Port Albert, are the bane of the ecclesiastical bureaucrat. They have tiny congregations, require regular maintenance, and are too small and poor to maintain their own incumbent. The priest or minister from the biggerContinue reading “ST JOHN’S, PORT ALBERT”

ST ANSELM’S, MIDDLE PARK

(FORMERLY ANGLICAN)PARK AND LANGRIDGE STREET, MIDDLE PARK Closed and subdivided after a century of worship. St Anselm’s is a neat little church on a tight street-corner site in the bayside suburb of Middle Park. On a stormy day you can hear the rumble of the breakers on the beach several streets to the west – andContinue reading “ST ANSELM’S, MIDDLE PARK”

ST THOMAS AQUINAS’S, CLUNES

(FORMERLY ROMAN CATHOLIC)BAILEY STREET, CLUNES Unfinished but impressive, and sold because no priest was available. The existing building is the nave of what would have been a very imposing church, designed for a town that was a rich centre of gold mining in central Victoria. More than a thousand people attended the opening on 9Continue reading “ST THOMAS AQUINAS’S, CLUNES”

ST STEPHEN’S, HIGHETT

(FORMERLY ANGLICAN)DONALD STREET, HIGHETT Empty for seven years and demolished overnight.  This church was at risk when I wrote the description that follows. It had been sold in 2013 but was still standing locked and empty. Out of the blue it was demolished in late March, before I could get a photograph.  The location ofContinue reading “ST STEPHEN’S, HIGHETT”

ST THÉRÈSE’S, BALLARAT

(FORMERLY ROMAN CATHOLIC)WENDOUREE PARADE, BALLARAT The church of the Little Flower, St Thérèse’s on Lake Wendouree, has been sold and is used for non-religious purposes. Here’s another Ballarat church – really, the number is remarkable, such was the church-building prolificity of nineteenth-century piety. Zeal for the Lord’s House plus vast sums from gold-mining filled thisContinue reading “ST THÉRÈSE’S, BALLARAT”

ST STEPHEN’S, CAULFIELD NORTH

(FORMERLY PRESBYTERIAN, NOW UNITING)BALACLAVA ROAD, CAULFIELD NORTH A church design of great originality in Caulfield, once Presbyterian, now Uniting and home to an Indonesian congregation. For how long? Christian churches in Caulfield are in a parlous state, since the district, once solidly Anglo in character, became predominantly Jewish after the second world war. The Caulfield IndonesianContinue reading “ST STEPHEN’S, CAULFIELD NORTH”

ST ANDREW’S KIRK, BALLARAT

(FORMERLY PRESBYTERIAN, THEN UNITING)STURT STREET, BALLARAT Its spire makes St Andrew’s Kirk the most prominent church in Ballarat. It is now closed and awaiting – what? Conversion into flats? Most of the churches to be described in this blog will be in Melbourne, but a few will be in other places that can be easilyContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S KIRK, BALLARAT”

SECOND CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, CAMBERWELL

(CHRISTIAN SCIENCE)COOKSON STREET, CAMBERWELL The Christian Science church in Camberwell is one of Melbourne’s best examples of 1930s Modernism. But its once flourishing denomination is declining. In its country of origin, the United States, once a seemingly inexhaustible fount of new variations on the Christian theme, Christian Science was founded in 1879 as Mrs MaryContinue reading “SECOND CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, CAMBERWELL”

ST MARTIN’S, HAWKSBURN

(ANGLICAN) CROMWELL ROAD, HAWKSBURN A fine nineteenth-century church on a hill in inner Melbourne. But how secure is its future? St Martin’s is a lofty barnlike church with some nice decorative details. The walls are in polychrome brick, partly diaper-patterned. The wide apse has a three-light traceried window at the east, set into its ownContinue reading “ST MARTIN’S, HAWKSBURN”