ST AGNES’S, BLACK ROCK

(ANGLICAN)ARKARINGA CRESCENT, BLACK ROCK Rus in urbe beside the bay. St Agnes’s is a country church in a suburb. It was in the country, more or less, when it was built, and has kept that air, even to the extent of acquiring a thoroughly unsuitable flat-roofed extension at the front for before- and after-service get-togethers,Continue reading “ST AGNES’S, BLACK ROCK”

ST GEORGE’S, GEELONG

(PRESBYTERIAN)CORNER OF LA TROBE TERRACE AND RYRIE STREET, GEELONG Closed and to all appearances forgotten.  This is one of those mysterious cases where a church shuts its doors after a service and shut they stay without anything further happening. Time goes by and no attempt seems to be made to reopen the building or toContinue reading “ST GEORGE’S, GEELONG”

EAST IVANHOE UNITING CHURCH

CORNER LOWER HEIDELBERG ROAD AND KING STREET, EAST IVANHOE Valuable site: the East Ivanhoe Uniting church and its land were sold for more than $11 million. Here’s an illustration of how quickly churchgoing has declined in well-to-do suburbs where not long ago churches were at the centre of local life. The East Ivanhoe Uniting churchContinue reading “EAST IVANHOE UNITING CHURCH”

ST ANDREW’S, ROKEWOOD

(UNITING)FERRARS STREET, ROKEWOOD I spoke too soon. St Andrew’s Uniting, formerly Presbyterian, church at Rokewood was built in 1866, in bluestone with freestone dressings to a design by Alexander Davidson. The spire, with its unusual adaptation of a broach at the base and canopied upper openings, was added in 1905. The building is now forContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S, ROKEWOOD”

ST ANDREW’S, GARDINER

(FORMERLY PRESBYTERIAN, NOW UNITING)CORNER BURKE AND MALVERN ROADS, GARDINER An inner-city church rebuilt on a new site. Is this beautiful bluestone church at risk or not? It is hard to say. A notice on its former website says its congregation was “disbanded” on 10 April 2016 and that the church would become the “permanent spiritualContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S, GARDINER”

ST PATRICK’S, ROKEWOOD

(ROMAN CATHOLIC)COLAC-BALLARAT ROAD, ROKEWOOD One more disposal in what looks like a clearance sale. The Roman Catholic authorities in Ballarat are at it again, selling off a perfectly good solid church building which will now be mutilated architecturally by being put to some secular use, probably as someone’s house. They’d hardly got the very handsomeContinue reading “ST PATRICK’S, ROKEWOOD”

ST PHILIP THE EVANGELIST, RUPANYUP

(ANGLICAN) CROMIE STREET, RUPANYUP Architect Louis Williams at his best. The last ten years or so have been bad enough for churches in urban Victoria, with closures planned or effected, but in the country they have been disastrous. Scores of churches have shut down, as rural populations decline and townships are turned into ghosts ofContinue reading “ST PHILIP THE EVANGELIST, RUPANYUP”

ALBERT PARK METHODIST CHURCH, ALBERT PARK

(FORMERLY METHODIST)CARDIGAN PLACE, ALBERT PARK The post-Christian era in plain view. If you want to see what the post-Christian era looks like, Bridport Street in Melbourne’s rich respectable seaside suburb of Albert Park is a one-stop exhibition. At each end of this thronged street stands a large and imposing brick church. At the eastern endContinue reading “ALBERT PARK METHODIST CHURCH, ALBERT PARK”

ST ANDREW’S, WILLIAMSTOWN

(PRESBYTERIAN)CECIL STREET, WILLIAMSTOWN A fine tower on an historic church. St Andrew’s is a substantial church with a tower of great dignity and noble proportions. It stands in well-kept grounds and looks, if one can say this of a building, rock solid. But the correspondent who suggested that I write about it told me thatContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S, WILLIAMSTOWN”

ST AGNES’S, GLEN HUNTLY

(ANGLICAN)BOORAN ROAD, GLEN HUNTLY An echo of Ravenna in a 1920s suburb. It never augurs well for a church’s future when it loses its parochial autonomy. St Agnes’s, Glen Huntly, is now administered from St John’s, East Malvern, a parish which is returning to its nineteenth-century extensiveness, having several years ago had part of theContinue reading “ST AGNES’S, GLEN HUNTLY”