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”

DROMANA UNITING CHURCH

(FORMERLY METHODIST)NEPEAN HIGHWAY, DROMANA Welcome, but not to church. When a church ceases to be used for the primary purpose for which it was built you start to wonder how long it will continue to exist as a building. I don’t mean that it will be instantly torn down, or sold on the sly (toContinue reading “DROMANA UNITING CHURCH”

HOLY TRINITY, GREENDALE

(FORMERLY ANGLICAN)NAPOLEON STREET, GREENDALE Less than half a church, rescued from ruin. This church is not at risk, nor was it ever a completed church, but I include it as a curio of rural architecture. For 86 years it was one of the few genuine ruins accessible from Melbourne. Holy Trinity, or the “half church”,Continue reading “HOLY TRINITY, GREENDALE”

ST FRANCIS XAVIER’S, PRAHRAN

(ROMAN CATHOLIC)HIGH STREET, PRAHRAN Melbourne’s first “Vatican II” church, now much altered. Here we have a classic illustration of the principle that drives the wheel of fashion, at least in the realm of architecture. Forty or so years after its zenith of popularity, a building that was admired and lauded by all is dismissed andContinue reading “ST FRANCIS XAVIER’S, PRAHRAN”

ALL SAINTS’, BLACKWOOD

FORMERLY ANGLICAN, (BYERS ROAD, BLACKWOOD) A mine of history shut down and sold. Another plain and simple country church transformed into a house. This one had quite a history behind it. Melbourne was but thirty years old when All Saints’ was consecrated on 29 October 1865 by Victoria’s first Anglican bishop, Charles Perry (1807-1891). ItContinue reading “ALL SAINTS’, BLACKWOOD”

ST MARK’S, GORDON

(FORMERLY ANGLICAN)CORNER OLD MELBOURNE ROAD and BROUGHAM STREET, GORDON Arts and Crafts touches on a cottage-like church. This attractive little church, half-hidden behind silver birches, has the lattice-windowed charm of a Hansel and Gretel cottage. It has not been used as a church for seventeen years and is now a hat shop. St Mark’s wasContinue reading “ST MARK’S, GORDON”

PLEASANT STREET UNITING CHURCH, BALLARAT

(FORMERLY WESLEYAN METHODIST) PLEASANT STREET, BALLARAT A reminder of Methodism’s onetime vitality. Another Ballarat church – but there were so many. Pleasant Street is an unpretentious but well-designed building notable for the excellence of its Gothic detailing and the rich colours of the brick used in its construction. Ballarat’s population has a strong Cornish element,Continue reading “PLEASANT STREET UNITING CHURCH, BALLARAT”

HOLY TRINITY, BALACLAVA and ELWOOD

(ANGLICAN)CORNER BRIGHTON ROAD AND CHAPEL STREET, BALACLAVA Palms give this substantial church the exotic air of an English expatriates’ church in the Mediterranean. “We’re asset-rich but people-poor,” announced an elderly lady I encountered when I looked inside Holy Trinity, Balaclava, and asked what the attendance was like on a Sunday. She might have spoken forContinue reading “HOLY TRINITY, BALACLAVA and ELWOOD”