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”

MYRNIONG UNITING CHURCH

(FORMERLY PRESBYTERIAN)OLD WESTERN HIGHWAY, PENTLAND HILLS Closed as unsafe, though its congregation wants to repair it.   “Position, position, position,” as estate agents used to say and perhaps still do. This tiny church occupies one of the best positions of any church anywhere. That will be its attraction when it’s sold to someone wanting toContinue reading “MYRNIONG UNITING CHURCH”

ST JAMES’S, MORRISONS

(ANGLICAN)TABLELAND ROAD, MORRISONS Idly dreaming beside the pines. This church is remote and hard to find among the stands of green-black pines and the straggly gums that screen it from the road, until you round a bend and there it is. It looks abandoned, idly dreaming in pinaceous solitude without even a cart track acrossContinue reading “ST JAMES’S, MORRISONS”

SCOTS CHURCH, BALLARAT

(PRESBYTERIAN)LYDIARD STREET, BALLARAT Its graceful spire is one of only three in Ballarat. This charming and unpretentious brick church on Soldiers Hill was built for the Presbyterians of North Ballarat in 1890 to a Gothic-inspired design by local architects Figgis & Molloy. Its spire, slender and graceful and visible from all over north Ballarat, isContinue reading “SCOTS CHURCH, BALLARAT”

ST ANDREW’S, DAYLESFORD

(FORMERLY PRESBYTERIAN)CAMP STREET, DAYLESFORD An impressive church gazing with forlorn dignity over a town that has no use for it. The coronavirus has not so much concentrated my mind as concentrated my sphere of activity on an area close to home. This will account for what might seem an over-representation of Ballarat and district amongContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S, DAYLESFORD”

ST PAUL’S, BOX HILL

(FORMERLY LUTHERAN)STATION STREET, BOX HILL Squeezed out by the high-rises. It is no new thing for a church to be sold for the value of its land. In Melbourne this happened as long ago as 1913 when the historic site on which St James’s Old Cathedral had stood since 1842 was sold and the buildingContinue reading “ST PAUL’S, BOX HILL”

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”