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. PLEASE SEE UPDATE BELOW 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, andContinue 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”