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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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 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”