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, 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 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”

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”

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”

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”

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 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”