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

(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 among theseContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S, DAYLESFORD”

ST PAUL’S, BOX HILL

(FORMER 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

(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 of StContinue reading “ST STEPHEN’S, HIGHETT”

ST THÉRÈSE’S, BALLARAT

(ROMAN CATHOLIC)WENDOUREE PARADE, BALLARAT The church of the Little Flower, St Thérèse’s on Lake Wendouree, has been sold and is used for non-religious purposes. Here’s another Ballarat church – really, the number is remarkable, such was the church-building prolificity of nineteenth-century piety. Zeal for the Lord’s House plus vast sums from gold-mining filled this provincialContinue reading “ST THÉRÈSE’S, BALLARAT”

ST STEPHEN’S, CAULFIELD NORTH

(FORMERLY PRESBYTERIAN, NOW UNITING)BALACLAVA ROAD, CAULFIELD NORTH A church design of great originality in Caulfield, once Presbyterian, now Uniting and home to an Indonesian congregation. For how long? Christian churches in Caulfield are in a parlous state, since the district, once solidly Anglo in character, became predominantly Jewish after the second world war. The Caulfield IndonesianContinue reading “ST STEPHEN’S, CAULFIELD NORTH”

SECOND CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, CAMBERWELL

(CHRISTIAN SCIENCE)COOKSON STREET, CAMBERWELL The Christian Science church in Camberwell is one of Melbourne’s best examples of 1930s Modernism. But its once flourishing denomination is declining. In its country of origin, the United States, once a seemingly inexhaustible fount of new variations on the Christian theme, Christian Science was founded in 1879 as Mrs MaryContinue reading “SECOND CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST, CAMBERWELL”