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”

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”

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

(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 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 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 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”