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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”