ST AGNES’S, BLACK ROCK

(ANGLICAN)ARKARINGA CRESCENT, BLACK ROCK Rus in urbe beside the bay. St Agnes’s is a country church in a suburb. It was in the country, more or less, when it was built, and has kept that air, even to the extent of acquiring a thoroughly unsuitable flat-roofed extension at the front for before- and after-service get-togethers,Continue reading “ST AGNES’S, BLACK ROCK”

ST GEORGE’S, GEELONG

(PRESBYTERIAN)CORNER OF LA TROBE TERRACE AND RYRIE STREET, GEELONG Closed and to all appearances forgotten.  This is one of those mysterious cases where a church shuts its doors after a service and shut they stay without anything further happening. Time goes by and no attempt seems to be made to reopen the building or toContinue reading “ST GEORGE’S, GEELONG”

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”

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”

ST ANDREW’S, WILLIAMSTOWN

(PRESBYTERIAN)CECIL STREET, WILLIAMSTOWN A fine tower on an historic church. St Andrew’s is a substantial church with a tower of great dignity and noble proportions. It stands in well-kept grounds and looks, if one can say this of a building, rock solid. But the correspondent who suggested that I write about it told me thatContinue reading “ST ANDREW’S, WILLIAMSTOWN”

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”

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”