29-04-1867: Presbyterian Church, William Street, West Melbourne, Victoria.

The Presbyterian Church, William Street, West Melbourne was opened for public service on Sunday 28th April 1867.

The Argus, Melbourne, Monday 29th April 1867, page 5.

 The new Presbyterian Church, William-street, West Melbourne, was opened for public service yesterday. The sermon in the morning was preached by the Rev. A. Robertson, the pastor; in the afternoon, by the Rev. J. Dare; and in the evening, by the Rev. Dr. Cairns. On each occasion the church was crowded. The building is of the later English Gothic, known as the Tudor style, and is constructed of bluestone, with freestone and pressed cement dressings. Inside it measures eighty-four feet by fifty-four feet, and it is forty-five feet high. It is arranged in amphitheater form, all of the seats being curved in shape, the curves of all being shrunk from one centre, and each rising above the one before it. The arrangement is commodious and effective. The seats afford sitting accommodation for 750 persons. The roof is one of open-timbered construction. The building is found well adapted for giving the fullest effect to the voice of the speaker.  It is lighted by seven large windows on each side, and these are glassed with stained glass. The beauty of the design and harmony of the colouring render these admirable specimens of the art. They are the work of Messrs Ferguson and Urie, to whom the colony is indebted for many artistic productions of the same kind. By night the building will be lighted from the ceiling by three powerful sunlight reflectors, the brilliancy of which will dispense with the need of pulpit lights. The architects for the church are Messrs. Smith and Watts, the contractors Messrs. Corben, Wilson, and Rankine. It is only the body of the edifice that has been erected, and the plan includes the erection of a tower at the end towards William-street, and vestry-rooms at the other. The part which has been built cost about £7,000; the estimated cost of the entire building is upwards of £12,000. The church commences its career with most favourable prospects, as upwards of 500 of the sittings have been already let. It may be added that on Tuesday evening a tea-meeting will be held in the old building (now to be used as a school-house), in celebration of the opening. The amount of the collections during yesterday was £114 18s 10d.

WEST MELBOURNE Presbyterian Church 01a

The West Melbourne Presbyterian Church was pulled down circa 1936 and re-erected stone by stone as St Andrews Church at Box Hill. Eleven of the original 14 nave windows were re-installed in the Box Hill church in the nave, one was donated to the Camberwell Presbyterian Church, and the remainder re-fashioned to fit other parts of the Box Hill Church. As a fund raising venture the decided to allow parishioners, at a nominal cost, to have new memorial dedications placed in the lower edge of the Ferguson & Urie stained glass windows.

The entire cycle of windows were crafted by Ferguson & Urie and when the Box Hill Church was being built, the church devised a fund raising exercise, that included the addition of new memorial dedications  in the lower portions of the original stained glass windows. From an historical point of view this has confused many historians as to who could have made the windows as the memorial dedications had dates indicated much later than the Ferguson & Urie company existence.

The full cycle of stained glass windows can be see on the article about St Andrews Church at Box Hill.

Related posts: 29-04-1867 > 02-05-186727-04-1935 > 09-09-1935 > 16-12-1935 > 01-02-1936


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