1874: The German Lutheran Church, Parliament Place, Melbourne, Victoria.

The German Lutheran Church was built in Parliament Place in 1874 and all the glazing was executed by Ferguson & Urie. The three windows in the apse are the centre piece of the church. All the windows in the Clerestory, and a number of windows in the nave with the red, blue and yellow borders are original Ferguson & Urie glass.

Photos taken 26 September 2010.

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The German Lutheran Church, Parliament place Melbourne.

The first German Lutheran church was built on the current site in 1854 by William Hellings to the designs of Bellairs, Kürsteiner & Co and was replaced in 1874 by the existing Gothic style bluestone church designed by Charles Blachmann and built by Henry Goedeke. All the original stained glass windows in the church were supplied by local stained glass company Ferguson & Urie in 1874 including the simple nave windows with plain glass diamond quarries and red and blue borders (I refer to these as their ‘stock’ windows). Some of these ‘stock’ windows were later replaced by memorial windows made by other stained glass artists. The three apse windows are all the same size with the centre one containing a different design which includes the Hexagram symbol, which is frequently seen as a symbol of the Freemasons (AKA ‘Seal of Solomon’ or’ Shield of David’), and the depiction of the Lamb of god with the victory flag and text below “Ecce Agnus Dei” which refers to John 1:29, “Behold the lamb of god, which taketh away the sin of the world”. The outer two apse windows are of identical design with an eight petal flower inside an eight pointed star which were medieval symbols of resurrection and eternal life. According to the church archives, the centre apse window was invoiced from Ferguson & Urie at £96, 12s on the 16th September 1874. At the top of the western three light window above the main entrance is a sexfoil rose design with red Y‐shaped decorations being symbols of the Trinity. The centre glass window below it was replaced in 1932 with stained glass designed by East Melbourne artist Ola Cohn.

Illustrated Sydney News, NSW, Saturday 16th January 1875, page 3.


In February, 1849, the first ship with German immigrants   arrived in Port Phillip; others soon followed, and formed a “Lutheran congregation, holding their services in a building in Collins-street, then the Rev. Mr. Morrison’s church, and now used as a State school. The services were conducted by laymen, a sermon being read by one of them. Mr. Matthias Goethe, one of the professors at Dr. Lang’s college in Sydney, accepted the charge, and, on Good Friday, 1853, was inducted pastor of the Lutheran congregation in Melbourne. Money was then collected, and the erection of a   Lutheran church commenced on the Eastern-hill, on ground granted for that purpose. The cost was £6000, and it was opened in 1854. In 1867 the Rev. Mr. Goethe left for California, and the Rev. Herman Herlitz, from German town, near Geelong, succeeded him as pastor; and the old church being too small, it was resolved to erect a larger and more handsome building. In August, 1872, the plans of Mr. C. H. E. Blachmann were accepted, and the foundation stone of the new building was laid on the 17th of March last. The church when finished will seat about 330 persons, and will cost nearly £4000; the building is of bluestone, with cement dressing. The length, including chancel, is 85 feet; breadth of nave, 23 feet; with aisles each side 7 feet   wide. The height inside to apex of ceiling is 36 feet. The windows to aisles and nave are filled with cathedral glass, having ornamented stained glass borders; but the apse windows are of a more costly description, all made by Messrs. Fergusson [sic] and Urie. The caps of columns carrying nave walls are beautifully foliated. All the fittings including a very handsome pulpit and reading desk, are of polished cedar and blackwood. A handsome organ presented by the Misses Moeglin, at a cost of about £400, will be put up in the gallery. The opening will take place next month”.

♦ Other References: ‘A German Church in the Garden of God’ – Melbourne’s Trinity Lutheran Church 1853-2003. Herbert D Mees General Editor.

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