St Paul’s Anglican Church at Warragul is the home to two historic stained glass windows that were formerly in the old St Paul’s church in Melbourne.
The old St Paul’s, known as the Pro-Cathedral, was located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets and was demolished in 1885 to make way for the new St. Paul’s Cathedral. Two single light stained glass windows, depicting St Peter and St Paul, were removed in mid 1885 just prior to its demolition. The whereabouts of the windows remained a mystery for the next four years.
Both windows were made by Ferguson & Urie of North Melbourne and they resurfaced again in 1889 when the Gippsland tabloids wrote that Mr. James Burston had purchased them from the cathedral authorities and subsequently gifted them to the Warragul Church .
The windows were unveiled in St Paul’s church at Warragul on Sunday 6th October 1889, but again this would not be their last move though. The Warragul church was originally a small timber building dating from circa 1881 and was replaced by the current brick building, the foundation stone having been laid by the Hon. William Pearson M.L.C. on the 29th July 1908.
Fortunately, once again, the two windows were again saved and were re-erected in the new church either side of the chancel where they reside to this day.
Photos taken 4th December 2011.
Warragul Guardian and Buln Buln and Narracan Shire Advocate, Friday 13th September 1889, p3.
“A very valuable gift has been made to St. Paul’s church, Warragul during the past week by James Burston Esq., of Melbourne, of two handsome stained glass windows representing St. Peter and St. Paul. They were formerly in St. Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, Melbourne and were purchased by the donor from the Cathedral authorities. It is expected that the ceremony of unveiling them will shortly be performed by one of the prominent Melbourne clergy, when special services will be held. A useful addition has also recently been made of a beautifully worked blackwood pulpit, the handiwork of Mr. J. K.. Keen, now of Mildura. The workmanship is remarkably good, and it would be a difficult matter, even in the city, to surpass it.”
Warragul Guardian and Buln Buln and Narracan Shire Advocate, Friday 4th October 1889, p2.
“The stained glass windows recently donated to St. Paul’s Church, Warragul, of which we gave a description, will be unveiled on Sunday next”
Warragul Guardian and Buln Buln and Narracan Shire Advocate, Tuesday 8th October 1889, p3.
“The stained glass windows which we recently noticed as having been presented to St. Paul’s Church, Warragul, by Mr. James Burston, of Melbourne, were unveiled on Sunday morning by the Rev. F. W. Willcox. As the coverings were removed their remarkable beauty was revealed to the public for the first time. St. Peter is represented with the usual key in his hands and St. Paul with the sword and the mellow and harmonious colorings were the subject of much comment at the conclusion of the service. The church committee may be congratulated upon the acquisition of what are really works of art, and it is hoped that before long some of the generously-minded will further beautify the church by adding stained glass to the centre window of the chancel”.
There were a number of other Ferguson & Urie windows in the old St Paul’s church in Flinders St, one of which was the three light chancel window dedicated to the “Prince Consort”, which found its home in St. John’s at Sorrento.