03-12-1871: St John the Divine, Anglican Church, Avoca, Victoria.

The township of Avoca lies at the cross roads of the Sunraysia and Pyrenees Highways in the North West of Victoria.

The foundation stone of St Johns was laid in the 21st of October 1869, the first service was held on the 3rd of December 1871 and the church was Consecrated on the 18th of October 1893.

This Ferguson & Urie stained glass window was only found by chance during one of my Western Victorian trips in early June 2011 and although it is no doubt an early Ferguson & Urie window, no newspaper articles of the time have been found mentioning the church or windows.

Photos were taken 11th June 2011.

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On close inspection of the digital  photos of the window, the bottom right lancet indicated that there was restoration work completed in 1993. The restorer had written names and dates on the outside edge of the window, which means that it can only be read back to front from the inside the church. A digitally enhanced mirror image of the text revealed that the restoration work was done by the church Organist, Mr Peter Lucey, whom I later tracked down to the “Mt Lonarch,  Fine Bone China, Gallery and B&B at Avoca”. I contacted Peter in in June 2011 and he indicated that the restoration  of the Ferguson & Urie window took him over a year to complete.

The window is typical of Ferguson & Urie’s early 1870’s Grisaille stained glass work and elements of this window are nearly identical to the east and west windows of St John’s church at Heathcote and the nave windows at St George’s Presbyterian Church at St Kilda.

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