1872: St Paul’s Anglican Church, Avenel, Victoria.

St Paul’s Anglican Church is located in the tiny township of Avenel which lies a couple of kilometers west of the Hume Freeway, and about twenty kilometers north of the township of Semour in central Victoria.

The foundation stone of the first Anglican church in the town was laid on the 26th June 1872 and opened on the 24th November 1872.

From 1872 to 1913 the church was located closer to the Hume Highway, but in 1913 a new red brick church was erected further to the north west of the township and the original stained glass chancel window, made by Ferguson & Urie of North Melbourne, was re-installed in it.

Other windows in the church were made at much later dates (post 1913) and some of the borders in those either side of the chancel windows have been made to complement similar patterns seen in the historical Ferguson & Urie window.  The most recent window in the church was created by ‘Guan Wei’ at ‘Almond Glass’ works in 2008.

Photos taken: 18th December 2011.

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The Seymour Express, Vic, Friday 10th April 1914, page 3.

“Consecration of St. Paul’s, Avenel. BY BISHOP OF WANGARATTA”.

“If there is one thing more than another of which the residents of Avenel have reason to be proud of it is the handsome and costly structures which they have dedicated to the service of God. The latest addition to these edifices has just been completed by the parishioners of St Paul’s church, and on Wednesday last was solemnly consecrated by the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of Wangaratta, before a very large assemblage.

THE BUILDING

The church occupies a prominent position in the eastern portion of the town, and is a handsome structure – in the Gothic style of architecture, though very much modernised – of specially selected brick, with Portland cement facings. The foundation stone was laid on Nov 30th, 1913 in the presence of a very large gathering by Mr. E. Plummer J.P., the sermon for the occasion being also preached by the Bishop of Wangaratta. An account of the ceremony on parchment, mentioning the bishop, rector, church wardens and vestry men, was enclosed in a canister and placed under the stone. The eastern stained glass windows and the gable cross were transferred from the old church, which was built over 40 years ago. The lamps in the church were given by the vestry of St. John’s Church, Nagambie. The interior of the building is very handsome without being ornate. The chancel is wide and deep, and is spanned by a magnificent arch. The ventilation of the building has received special attention, there being an open ridge the full length of the building and while the walls are hollow to secure circulation of air and coolness they are fitted with the latest ventilators, which can be closed or shut as desired. The windows are of the very latest cathedral glass of a delicate green tint, and are made to open the full length of the window if necessary…”

Memories of Avenel by Amelia Jane Burgoyne 1958, page 48.

“In 1872, Lloyd Jones gave four acres of land, part of his property, to build an Anglican Church. On that site, in the old town, a pretty little church, St Paul’s was built, and was later beautified with stained-glass windows and some fine pieces of furniture presented by pioneer families in memory of their dear ones. The church was removed, about 1912, to the new town, somewhat to the regret of the older people, who had worshipped at the old site for forty years; but it is still the same pretty little church, though now on a site more convenient for the majority of residents. A recent addition to the interior fittings is the panelling of beautiful wood in the sanctuary, given by Mrs E. J. Shelton in memory of her husband, Captain John Shelton, who made the supreme sacrifice in the First World War”.

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