1864-67: St Peter’s Anglican Church, Ballarat, Victoria.

St Peters Anglican Church in Sturt Street Ballarat was designed by C. D. Cuthbert circa 1864.  The chancel was added in 1877 along with the stained glass windows in the chancel by Ferguson & Urie. The tower was added in 1891 and Soldiers memorial chapel in 1917.

Photos were taken 19th September 2010 & 17th March 2011

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Church of England Messenger, 9th August 1877, page 14.

“The stained-glass window for the chancel of St. Peter’s Church has arrived in Ballaarat, and was placed in position. It is a very good specimen of Messrs. Ferguson and Urie’s art, and it is a matter of congratulation that such excellent workmanship can be produced in the colony. The window is divided into three lights, surmounted by tracery pierced with trefoils. These trefoils are filled with richly-coloured glass, bearing upon a starry background the three emblems of faith, hope, and charity; the heart with the sacred monogram, the cross with the crown of thorns, the anchor with the dove and olive branch. The subject of the central light is the “Ecce Homo.” The side lights, having reference to the pious and charitable lives of the ladies in whose memory the chancel was erected. are illustrations of Mark XIV, 8 (“She hath done what she could’) and Matthew XXV. 40 (“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me”). In the central light the Saviour stands forth a solemn and mournful figure. Pilate and a Roman soldier occupying the background. Underneath there is a panel with a small but exceedingly well-drawn picture of Christ’s charge to Peter – “Feed my Sheep.” In the apex of the window is the emblem of the Holy Spirit, the dove, descending with rays of light. The right hand picture of Mary wiping the Saviour’s feet with her hair is remarkable for the beauty of the Saviour’s countenance and the grace of His gesture. In the light upon the left-hand side a female figure is casting a garment around an aged man and a child at her feet. The background of both of these pictures is of a similar character – a low wall decorated with scroll-work, overtopped with trees and flowers, the sky space being filled in with ruby glass in irregular lead-work. Underneath are the old church emblems – the Agnus Dei and the Pelican; and above are the Alpha and Omega. The side window, which can be seen only upon entering the chancel, is the more special memorial window, having the upper part a scroll with the text – “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord;” and at the bottom, a panel with the memorial inscription. The quarries of which the rest of the window is composed are ornamented with fleurs-de-lys, and the effect of the whole is highly satisfactory. The organ has been inspected on behalf of the church authorities, and is pronounced a first-class instrument. No time will now be lost in erecting it in the church.”

The Chancel window:

This is the main three light chancel window that depicts scenes from: MATT 25-40, JOHN 19-5 and MARK 14-8. The tracery above the three main lights shows three trefoil windows depicting the symbolism of Faith, Hope and Charity. The main lights of the window depict the following:

MATT 25-40: The King James version of Matthew 25-40 reads: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  The figure depicted in the window is of a woman covering a beggar man and his daughter with a cloak to shield them from the cold. The most commonly recognised interpretation of Matthew 25-40 would be the old “Golden Rule”; “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” or “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” Below the scene is the Pelican feeding its young from blood from its chest, which represents sacrifice.

JOHN 19-5: The King James version of John 19-5 reads: “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!” The scene depicted in the window is of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns. His hands are bound, he’s wearing the purple robe, and he is flanked by Roman guards. In the hours before Christs crucifixion, he was led through what we would call a ‘kangaroo court’ which has no sense of justice. The Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate, had him whipped and had a crown of thorns placed upon his head and clothed him in a purple robe, mocking some sort of regal adoration. Pilate paraded Jesus before the crowd and exclaimed, “Behold, the man!” Below is the scene of Christ as the Good Shepherd with a ribbon of text which reads: “PETER LOVEST THOU ME, YE LORD THOU KNOWEST THAT I LOVE THE, FEED MY SHEEP.” This refers to John 21-17; “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

MARK 14-8: The King James version reads: “She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.” The scene in the window depicts Mary Magdalene, the alleged prostitute, drying Christs feet with her hair. Nearby is a small ornate jug which is supposed to have contained an expensive aromatic ointment which was to be used to ‘anoint” him before his death. Below is the image of the Paschal Lamb carrying the St George banner.

The two light window in the nave:

The ‘Nunn’ Memorial window is a two light window with the memorial text:


The latest date mentioned on the window is 1884 which is an indication of the earliest date of the windows creation. The scroll text on the left lancets reads:

“THE LORD GAVE AND THE LORD HATH TAKEN AWAY BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD” (Job 1:21 – “And said, Naked came I out of my mothers womb, and naked shall I returne thither: the Lord gaue, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.”) “THEN ALSO WHICH SLEEP IN JESUS WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM”. (1 Thessalonians 4:14 – “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him”.) John Laverick Nunn was born in Whitby, Yorkshire, England, in 1830. He married Eliza Newson in Victoria in 1857 and they settled in the Warrenheip area at Dunnstown, near Ballarat circa 1860 where they became store keepers. John contributed to the Buninyong Presbyterian Church building appeal.  He died on the 22nd of Feb 1875 at Dunnstown. His wife Eliza died on the 17th October 1899 at “Ebor” Hawkesburn, South Yarra.

Short link to this page: http://wp.me/p28nLD-Uv

Some of this article has now been superseded by some new research about the chancel windows and a new article was posted to this web site on 24 Sep 2016 and can be seen at: http://wp.me/p28nLD-2Mv

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2 comments on “1864-67: St Peter’s Anglican Church, Ballarat, Victoria.

  1. The architect, Charles Davenport Cuthbert is my great, great-grandfather.
    Foundation stone laid 16th November, 1864 by Bendan S. Hassell.
    Opened 11th June, 1865.

  2. I was intrigued to find this information as John Laverick Nunn was the brother of Ralph Nunn, who was a gggf of my former husband. The address given at the time of Eliza’s death is that of Caroline Ellen Cole (nee Nunn), a daughter of Ralph and the niece by marriage of Eliza.

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