St Stephen’s Church at Mount Waverley was designed by architect Nathaniel Billing and built for modest sum of £370 and was opened on the 23rd of July 1865. The circular west window was reported to be made by Ferguson & Urie as indicated in the church Gazette of 16th August 1865. Fifty years later the entire window was blown in during a storm in late November 1915 and fell 18 feet to the floor of the church. The extent of damage the window suffered at the time is not known but it was repaired and re-installed and still exists in the position it was placed, which is now nearly one and a half centuries ago.
Photos taken 3rd February 2013.
“St Stephen’s Church, Mt. Waverley.
“The celebration of the jubilee of the above church, which was quite an event in the district, took place on Sunday, 19th September, and we have held back the report in order to gather particulars of the church’s past history, which is appended…”
“…We extract from the “Church Gazette.” Of August 16, 1865, the following report of the opening services, tea and public meeting:- “St Stephen’s Church. Waverley, District of Malvern and Oakleigh – This pretty little church, which was opened for divine worship on the 23rd ult, is built in the early English style of variegated brick work, and will seat 100 persons. It is an admirable specimen of what can be produced for the small sum of £370, and reflects much credit on the architect, Mr N. Billing, who designed and superintended its erection gratuitously. In the west end is a neat circular stained glass window, presented by Mesrs Fergusson [sic] and Urie…”
“Our Letter Box.
A WORD OF APPRECIATION.
To The Editor.
Sir, – I wish on behalf of the Vestry of St Stephens’ Church to thank you for the splendid report in last week’s issue. There are, however, two corrections which you might set right. The late Mr W. Q. Hore, senr., he was a vestryman, and the tablet mentioned is his (E. Hore’s) memory; the first services were held in his house. Mr C. Doolan’s name was omitted from the present vestry, he being the oldest and one of the most consistent supporters of the Church probably for nearly 40 years. A strange coincidence happened during stormy weather last Sunday. During the service the stained glass window, gift of Messrs Ferguson and Urie, mentioned in your report, was blown in and fell with a crash. No one was injured, I am glad to say; it had a fall of about 18ft.
CHAS H. COLEMAN.
Dec. 1, 1915.
Article updated 3rd Feb 2013 with the addition of the photos.