The first Holy Trinity Church at Williamstown was a prefabricated iron building known as an “Iron Pot” (freezing in winter and boiling in summer). There were many of these “Iron Pot” churches imported from England and erected throughout the colony and this one was erected in Nelsons Place in Williamstown. The Rev. George Wilkinson was obviously not happy with this poor excuse for the house of the lord and began the movement to have a respectful stone church erected for his congregation in 1859. The foundation stone for the new Leonard Terry designed church was eventually laid on the 11th of February 1871 by Bishop Charles Perry and was opened on the 7th October 1874. The “pretty chancel window” described as being made by Ferguson & Urie, circa 1874, no longer exists and was replaced by the Charlotte & William Holten memorial window circa 1941. According to the Holy Trinity’s newsletter (The Pilot, Vol 2, Issue 3, April 2012, page 4): “The artist for this window is unknown. We do know it was made in England and brought to Williamstown by Mrs Dorothy Raverty 2nd, step mother of Reverend J. Raverty who had it installed in Memory of her parents.”
This newsletter item is not correct. The Holten memorial window was actually made by the Brooks, Robinson & Co stained glass company of Melbourne, who also made other windows in Holy Trinity.
All the original windows in the nave of Holy Trinity have also been replaced over the course of a century and are made by the artists and studios of William Montgomery, Napier Waller, Brooks Robinson & Co, and Alan Sumner.
The west four light window, with rose window above, and those in the clerestory, with the simple coloured borders and plain diamond quarries, are very likely be some of the original circa 1874 installations by Ferguson & Urie of North Melbourne.
Photos taken: 11th September 2010.
“THE NEW CHURCH OF ENGLAND.- The new place of worship which the adherents of the Church of England have just erected in Williamstown is one of the most handsome and commodious churches in the colony. With the exception of the tower and spire the building is now complete, and the conspicuous position it occupies makes it a prominent and pleasing feature in the town as seen from the Bay. The cost, as it stands, is £5000, and the erection of such a noble structure speaks well for the energy and liberality of the Episcopalians in our comparatively small parish, particularly as the new church when entered upon will be but slightly involved financially. The church, including the chancel, is 110 feet in length, and is from a design by Mr. Leonard terry, in the gothic style, with nave and aisles of lofty proportions. The material employed is bluestone, with freestone dressings. The interior has a very handsome appearance, which is heightened by the tone of the glazing, the body colour being amber with varicoloured margins. A pretty chancel window, made by Ferguson and Urie, imparts to that portion of the interior a very pleasing effect, which is continued in the rich yet simple decorations of the ceiling. The seating, to which the greatest attention has been given, is very convenient and comfortable. The material used is lightly stained Oregon pine. A lectern, from one of the best medieval workers in England, and the gift of Sir George Verdon, will shortly be added, and from the known liberality of the donor and the high reputation of the makers, will no doubt prove a further ornament. The substitution of a nice front picket fence for the old palings which have so long done duty has also contributed to the fine appearance of the church. The new place of worship will be opened on Friday, the 2nd prox, by the rev. pastor, Mr. Wilkinson.”