Auburn, VIC - Uniting

Year Built: 1888

Denomination: Uniting

Address: 81 Oxley Road, Hawthorn, Auburn, Victoria, 3123

Previous Denomination: Wesleyan Methodist

Architect: Alfred Dunn

Architectural Style: Romanesque

Last Updated: 19/03/2024

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History and Architecture:

Between the 1840s and 1880's the Hawthorn Circuit occupied and subsequently outgrew a number of buildings until in 1886 a new larger, site was selected on the corner of Oxley Road and Hepburn Street. Originally a Wesleyan church the building was constructed in the Lombardic Romanesque style. The architect was Alfred Dunn and the foundation stone was laid in July 1888.

Several Foundation stones have been attached to the Church. One reads, " This Foundation stone was laid by C.W. Taylor Esq J.P. 26th July 1888 Alfred Dunn Architect. Another reads, " This Memorial stone was laid by Mrs Peter John's 26th July 1888. And a further Foundation stone reads, " This Memorial stne was laid by Mrs William Cleverdon 26th July 1888".

The predominant theme is the use of banded, dichromatic brickwork of Hawthorn browns contrasted with deep reds. The dominant element of the church is its multi-levelled tower. The tower rises in five main stages from a stone plinth. The church is two storeys high with prominent gables facing each of the main street elevations with balconies denoting the first floor. The main entry is a central colonnaded entryway supporting a decorated stucco pediment below the main gabled facade. Above the pediment is a decorative archway, featuring an arcade on the lower level and three circular recesses on the upper, above which the arch is accented by typical red and brown brickwork.

The Memorial Windows in the east wall were unveiled in 1937 in memory of the philanthropist Frederick John Cato, a leading layman at Auburn for many years.The Centenary Windows in the west wall were the gift of Mr W E Whitehead to celebrate the centenary of Methodism in 1935 and to commemorate the work of the Victoria Home Missions and the Methodist Inland Mission. Both windows are the work of William Wheildon who carried out many ecclesiastical commissions for the Melbourne branch of Brooks Robinson & Co.


These names are now in the Database and can be searched individually.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1920 - Rev A. E. Albiston
1931 - Rev J Snell
1945 - 1950 Rev Eric Hans Orten Nye 1968
1955 - 1960 Rev Stanley I Weeks 1969
1960 - Rev Stanley J Waite 1913 2009
2020 ? - Rev Steve Crump


The organ was built and installed in the church for its opening in 1889 by the Melbourne firm of Fincham and Hobday. It is one of the larger Fincham organs of the late 19th century still in its original location in Melbourne. The case was designed by the church's architect rather than the organ builder.

The Organ was rebuilt & enlarged in 1892 by Fincham & Hobday. Alterations again occured in 1922 by Meadway & Slatterie and more alterations took place in 1940 by George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd. Rebuilt & enlarged in 1967 by Hill, Norman & Beard (Australia) Pty Ltd.

For a complete history click here.


1. Methodist Church of Australasia Ministerial Index
2. National Trust
3. Organ Historical Trust of Australia with permission.