East Geelong, VIC - St Matthew's Anglican

Year Built: 1929

Denomination: Anglican

Saint: Matthew

Address: Corner Thear & McKillop Street, East Geelong, Victoria, 3219

Architect: Louis R Williams

Traditional Owners: Wadawurrung people

Last Updated: 09/08/2023

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History and Architecture:

The establishment of St. Matthew's was largely made possible by the effort and generosity of the late G. F. Belcher residing at Murchison Hall, Garden Street, and who had recently retired from politics, having been Mayor of Geelong, 1873 - 1875 and a member of the State Parliament, 1875 - 1886. Mr Belcher donated the land and half the cost of the Church, which is still used as the Kindergarten. Later he built at his own expense the Sunday School, now used as the Parish Hall, and also an infant's room, now called the Club Room. All these buildings were originally erected on the corner of Fitzroy and Wall Streets.

St Matthew's Church was officially opened as a branch church of Christ Church on February 6th, 1890, by Canon Goodman, Vicar of Christ Church. The curate of Christ Church, the Rev. R. Poynder conducted the first service of Holy Communion on Sunday, April 6th, 1890. The original building was situated on the corner of Fitzroy Street with Services being conducted by the Vicar of Christ Church or the Curate or Mr G.F. Belcher.

In 1919 negotiations were opened for the purchase of part of the old Geelong Grammar School sports ground, and expansion and planning became possible. The Vicarage was built in 1921 and seven years later on 22 September 1928 the foundation stone of the new church was laid by Bishop Green.

During the ministry of Mr. Oates the idea of a brick Church was conceived and a building fund commenced. Louis Williams of Melbourne was commissioned as architect and on September 22nd,1928, the memorial stone was laid by Bishop Green, who later consecrated the Church on Saturday, March 23rd, 1929. Finance for the building was made possible by the generosity of the parishioners and a bank loan while each item of furniture was a personal gift of some parishioner or family. The furnished Church was built at a cost of £10,000, but owing to the economic depression in the early 1930's and World War II the bank loan was not completely repaid until 1955.


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1916 - 1918 Rev Thomas Tinniswood 1868 1948
1918 - 1929 Rev James William Percy Oates 1879 1962
1929 - 1931 Rev P. W. Robinson 1889 1952
1931 - 1934 Rev J. H. Raverty 1890 1956
1935 - 1937 Rev Raymond Mansfield Hudson 1899 1999
1937 - 1940 Rev William Robert Tyler 1899 1969
1940 - 1945 Rev Ambrose Ronald May Locum 1908 1966
1947 - 1950 Rev Charles Reginald Miles 1899 1986
1950 - 1957 Rev L. J. Cohn
1957 - 1965 Rev J. H. Shilton 1926 1995
1965 - 1979 Rev P. R. Payn
1979 - 1990 Rev Lawrence Victor Green


For many years various pedal Organs provided the music but it was not until 1952 that a Pipe Organ was subscribed for and built as a "Peace Memorial" following World War 2. The organ was a 2 manual pipe organ built by Hill, Norman & Beard. The console was on one side of the chancel & the organ pipes on the other. The organ had the 4 families of stops with a diapason chorus. Bruce Allen was the organist from 1958 to 1964.


1. 2023 Bruce and Maree Allen for information on Organ and Church history


1. Anglicans in Geelong 1842 - 1990 283.945 ROBN
2. Cable Clerical Index with permission.
3. St Matthews Anglican Church East Geelong, one hundred years of preaching Christ and him crucified.