Eltham, VIC - St Margaret's Anglican (20015)

Year Built: 1861

Denomination: Anglican

Saint: Margaret

Address: Pitt Street, Eltham, Victoria, 3095

Traditional Owners: Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people

Last Updated: 28/05/2022

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History and Architecture:

The land on which St Margaret's Church and Vicarage stands was donated by Henry Dendy, a well known Melbourne pioneer and wealthy land owner. Dendy later moved to England returning and residing in Eltham again. He chaired a meeting held in 1860 for the purpose of devising a means of establishing a Church of England in the township.

The foundation stone was laid by the Reverend Septimus Llyod Chase of St Paul's Melbournon 4 April 1861.

The church was erected in 1861 and officially opened on 12 December of the same year. It is the oldest intact church building in Eltham. The first vicar was the Reverend Robert Mackie, from 1864 to 1866. St Margaret's builder was a local, George Stebbing, and the architect was Nathaniel Billings.

Constructed in the Gothic Revival tradition, this early polychrome brick structure has a central turret with bell housing, the patterned brickwork has been achieved using lines of manganese brick headers arranged in geometric patterns. It is an early and restrained example of patterned brick work. It was the first polychromatic church in Australia, using softly contrasting colonial brickwork.

St Margaret's was originally called 'Christ Church' until its consecration in 1871, when it was completely free of debt £1700 for the church and parsonage despite the poverty of the district. This was largely due to the free labour and materials; including local bricks, donated by local artisans and others. About half the windows -those in clear glass with gold borders - are original. The stained glass windows were made much later, but the one behind the altar is the oldest in Diamond Valley according to the National Trust. It was to be temporary until the congregation could afford to extend the church.

In 1978 the existing weatherboard hall named Gibson Hall was replaced by a mud brick building designed by local Architect Robert Marshall.

Clergy:

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
1864 - 1866 Rev Robert Mackie
1866 - 1869 Rev Josiah Hollis 1826 1887
1871 - 1874 Rev Andrew Brown 1834 1898
1874 - 1879 Rev Arthur Joseph Pickering Lay Reader 1835 1914
1880 - 1888 Rev John Gason 1856 1915
1888 - 1890 Rev William Thomas Price 1827 1892
1889 - 1890 Rev Edward George Higgin Lay Reader 1861 1934
1890 - 1897 Rev Arthur Pelham Chase 1858 1947
1897 - 1904 Rev Thomas Waklin Davis 1853 1933
1904 - 1915 Rev William Green 1945
1915 - 1922 Rev Thomas Henry Sapsford 1871 1925
1922 - 1929 Rev James Arthur Peck 1873 1944
1929 - 1931 Rev Frederick Edgar Henry Tolhurst 1895 1957
1931 - 1940 Rev Tamillas Robert Mappin 1892 1965
1933 - 1936 Rev Frederick Joseph Price Curate 1862 1950
1940 - 1949 Rev Arthur Thomas Roberts 1907 1992
1949 - 1952 Rev R G. Long
1951 - 1955 Rev John Fenton Gibbons 1909 1970
1956 - 1960 Rev David Brooke Warner 1927
1960 - 1964 Rev W. J. Carter
1964 - 1969 Rev C D.H. Lonfield
1969 - 1972 Rev Kenneth John Brierty 1933 2019
1972 - 1979 Rev Ian Frederic Brown
1978 - 1981 Rev T J. Olds Asst
1979 - 1989 Rev Ronald Lindsay Dowing 1947
1989 - 1996 Rev V. H Rogers
1997 - 2001 Rev E. A. Mathieson
2001 - Rev Elizabeth Joy Delbridge
2019 - Rev Keren Terps

Organ:

No information currently available. Submissions welcomed.

Source:

1. The Australian Anglican Directory 2000
2. Saint Margarets Anglican Church Eltham, celebrating 150 years by Geoffrey A Sandy.
3. Cable Clergy Index.
4. Nillumbik Now and Then. Margaret Marshall