Melbourne, VIC - St Michael's Uniting

Year Built: 1904

Denomination: Uniting

Saint: Michael

Address: 154 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Architect: Reed and Barnes

Architectural Style: Romanesque

Traditional Owners: Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung & Bunurong Boon Wurrung people

Last Updated: 21/02/2024

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History and Architecture:

Known as the Collins Street Independent Church.

A Mr Hopkins laid the foundation stone of the first church in September 1839 and the building was opened for worship on 1 January 1841. Later when this small chapel had already been enlarged during the 1850's it had outgrown the needs of the Colony and plans had to be made to replace it with a larger building. So in 1866 Mr Hopkins again cam eto Melbourne to lay the foundtion stone of the present building and at this ceremony he delivered an address stressing, "The Principles held by Independent's."

The first chapel was designed by architect Alexander Sims and built by John Morrison. The style is Georgian, featuring simple unadorned walls and windows. The new chapel could seat about 300 people.

Construction was completed in 1840 and the opening ceremony took place on January 1, 1841. The first service of the day was held by Reverend Waterfield in the morning, followed by James Forbes, who was Presbyterian, in the afternoon and the final service was held in the evening by Joseph Orton, who was Wesleyan.

In 1843 repairs were needed, especially on the roof. In 1847 it was decided by the committee that it needed to increase its seating capacity and, with the addition of a front porch, gallery and cedar pews this was able to be accomplished without having to expand the walls of the chapel.

The chapel was demolished in 1866 to make way for the new and larger Independent Church that stands today on the corner of Collins and Russell streets

The cost of the current Church was £13,000. The building is in the Lombardic architectural style, with multi-coloured exterior brickwork, open cloisters on the side of the building and Romanesque arches. Its considered the first example of polychrome brickwork in Victoria, a style that became very popular for all manner of buildings by the 1880s. It was designed by Joseph Reed.

A plaque reads, "To the glory of God this stone was laid by the Minister of Collins Street Independant Chruch Llewelyn D Bevan D.D. November 3rd 1904."


These names are now in the database and can be searched individually

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1838 - 1843 Rev William Waterfield
1843 - Rev F. W. Miller
1843 - 1864 Rev Alexander Morison
1864 - 1866 Rev Alexander Fraser
1866 - 1876 Rev Anketell Henderson
1869 - Mr Bayley Asst
1877 - 1880 Rev Thomas Jones
1878 - Rev E Day Asst
1880 - 1881 Rev Samuel Hebditch
1882 - 1886 Rev Daniel Jones Hamer
1886 - 1909 Rev Dr Llewelyn Bevan LLB
1911 - 1914 Rev Leyton Richards
1915 - 1917 Rev Deplege Sykes
1917 - 1928 Rev J. Ernest James
1917 - Rev C. C. Watts Asst
1917 - Rev G. Gunson Asst
1928 - Rev H. Crawford Asst
1929 - 1946 Rev Penry Evans
1931 - Rev J. Evans Asst
1936 - Rev T. C. Harcker Asst
1946 - 1952 Rev Gordon Powell M.A. 2005
1950 - 1971 Rev Lyall Dixon M.A. 1985
1953 - 1963 Rev Sydney Henshall
1965 - 1971 Rev Brian Heath
1971 - Rev Dr Francis McNab U
1981 - Rev Dr Noel Schultz U
2020 - Rev Dr Margaret Mayman U


1. Trove
4. Pastors and Minsters of the Collins Street Church from 1839 - 1977
5. St Michael's Church Melbourne formerly the Collins Street Independant Church. Christopher Wood and Marc Askew.