I'm not a church goer in the traditional sense of the word, but I do enjoy visiting old churches wherever I happen to be. I believe they can give you a true sense of an areas history. So I headed for Saint Pauls Cathedral during my visit to Melbourne.
This imposing Anglican cathedral was consecrated in 1891 to serve the predominantly Anglican colonists of the area. At the time it was under the Church of England, and the organ was shipped over from there.
Being from England myself, this isn't anywhere near as old a church as those I am used to from home, but there is a lot to see here in the architecture, the stained glass windows and the memorials.
One of Melbourne's oldest churches, and one of its largest, St Paul's is in the hub of Melbourne's CBD, as befits a house of worship and refuge.
A world-class pipe organ and choir-led evensong are just two of many draws at the elegant, but user-friendly, St Paul's.
St. Paul cathedral is an Anglican cathedral built in neogothic style between 1880 and 1931. It was designed by by William Butterfield the current Cathedral, replaced an earlier church that was in the place where the christian service in Melbourne were led.
This is a truly beautiful Church located in the centre of the city. The front door is a fabulous feature of the building being made entirely of heavy stained glass which is seen at its very best from the inside. My favourite feature is the baptistry which is set up for full immersion baptisms. There is also a lovely Gift Shop in the entrance. We were there for Evensong which was completely new to me (being Catholic) but I found it really inspiring. The music and singing were top class. It was a privilege to hear it.
Unfortunately there is a camera fee of $5 for taking photos inside the cathedral but i managed to sneak one in without paying. This type of charge in a Western country was a first for me. The cathedral was constructed on the same site as the first Christian service took place in 1835. St. Paul's Parish Church was consecrated there in 1852 but was demolished in 1885 in order for the cathedral to be built on the same spot. William Butterfield, an english architect designed the cathedral and the foundation stone was laid in 1890, and the cathedral was consecrated in January the following year. However the spires were erected in 1926 and in 1960 the exterior was renovated. When it was constructed it was the tallest building in Melbourne.
I found that it is rather difficult to find a spot to take a good photograph of the cathedral, the only place being Federation Square.
St Pauls was built on the site where the first public Christian services were held in 1836, a church was ophere in 1852 but demolished in 1855 for the building of this cathedral
the Foundation stone was laid in 1880, the design was by the noted English architect William Butterfield but as he refused to visit Melbourne he never saw the cathedral and his absence caused many problems and delays, this was after all the days before telephones, fax and internet, he twice resigned from the project, in 1882 and 1884, and the building was completed by Joseph Read who was also responsible for many of Melbournes fine buildings
the cathedral was consecrated in 1891, the spires were a much later addition and were completed in 1933 and designed by John Barr of Sydney, Butterfields original planned spires being deservedly abandoned
there are many beautiful and well preserved features in St Pauls, the floor tiles particularly are very fine, and there is a beautiful altar screen in the Chapel of the Ascension made of glass mosaic
the superb organ was restored in 1989 following a National Trust appeal, and organ recitals are a regular feature
the most poingnatnt thing we found were the brass plaques along the south aisle, including a group commemorating the deaths of four young brothers in WWI, to lose one most be devastaing, four must be unbearable
there are regular guided tours, or you can pick up a guide leaflet and just wander as we did [free but a donation is much appreciated] there is a small gift shop with some lovely postcards of the cathedrals interior
This pretty church is located in central Melbourne, in the corner of Swanston Street & Flinders Street and used to be the tallest building here. Masses are still held here everyday for the Anglican congregation
When exploring Melbourne you really can't miss St. Paul's. St. Paul's Cathedral is a landmark site as well as a beautiful structure. The Cathedral was completed in 1891 and is in the Neo-Gothic Transistional style. English architect William Butterfield designed the church and the spires were added in 1926.
The exterior of the chuch is a grand scale as any cathedral should be. Inside it is full of light catching stained glass windows, doors,Persian tiles, artwork and beautiful wood carvings. My wife and I spent some time exploring the interiors.
Mass is celebrated here most days. We had to wait before entering the church in order for a Mass to clear out.
It was hard for me to get a decent photo of the St. Paul's Cathedral chapter house, I hope you can see the Gothic beauty. The Chapter House was designed by Melbourne architect Joseph Reed on a smaller scale to the Cathedral. There is a gateway beneath the Chapter house which leads into Chapter House lane that was designed to provide access to St Paul's Church, which was rebuilt as a cathedral in the 1880s. It's pedestrian only where you will find shops and monthly art exhibitions held on the first Thursday of each month, with lighting from 8am to midnight in summer and from 7am to 11pm in winter. Entry is via Flinders Lane.
If your at Flinders Street station, then pop across the traffic lights to have a look at St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, the cathedral church of the Diocese of Melbourne and the seat of the Archbishop of Melbourne.
The Cathedral is built on the site where the first Christian service was held in Melbourne in 1835.
In 1880 the foundation stone was laid for the building of the cathedral, designed by English architect, William Butterfield who went back to England without seeing the Cathedral built. Butterfield designed the Cathedral in Gothic transitional style in sandstone with limestone embellishments, because of this it has a warm glow about it.
There were many disputes about the work, so Butterfield resigned in 1884 and the building was completed by a local architect, Joseph Reed. Although you wouldn't notice unless told , the Spires that were begun in1926 and completed in 1931, are different to the ones originally planned, and a different colour as they are much newer.
When built, St Paul's was the tallest building in central Melbourne and dominated the city's skyline, sadly it doesn't do this anymore.
Monday-Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: 7:30am – 7:30pm
Public Holidays: 11am – 3pm
ADDRESS 198-206 Flinders Street
These are fairly new doors as they were only installed in 2005. The sun shines through the modern design, brightening the interior of the Cathedral. These doors were made possible by a generous donation by the Sidney Myer Fund and family. Designed by Janusz Kuzbicki, the radiating light represents the experience of St Paul on the Damascus Road when he tried to break down the barriers between people and the Gospel, making Christianity accessible to all people.
When I walked into St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral I was immediately attracted to the stone work, cream limestone banded with bluestone - stunning!
The floors and walls are beautiful, as they are covered either in marble , granite, alabaster and beautiful rich imported tiles in many different patterns. The Cathedral has a beautiful ceiling made with Karri wood from Western Australia. There is so much more to see including some beautiful altars and organ, pulpit, beautiful wood carvings, stained glass windows and more.
Pope John Paul came here and prayed with the Anglican Archbishop David Peman in 1986 in the Chapel of Unity.
Groups of 5 people or more can book a Guided Tour.
Last between 30 and 40 minutes - a donation of $5 per person attending the tour. To make a booking either contact the Cathedral Office on email@example.com or
03 9653 4333.
PHOTOS ARE NOT FREE
You have to buy a $5 photo permit from the Cathedral Shop - photography is not permitted during services.
The Cathedral is open
Public Holidays: 11am-3pm