St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral is the seat of the Anglican Primate of Australia and home church for Anglicans in Melbourne and Victoria.
St Paul's Anglican Cathedral is a beautiful and historic place of worship located in the heart of Melbourne.
St Paul's Cathedral is built on the site where the first public Christian services in Melbourne were led by Dr Alexander Thomson in 1836.
Soon afterwards a small wooden chapel was built elsewhere, and the area became a corn market until 1848, when it was made available for the building of the bluestone St Paul's Parish Church. Consecrated in 1852, that was used until 1885, when it was demolished to make way for the present Cathedral. The decision to build on the site of the existing church was made because of its proximity to the railway and soon to be completed cable tramway service. The Swanston Street and Flinders Street corner remains one of Melbourne's busiest intersections today, ensuring the Cathedral a place at the heart of city life.
The Architectural style of the Cathedral is described as Gothic transitional, being partly Early English and partly Decorated. It was designed by the distinguished English architect William Butterfield, who was noted for his ecclesiastical work, and the foundation stone was laid in 1880. Butterfield steadfastly refused to visit Melbourne and the building program was beset with all the problems that arise from management by remote control. He resigned from the project briefly in 1882 and finally in 1884, and the building was completed under the supervision of Joseph Reed, who designed many of Melbourne's public buildings. Nonetheless, St Paul's remains Butterfield's final masterpiece.
On 22 January 1891 the Cathedral was consecrated, but it was not the building we see today. The erection of the spires did not begin until 1926, and then to the design of John Barr of Sydney rather than using the original design of an octagonal central tower and gable west end towers of Butterfield. In the 1960s there was extensive work carried out on the exterior, and in 1989 a major National Trust appeal to enable the restoration of the Cathedral's magnificent organ. It is acknowledged as the finest surviving work of T. C. Lewis, one of the greatest English organ builders of the second half of the nineteenth century.
St Paul's enjoys a long tradition of the musical excellence, and is one of the very few Anglican Cathedrals outside the British Isles to have a Choral Evensong on Sundays and most weeknights. Organ recitals are an integral part of Cathedral life, as are other music recitals, drama and art exhibitions.
The Cathedral also has one of the few peals of thirteen bells outside the British Isles, and they are a regular feature of Wednesday evening in Melbourne, when the bell ringers may be heard practising from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Corner Swanston St Walk and Flinders St Melbourne | Map
✆ (03) 9653 4333
❊ Web Links ❊
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