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When I took this photo on Good Friday morning,
I immediately had Golgothic thoughts - contemplating
the history of Christian churches in Fyansford.

Today Fyansford has no Christian churches.

This was not always the case.

Very early in the history of Fyansford, before the churches commenced Sunday Schools, Mrs. Wensor, licensee of the Junction Hotel, started a Sunday School in her private parlour.
Later this teaching was carried on by Miss Hopton and Mr. Wyatt in the Fyansford Church school.

(Handwritten notes from The Gugger Collection)

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The Fyansford Wesleyan Church 

"This weatherboard building was situated on two roods (1/2 acre)    of land on the north western corner of the Hamilton Highway and the unnamed lane that leads to the cottage on the property of Mrs Synot - just west of the Fyansford school."
(Handwritten notes from The Gugger Collection)

Possible location of Fyansford Wesleyan Church

While the date of the church's erection is unclear, it is known that it was shifted in 1897 and incorporated with the Herne Hill Wesleyan Church (now Uniting Church) in Aberdeen Street near the intersection of Minerva Rd. and that it is still in use; at time of notes being written (Date unknown).
The land on which the Wesleyan Church was situated was sold to Mr Thomas Hurley in 1903 for £5.0.0 This money being handed over to Rev. H. B. Barber. Records of the Wesleyan Church show that this land was originally a free-hold gift to the church. Old maps of Fyansford show that Mr. J. G. Carr owned the 20 acres of land of which this block was part. It may be that Mr Carr made a gift of this land to the Wesleyan Church.
On Sunday, August 27th, 1893, the anniversary of the Fyansford Wesleyan Church was held. 
Records show that Mr Pawsey was in charge, the service was conducted by Rev. C. Lancaster, a copy of the service program is in the hands of Mrs Doris Dent (nee Sharpe). Margaret Borquin played the organ. 
(The Borquin family were early residents of Fyansford and lived in a house which was situated on the western approach to the old wooden bridge over the Moorabool River. 
(Handwritten notes from The Gugger Collection)

The Wesleyan Church in Victoria,
1855-1901 : its ministry and membership

Wesleyan Church Reference.jpg
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The Roman Catholic Church 

No Roman Catholic church was ever built in Fyansford.

A map of Fyansford dated 5th October, 1882, shows a block of land identified as belonging to the Catholic Church on Degoldis Rd - approximately half way down the road on the left-hand side facing south from the Hamilton highway. But the church has never been erected. 

Approval was granted on 19th April, 1901 for the land to be sold.

(Handwritten notes from The Gugger Collection)


View from DeGoldis road across land allocated to the church.

RC Church.jpg

1931 map showing location of Roman Catholic Church site

Geelong Advertiser,18 Sep 1913 

St Luke's

Chapel of Ease

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Cnr. High (Hyland)and Fyans (Atkins) Streets

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1889  St. Luke’s dedicated. Sunday School opened (Anglican Church of St Paul)

1890  St. Luke’s Church, Fyansford (Geelong Advertiser)

1913  Tenders called for construction of the church (Geelong Advertiser)

1914  St Luke's Anglican church, Fyansford, operational

1947  Church building relocated and dedicated in Torquay (

2017  Currently part of the Surfcoast Anglican Parish (Surfcoast Parish)

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Image Gallery

Robert Pockley

In old Photos

Ca 1947 St Luke's church

The Church

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For a more comprehensive history of the church see

The Gugger Collection.


The first Anglican Church at Fyansford was a new iron school house opened for service in October, 1854, by the Venerable Archdeacon Macartney. The cost of the buildong was five hundred pounds.


The vicar of St Paul's, Geelong (and later Bishop of Goulbourn), Canon Chalmers wrote to the Registrar of the Diocese re the establishment of a church in Fyansford.


The Anglican Church of St Paul, Geelong details how…

Arthur Vincent Green became vicar at St Paul’s, Geelong, and during his time saw St. Luke’s, Fyansford, dedicated and their Sunday School opened (Ca. 1889).

In the same year (1891) St Barnabas became debt free and a monthly service was conducted at North Geelong. This made the fourth outpost of St Paul's (St Luke’s Fyansford, St Barnabas Swanston Street…

Evelyn Snodgrass was appointed in 1911 and St Silas at North Geelong was dedicated…. “During the next 7 years the new church was built a Fyansford  (i.e pre-1918).



The Geelong Advertiser reports on St. Luke’s Church, Fyansford:

“On Sunday evening the Rev. Dr. Green preached his farewell sermon in the above-named church, before a large congregation, many of whom had driven and walked out from town. Dr. Green chose for his text Matt, xiii chap., 5th and 6th verses: 'Some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth, and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth and when the sun was up, they were scorched, and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth, and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root withered away.' In an eloquent manner he compared the different soils to the different characters of men, and showed how some people received religious impressions suddenly, and as quickly lost the good they had received. These, he said, were the seeds which sprung up and quickly withered away. Dr. Green entreated his hearers to work shoulder to shoulder to maintain, the integrity of their church, which had for ages been so famous. He expressed gratification at feeling congregations were in earnest, and congratulated them in having opened their new church and cleared off the debt upon it with the kindly help of their town friends. Dr. Green said how would long remember the kindness he had received from the people of Fyansford, and predicted a prosperous future for them, adding that it would be a pleasure for him to be among, them at some future time. The service was a very enjoyable one and the singing very hearty. Miss Hopton presided at the organ.”



The original location of the church had never been popular with parishioners constantly requesting a more centralised site. The Geelong Advertiser reports…

"Tenders were invited for the construction of a new church on High Street, in Fyansford (on a site opposite the Post Office), under the management of St. Paul's parish (Church of England). The plans, drawn by Mr. W. H. Cleverdon, architect, of Ryrie-street, detailed a wooden church of gothic design comprising the body of the church (86ft. by 20ft.), the chancel (14ft. by 11ft.) the vestry (9ft. by 9ft.) and an entrance porch (8ft. by 6ft.). The church was to have seating accommodation for approximately 200 people".



On 20/3/1914 the building was licenced as St Luke's Chapel of Ease.


The old church was sold for sixty pounds to a builder.


Over the years attendance continued to fall with Mr. E. A. Austin carrying on a preaching ministry at the church. For thirty years he was preacher, pastor and friend to the people of Fyansford.


The Surfcoast Anglican Parish details how…

The St Luke's Church building was transported from Fyansford in March 1947, and dedicated by the Archdeacon of Geelong, Bishop Donald Baker on the 15th of May 1947...".







The building prior to being relocated.


"The Sunday School opened on the 1st of June 1947 with Miss Joyce Smith (later Mrs Joyce Hunt) as Superintendent....”.








The building being transported to Torquay.

“One of the outposts of St Paul's Anglican Parish, Geelong, for many years, St Luke's Church building at Fyansford is to be transferred to Torquay, where it will serve the requirements of the Anglican parishioners at that centre until the Torquay Church of England authorities can secure permission to erect their own church building. When the building is removed parishioners who previously worshipped at Fyansford will be provided for at St. Paul's Church and at St John's Church, Geelong West. The building will be a great asset to the Torquay congregation. In the past the services there, in the absence of a church building, have been held in the Torquay Public Hall...".


St Luke's Church of England, Torquay, in more recent times


Surf Coast Shire Heritage Study Stage 2B states in a PDF document the significance of St Luke’s church:

St. Luke's Anglican Church, 17 Price Street, Torquay, has significance for its associations with the development of the Anglican Church in the town from the early 20th century, when Church services were first held in private homes and during the summer months in the public hall or kiosk on The Esplanade. This Church building represents the first permanent home of St. Luke's Anglican Church, having been relocated to the northern portion of the site in 1946. Originally built in 1913 to serve St. Luke's Anglican Church at Fyansford, the original design of the relocated building was retained when it opened for worship in 1947. It was relocated to its present position in 1989. The adjoining hall was built in 1955-56 as a Sunday School hall and was dedicated to the memory of Charles Henry Smith, stalwart of the Church of England in Geelong. Although the original front porch has been removed, the Church building symbolises the importance of faith and faith education of the Anglican Church in the town. This historical and social value is embodied in the surviving physical fabric. Overall, the Church building appears to be in good condition and the adjoining hall contributes to the historical and social values. It comprises one of six Carpenter Gothic churches in the Surf Coast Shire.


"St. Luke's Anglican Church, 17 Price Street, is historically significant at a local level (AHC A.4, H.1). It is associated with the development of the Anglican Church in Torquay from the early 20th century, when services were held in private homes or during the summer months in the Public Hall or Kiosk on The Esplanade. In particular, this building has associations with the local Anglican Church after its relocation from Fyansford in 1946, where it had been built in 1913 to serve the local St. Luke's congregation there. Repositioned from the northern to the southern portion of the site in 1989, the building has served the Torquay Anglican community until the present day. The adjoining hall was opened in 1956 and dedicated to the memory of Charles Henry Smith, stalwart of Christ Church in Geelong, and well -known owner of the holiday home "Sea View Villa" at 4 Anderson Street, Torquay.


"St. Luke's Anglican Church, 17 Price Street, is socially significant at a local level (AHC G.1). It is recognised and valued by sections of the Torquay community for religious reasons, as a symbol of their faith, and their history of local participation in faith education. The adjoining hall has commemorative value, having been dedicated to the memory of Charles Henry Smith, member and benefactor of the Church of England in Geelong, and owner of the holiday residence, 'Sea View Villa' in Anderson Street, Torquay.


"St. Luke's Anglican Church, 17 Price Street, has architectural interest. Although relocated and partly altered by the removal of the original entrance porch and the replacement of the existing parapeted entry, it continues to demonstrate original design qualities of a Federation Carpenter Gothic style. These qualities include the steeply pitched gable roof form, together with the rear gabled chancel, projecting side gabled vestry, corrugated profile sheet metal roof cladding, horizontal timber weatherboard wall cladding, Celtic cross surmounting the chancel gable, timber framed pointed arched stained-glass windows along the sides, timber bargeboards, timber gable brackets and the decorative gable infill (timber battening and stuccoed panelling, supported by timber brackets).

Fyansford site - currently vacant
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The following documents are from  The Gugger Collection

Click first image to enlargen to full size and to enable reading of text.

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Surely there were Fyansford people who:

  • were baptised in St Luke's

  • married in the church

  • attended services

  • took photographs


Please can you share any such photographs or your memories with us....

If you note any errors in this commentary

or if you can add to it

please contact me.

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