Uniting Church, Northcote

249-251 High Street, Northcote

The Northcote Uniting Church was built between 1869-1870 for the Wesleyan Methodist community of Northcote. The first Wesleyan Methodist chapel and school in Northcote was built in 1854, across the road from the church at 250 High Street, currently occupied by the bar and music venue, Wesley Anne. In 1869 land for a church was purchased at 251 High Street, opposite the school. Later in 1869 the architect George Wharton called for tenders to build the church, and in November 1869 a foundation stone was laid. 

The church, built in bluestone in the style of an Early English Parish Church was completed in July 1870 at a cost of £1,400. It could seat 250 people, and included an ornate timber spire and belfry built on a tower base at its south-eastern corner, facing High Street. Census figures from 1871 indicated that Wesleyan Methodists were the second largest denomination in Northcote after Anglicans. Extra land for the church was purchased in 1884 and in the following years, additions were made. These included the construction of an organ loft and choir area and additional seating for 300 people. 

In 1909 a Sunday school was built next to the church, and the building across the road housing the old chapel and school (currently occupied by Wesley Anne), was sold. The church spire was demolished in the 1960s. In 1977 the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational churches came together to form the Uniting Church of Australia. In 1980 Uniting Church services were suspended at the church, which became home to St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church. Since 1991 the Northcote Uniting Church has resumed services at the church, and offers a range of programs to the local community.

Lemon, Andrew (1983). The Northcote Side of the River. North Melbourne: Hargreen.

Ward, Andrew (2001), Darebin Heritage Review, Vol.2, Datasheet 75. 

Chalice – Northcote Uniting Church, viewed 8 April 2020, <https://www.chalice.org.au>

Updated April 2020.