The photos show the original building and the result of the fire in 2004
Vale began in the 1850's during the gold rush. Paddocks with animals
destined for the saleyards, abattoirs, and tanneries as well the Showgrounds,
Flemington and Moonee Valley Racecourses created a rural atmosphere
in the suburb.
The suburb includes many attractive homes from various eras including
Victorian, Edwardian and inter-war dwellings.
In the fifties, the Housing Commission built many low cost houses and
flats in the suburb. These flats now contain many new arrivals from
Africa and Asia who are going through the often difficult process of
settling in to a strange country.
In recent years further flats and units have been constructed in Ascot
Vale replacing the single occupancy dwellings on large blocks.
The original church was Presbyterian. Competitive designs were invited
in 1895 for a church to seat 600 people. 38 designs were received and
that of Hillson, Beasley and Little was selected. Tenders were called
for the erection of the church in September 1896 without the intended
tower. The tender of Angel Bros for 3,067 pounds was accepted. The building
was completed by May 1897 and dedicated by the Rt Revd Dr Macdonald
on 28 May of that year.
Over the past three decades several local churches have closed and their
members are now a part of our congregation, including the Knox Presbyterian
Church, the Ascot Vale Congregational Church and the Ascot Vale Methodist
Church. We celebrated our centenary in 1996
The organ was built in 1904 by George Fincham & Son at a cost of
Sadly the church building and the organ were destroyed by fire as a
result of arson in 2004.
The congegation was determined to rebuild on the site. The hall and
rooms remaining at the rear of the church were renovated and extended
to form a new worship and community centre.
The front towers were retained to satisfy Moonee Valley Council heritage
Services resumed at 60 Maribyrnong Road on December 21st, 2008.
Official Opening Service was held on July 25th 2010.
The completed building is
now an excellent, flexible, comfortable worship centre and is used extensively
by the community.
At present the buildings are in use seven days a week.
Additional photos of the church before the fire and the building progress leading up to the opening.