In comparison to the rich and vast past in other nations, Australia is still considered to have a relatively short history. In saying this, Australia houses an abundance of religious churches that represent the multiculturalism we pride ourselves on. For the last 200 years, the country has accommodated a variety of religious congregations who created their own places for worship.
Ebenezer Uniting Church, New South Wales
Holding the title for Australia’s oldest church, the heritage-listed Ebenezer Uniting Church was built in 1809. Located in Ebenezer, New South Wales, the church identified as the first non-conformist, then Presbyterian church, in the country. Volunteer gifts and labour were used to create the church, which also contained a cemetery and school. The first burial is said to have taken place in 1812, and bears witness to the first Portland Head settlers and their descendants.
St. Francis Church, Victoria
St. Francis Church is the oldest Catholic Church in Victoria and can be found in the heart of Melbourne’s central business district. Founded in 1841 and completed in 1845, the Church is one of the few buildings in the centre of Melbourne to be erected prior to the Victorian Gold Rush in 1851. With over 10,000 parishioners attending mass each week, St. Francis’ Church is still considered one of the busiest churches in the nation. Listed under the Victorian Heritage Register, the National Trust of Australia and the Australian Heritage Commission, the exterior cannot be altered.
Holy Trinity Church, South Australia
Considered the earliest surviving Anglican church in South Australia, the Holy Trinity Church was built over a seven-month period in 1838. Through the contributions made by the Church of England and the South Australian Church Committee, the Church became the preferred place of worship to prominent governors, military personnel and their families. Currently, the Church has the largest weekly attendance at an Anglican Church in South Australia.
Pictured is the Ebenezer Uniting church in New South Wales. Image courtesy of Gnangarra