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Strathmore Uniting Church

Uniting Church Hall

Originally called Upland Rd Presbyterian, the church commenced in 1935 after a proposal canvassed by Rev. John Sinclair of the North Essendon Presbyterian Church. A Board and a Ladies Guild were formed. The foundation stone for "Presbyterian Community Hall" was laid in 1936. Architect was Scarborough, Robertson and Love. The building was built by local builder, Mr. Todd for a cost of 1300 pounds. It was dedicated by Rev. A. Irving Davidson, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in 1936.

Church services were held in the "hall" for at least 20 years, until the new church construction was finished in 1962.

In 1936 the area that is now known as Strathmore was generally treated as part of the larger North Essendon area. The church was called Upland Road Presbyterian to differentiate it from another church in North Essendon that was called North Essendon Presbyterian. The Upland Road Presbyterian church was officially renamed Strathmore Presbyterian church in April 1938, at the suggestion of the Rev. John Sinclair. This was prior to official council recognition of the name of the area as Strathmore, circa 1943.

The church was very active in the community establishing and hosting many clubs and activities.  Circa 1958 the church listed the following clubs/activities: Bible Class, Ladies Guild, Presbyterian Women's Missionary Union (PWMU), Presbyterian Fellowship of Australia, Presbyterian Girls' Association, Strathmore Presbyterian Players (a "dramatic society"), Cricket Club, Basketball Club, Table Tennis Club, Boys' Physical Fitness Group, Girl's Gymnasium. The sports clubs and fitness groups, while meeting in the church buildings or organised by the church, were non denominational. Church Services were held on a Sunday at 11am and 7pm.

The Foundation Stone for the new church building was laid by Rev. E. McIntyre Kippax on 11 March, 1962.

Rev. Kippax
Church Service in Community Hall - 1958
Mr N McColl
Rev. E. McIntyre Kippax - an early long serving minister of the church.
Church service in the early church building "hall" - C1958
Mr. N McColl
'New' Uniting Church
'Methodist' Stained Glass Window

The new church was officially opened on the 3rd of November, 1962, by Mr. N.J. McColl, the Session Clerk of the Strathmore Presbyterian Church for the previous 26 years. (Photo of site of new church building - prior to construction, photo of new church building being built.)

The 1936 "hall" and the 1962 church building combined are listed in the Victorian Heritage Database.

Strathmore Presbyterian Church became part of the Uniting Church in Australia on its formation on 22 June 1977. The Uniting Church of Australia was formed by the amalgamation of most of the congregations of the Methodist Church of Australasia, the Presbyterian Church of Australia and the Congregational Union of Australia. As part of this process the congregations of Strathmore Presbyterian Church, the Strathmore Methodist Church and Pascoe Vale Road Methodist Church were joined. This lead to the closure and eventual sale of both Methodist church buildings and land.

Prior to the demolition of the Methodist Church building on Napier Street the stained glass window was removed. It was eventually transferred and installed in the Strathmore Uniting Church building in Upland Road. The stained glass window was rededicated at a church service on 9th November 1997.

On the 10th of October 2013 the Victoria and Tasmania Synod of the Uniting Church announced that the Strathmore Uniting Church buildings and land would be "divested", to help pay for debts accumulated due to the failure of a church run school, the Acacia College (1, 2). This came as a complete shock to the congregation of the Strathmore Uniting Church, some of whom had been involved in the church for over 50 years. The auction of the Strathmore Uniting Church buildings was scheduled to occur on 11 December 2013, along with 20 other Uniting Church properties, however after the sale of 9 of the properties sufficient funds had been raised and the auction of the remaining buildings was cancelled. Strathmore Uniting Church buildings were not sold - much to the relief of the congregation.