St James Old Cathedral

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St James Old Cathedral
Location Melbourne
Country Australia
Denomination Anglican
Founded 1839
Dedicated 1847

Coordinates: 37°42′26″S 144°56′17.9″E / 37.70722°S 144.938306°E / -37.70722; 144.938306 St James Old Cathedral, an Anglican church, is the oldest church in Melbourne, Australia, and one of only three buildings in the central city which predate the Gold Rush of 1851.[1] The church's foundation stone was laid on 9 November 1839 by Charles La Trobe, the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District (now Victoria), in what was then still part of New South Wales. Melbourne was then only four years old, and the church was one of the first substantial brick buildings to be built in the town. The church was designed by the town surveyor Robert Russell and built by George Beaver. One of the founders of Melbourne, John Batman, was among the subscribers who paid for the church's construction. It was opened in 1842 and completed in 1847.

St James originally stood near the corner of Collins St and William St in the centre of the town (where there is still a small street called St James Lane). In 1848 Melbourne became an Anglican diocese, and St James became the cathedral church of the first Bishop of Melbourne, Charles Perry. It served as Melbourne's Anglican Cathedral until St Paul's Cathedral was consecrated in 1891. In 1913–14 it was moved to a new site on the corner of King St and Batman St, opposite the Flagstaff Gardens. The move was overseen by John Stevens Gawler, a Melbourne architect who was largely responsible for establishing the School of Architecture at the University of Melbourne.

The parish is led by the Rev. Matthew Williams. The Associate Priest is Rev. Mike Raiter, director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching, and the Families Minister is Colleen Arnold-Moore.

The building is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.[1]


  1. ^ a b "St James Old Cathedral, Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H0011, Heritage Overlay HO478". Victorian Heritage Database. Heritage Victoria. 

See also[edit]

List of cathedrals in Australia

External links[edit]