• Vivamus lobortis
  • Ut porttitor urna ut pretium
  • Phasellus convallis tincidunt enim.

St Bede’s Church

Corner Ormond Road and Byrne Avenue, Elwood

 The parish of St Bede’s was formed from the parishes of St Clements, Elsternwick, and Holy Trinity, St Kilda, in January 1916. The Reverend F. Lewin held the first services in the home of Mr Huon at 30 Vautier Street, Elwood. The foundation stone was laid on 16 July 1916 by Archbishop Clarke and the red brick church opened on 3 October the same year.[1] St Bede’s is the oldest church in Elwood. The intention to build a larger church adjacent to it on the corner of Tiuna Grove was never fulfilled. The architects were North and Williams and James Brown was the builder. It cost £925. The porch was a later addition.

30 Vautier Street, Elwood

 The Reverend J. J. McCall became the minister in 1921 and under his guidance the vestries and a guild room were added in front of the schoolroom. A meeting room and kitchen were also attached to the hall. In 1929 a new front to the building facing Byrne Avenue was added to match the main porch. The architect was H. V. Frew.[2] The church’s interior was remodelled and a fine rood screen added.[3] The original vestries were removed and an organ recess added. Later, the rood screen and choir were removed and the altar brought forward. A window over the altar was removed because it was regularly broken when basketball was played in the adjoining hall. The carved wooden pulpit was donated in memory of John Gray Mitchell in 1934 and the communion rails were presented by the Sunday school. The carved wooden lectern is in memory of Jane Hannah Foggan and dated 6 February 1951. A carved wooden font is in memory of John James McCall, the vicar from 1921 to 1935. He died in 1939 and his family donated a stained-glass window depicting the disciples discovering the empty tomb.

There are stained-glass windows in memory of Alice Habersberger and her daughter Wilhelmina, and to Arlie Wrixon. The window in memory of Stella Elizabeth Clemenger, 1895-1974, depicts St Bede, who wrote the first history of the English people and translated and commented on the Gospels. A window showing Mary holding the baby Jesus is dedicated to Celia and Ida, the daughters of Elizabeth Nott. A wall plaque commemorates Isabella Margaret Kilbur, who died in 1944 aged eighty-two. The centre panel of the reredos names Maxwell and Hannah Reynolds with the date 1921 while the side panels are in memory of Evelina Benson Mitchell, 1860-1950. There is a World War I wooden honour board and a stained-glass window depicting Christ on the Cross is a World War II memorial. The most recent stained-glass windows are a triptych in the porch by Derek Pearse, in memory of E. A. Owens.

The parish bell used to be in a wooden stand at the rear of the church. The stand fell into disrepair and the bell was kept in storage. The bell has recently been refurbished and mounted on a bronze ship-style bracket in the church’s entrance.

The church continues as a place of worship and reunified with Holy Trinity in 1995, as the parish of Balaclava and Elwood.


A schoolroom was built by A. J. Bell at the rear of the church in 1918. A kindergarten was built in 1921 by E. H. Cooper. Known as St Bede’s College, the school once had 150 pupils and just two teachers. A curtain in the middle separated the two classes. It was bigger than the local primary school and pre-dated St Colman’s school (see below). The buildings are still used for a kindergarten.

Scout Hall

The Scout Hall was named in honour of Graham Farley. He was a member of the church and the founding principal of Braemer College.


A vicarage at 2 Tiuna Grove was built in 1917-18 at a cost of £1108. It was designed by R. M. King and built by A. J. Bell.

[1]     Cooper, History of St Kilda, pp. 342-3.

[2]     David Bick, St Kilda Conservation Study Area 2, vol. 1, p. 223.

[3]     Cooper, History of St Kilda, pp. 342-3