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UNITED  METHODIST  FREE  CHURCH

 

This is another building on the Victoria Park Company's estate, designed by the same architect and built by the same contractors as the new Post-office - Messrs Ellis and Raworth. 

The design of the building is most original and expressly characteristic of the material our locality supplies, the different tints of stone being made to enrich the appearance of the building, and the size of the blocks to add grandeur and solidity, as well as light and shade. This building being situate in a commanding position near the railway station, opens to Victoria Avenue and Station Parade, to Raglan and Albert Streets, and forms a most prominent object. 

The internal length of the church, not including school, organ gallery, vestries, &c., is about 70 feet, and its average width 42 feet, including aisles and transepts. It is entered by two spacious porches, both of which contain staircases to galleries, the North porch being carried up as tower and spire to a height of about 110 feet. The galleries, about 9 feet wide, extend round three sides. At the end opposite the principal entrance is a raised platform for the minister, and behind this is the organ gallery, divided from the body of the building by a perforated cusped arch, decorated with embossed enrichments and illuminated texts of Scripture. Immediately in rear of the organ gallery, are the vestry and class-rooms (four in number) on the ground floor, and over them a large school-room, 50 feet by 24 feet broad, approached by a handsome broad stone staircase, which also gives access to the galleries. 

The building is replete with other minor conveniences, hot water apparatus, &c. The church, which was completed in 1865, accommodates about 700 people, and the school-room over 200 children. Exteriorly the chief feature of the building is the elevation near Station Parade, towards which the nave terminates with a bold gable, filled with a large seven-light pointed window, in which continuous quatrefoils are introduced in a most novel and original manner. West of the gable is the tower and spire, square at the base, but terminating with an octagonal spire enriched by arches, granite shafts, and bold carvings, and on the East is the entrance porch. The tower gable and porch are all enriched by stone canopy finials, and the entrances are lighted by ornamental lamps on stone vases, which are made to harmonise with the design. 

The rest of the frontages, both of school and church, are designed in accordance, the grouping of the transept and school gables giving a picturesque effect. The richness of the ensemble is much increased by the ornamental iron casting, and the stone parapets and canopies. Internally, we have described the organ gallery recess-there is, however, another feature which greatly adds to the effect. The roof is supported by two rows of light iron columns, forming the interior into nave and aisle, and giving support also to the side and transept galleries. The design of the gallery fronts, divided into arched bays, cusped and enriched, yet light and elegant in construction, it is difficult to describe in words-we have therefore presented our readers with an internal as well as an external view. 

The foundation stone was laid on the 17th of August, 1864, by William Hunt, Esq, and services in connection therewith were held in the Congregational Church. The entire cost is estimated at about 4,500.



 
 
 

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