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Finding us

Cnr. High and Walker Streets, Northcote.

Melways Ref:
Page 30, E12
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We acknowledge the Wurundjeri, the traditional custodians of the land on which the church is built.

Service Times

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Postal Address

12a High Street,
Northcote. Vic.  3070

Community Store

The Store is temporarily CLOSED.

Usual opening hours
Tuesday – Saturday
10.00 am to 4.30 pm

Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.

Donations and new volunteers welcome when Store reopens.

Meeting Room

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History

In any historical account of the life of All Saints church we begin by acknowledging that it is built on land belonging to the First Peoples of Australia, land over which sovereignty has never been ceded. It is built on stolen land. Our sense of a place made sacred through generations of worship and service can never be based on denying or ignoring the effects of colonial settlement on peoples whose bond with country has its own sanctity, and is much more ancient. We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which All Saints stands, and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present. We support the Treaty Process, Indigenous Voice to Parliament, and other processes of justice and reconciliation.

161 years of service

All Saints in 1949

Public worship commenced on this site in August 1860 and has continued for 161 years. Before the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, services had not ceased, even during rebuilding following a fire.

Some time before 1860, a group of citizens held a series of meetings in the Peacock Inn Hotel, at the top of what is now called Ruckers Hill. They worked to plan the acquisition of land and the raising of funds and all the other tasks necessary to establish the first local Church of England, as part of the parish of Brunswick, in addition to the already established Christ Church Brunswick. There was at the time only one other church in what is now Northcote.

When services started the Colony of Victoria had existed as a separate colony for only ten years. The event of separation gives its name to ‘Separation Street’. It was only seven years after the first permanent domestic house had been built in Westgarth.

There was no gas street lighting in High Street. It would be 15 years before the bridge was built across the Merri, to bring the gas across the creek. It would be 20 years before the coming of a cable tram. The gradient of Rucker’s Hill had to be completely rebuilt before a tram line became feasible.

All Saints in the 1920s

It was 25 years before the CBD site was even cleared for the building of St Paul’s Cathedral, a project that lasted decades. All Saints was here 28 years before the Northcote Town Hall and Post Office were built. By the time Northcote was proclaimed a town All Saints had already existed for a generation.

The church building

All Saints in 2021

The church building (excluding the vestries and re-built bluestone chancel) is registered by the National Trust with a ‘local’ classification, meaning that it has cultural and historical significance in the context of the region. Citation: ‘The first part of 1859-60 to the design of Nathaniel Billing, although this was never completed…the church is in the Early English Gothic style and distinguished by the use of Bacchus Marsh freestone dressings on a body of squared snecked bluestone rubble.’ It is one of only two churches in Northcote to be registered.

This space has been dedicated, set aside for a Christian purpose since 1860. All through the changes that came with land sales and the gold rush and then the massive social change of the twentieth century, this place has remained.

Historical materials

Laying the foundation stone of the Chapel 1896 image

Available as PDF documents for download:

A walk around All Saints

All Saints 150 history summary

We are grateful to Alma Ryrie-Jones for researching and writing these accounts.