As the population spreads…

The Methodist Church made the decision to demolish the Howard Street Church and build factories on the site. This decision was much criticised by the public in the press, nevertheless the last services were held on Sunday 12 July 1936.

A new site was purchased in the North Melbourne shopping centre at 44-46 Errol Street and the building converted to a community centre which, initially included a chapel, auditorium, men’s and boy’s club rooms, Mission administration offices and room to store goods as part of the relief work. For many years the Mission provided a much needed service to the community, but by the 1960’s population movement reduced the number of people attending the centre. In 1965 the Errol Street property was sold to the Lithuanian community and a new Mission centre was established at Brougham Street. At this time the Housing Commission had declared nearby areas as slum reclamation areas and were beginning to build large estates and Own-your-own units to replace the old housing.

The Bible Christian denomination purchased a block of land on the south side of Brougham Street, 26 October 1869 and opened a chapel in January 1870. The Wesleyan Church purchased land on the north side of Brougham Street and opened a chapel in 1873. Land was purchased at 445 Dryburgh Street and a parsonage built.

In 1902 the Methodist Union of the Bible Christian, Primitive Methodists and Wesleyan denominations took place. Shortly after this time the two Brougham Street Chapels united to form the Brougham Street Methodist Church using the site of the Bible Christian Chapel at 43 Brougham Street.

The Brougham Street site was enlarged in 1904 by the purchase of the block next door and the old Wesleyan schoolroom transferred, enlarged and re-erected on it. In 1940 a caretaker’s cottage was demolished and a new parsonage built for the married Home Missionary.

Following the decision to move the North Melbourne Methodist Mission to Brougham Street, the block at 14 Erskine Street, directly behind the Brougham Street site was purchased with the intention of building the Mission centre and a new church. The Mission centre consisting of an administrative centre, kitchen, toilets, gymnasium and three smaller halls were built and occupied by the end of 1965 but the new church was never built.