Coming together…

The coming together of the Presbyterian churches in Victoria is written in the minute book of the Board of Management and of Congregational meetings of the Presbyterian Church, North Melbourne, West 1854-1877. The foundation stone for their first church was laid 8 April 1859.

I have respectfully to inform you that on Thursday the 7th instant the Clergymen of the three denominations of Presbyterians are to be united into one Body and that next day they will elect a Moderator for the year to preside over them all. The Clergymen many of them are desirous thereupon and on the same day before leaving for their homes to assist at the laying of the foundation stone of our Church – which congregation indeed had been formed five years ago on the principle of such a prospective Union.

The Methodist Church of Australasia came into existence on 25 February 1902 and shortly after 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.

As time progressed and the population spread out from the city changes occurred. A final service was held in the West Melbourne Presbyterian Church on 3 February 1935. The church building was taken down and rebuilt as St Andrews in Box Hill. About the same time the last service was held in the Howard Street Methodist Church on Sunday 12 July 1936 before it was demolished. The North Melbourne Methodist Mission was opened in Errol Street and services were held there until 1965 when it combined with the Brougham Street Methodist Church.

As the formation of the first congregation had been formed on the principle of such a prospective Union so did the Presbyterians and the Methodists in North Melbourne join together for worship in 1976 before the Uniting Church in Australia came into being on 22 June 1977.

The North Melbourne Uniting Church held their worship services in Brougham Street until a decision was made to renovate the complex of buildings in Curzon Street. On the 5 July 1987 the congregation held their first service in Union Memorial Church, in Curzon Street.

A further coming together occurred on the first Sunday in Advent in 1995 when the congregation of College Church in Parkville joined with the North Melbourne congregation. They completely merged from Easter 1996 when worship services were held only at Union Memorial Church.

The new congregation chose the name of The Congregation of Mark the Evangelist.