St Stephens Anglican Church Belmont

St Stephens Anglican Church Belmont

About St Stephens


A Short History

St Stephen's Anglican Church, the Parish of Belmont, is part of the Diocese of Melbourne and is the care of The Reverend Doctor Timothy Smith.

St Stephen's began in 1906 when Belmont was a scattered village, straggling up from the Barwon River and over the crest of the Belmont hill. The first Church was a simple, small weatherboard building, located about halfway up the High Street hill, near where McDonald's now stands. It was built for about one hundred pounds.

After the First World War, Belmont began to grow, and with considerable foresight, some land, including that on which the current Church stands, was purchased in 1923, and the little weatherboard Church was moved from the High Street site to it's Regent Street location by traction engine. (photographs of the removal by traction engine can be seen in the Photo Gallery). In 1924 a Vicarage and then a tennis court were added.

In 1906, the Belmont priest also had the care of the 'faithful' of Marshall and Mount Duneed. Later, Highton and Freshwater Creek were added. Soon after, Highton was attached to Barrabool and Modewarre, but, as a consolation prize, the Vicar of Belmont won the Hospital and Gaol Chaplaincies until 1931.

In 1945, following the Second World War, Belmont started to grow at a rapid pace and the resulting congregation became too large for the old Church.

Some land in Settlement Road was purchased in the early 50's. Enlargement of the old Church was considered, but in 1956 it was decided that a new Church would be built, so, once again the old Church was moved, this time to the Settlement Road land. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it was badly damaged by a storm before being re-blocked, consequently a new building was erected. This building is now the Grace McKellar Day Care Centre.

The foundation stone for the current Church building was laid by Archbishop Frank Woods in 1958,  and the Church was dedicated in 1959 by Bishop Baker and in November 1968 it was consecrated by Archbishop Woods. 

In 1971 the Church Hall was added and in 1983 the current Church House was built, replacing an old rambling weatherboard home which was removed to a new site in the Brisbane Ranges.

In 2006 St Stephen's celebrated it's Centenary and in addition to the usual type of celebrations, Reverend Smith invited many of the past Clergy to return to preach at various times throughout the year. 

The Church has just (May/June 2008) undertaken a survey of parishioners, canvassing thoughts as to how the Church buildings and land can be best be used to take St Stephen's forward and meet the challenges of today and the future years.