All Saints Church, on the corner of Noble and Talbot Streets, Newtown, was opened for Divine worship for the first time on Sunday, 8 March 1863. The Dean of Melbourne, Revd Hussey Burgh Macartney, formerly of Geelong, gave the opening sermon.

All Saints Church was built for the congregation who had been using the St James’ school-room, Aberdeen Street, for its services. The Church of England authorities originally did not think there were enough parishioners to establish a third church in the area and that Christ Church, in the town, and St Paul’s, in Ashby, were sufficient. When All Saints Church opened in Newtown, however, all the ‘sittings’ had been let and only 23 seats were booked by parishioners previously at Christ Church or St Paul’s.

The plan was for All Saints Church and St Peter’s Church, Chilwell (built in 1854), to form a parish and co-operate cordially.

The foundation stone for All Saints Church had been laid in June 1862 by the Lord Bishop of Melbourne. The church was of Gothic design, built of bluestone with freestone dressing. The architect was Geelong’s Joseph L. Shaw; the builders Foyle, Laidlaw & Company. After the shell was erected, tenders were let for plastering, plumbing and painting works, making the pews, letting the pews, fencing the grounds and for someone qualified to play the harmonium.

It cost about 2,000 pounds to acquire the land for the church, build the edifice and fit it out. Another 1,000 pounds was the estimated cost of adding transepts at a future date. A debt of 678 pounds remained on the church when it opened.

At the tea meeting at St James’ school-room, on Monday, 9 March 1863, the Dean of Melbourne again presided. A report of the building committee was circulated by George A. Stephen, the parish treasurer. The Revd George Goodman, of Christ Church, congratulated the assembled on the progress they had made.

The Revd Mr F. Hopkins, the pastor of the new congregation, expressed his thankfulness that the church had so far been completed, and detailed a scheme for clearing off the remaining debt on the building. Several other addresses were delivered and the tea meeting dispersed.

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