The parish of
St Bede’s was formed from the parishes of St Clements, Elsternwick, and
Holy Trinity, St Kilda, in January 1916. The Reverend F. Lewin held the
first services in the home of Mr Huon at 30 Vautier Street, Elwood. The
foundation stone was laid on 16 July 1916 by Archbishop Clarke and the red
brick church opened on 3 October the same year.
St Bede’s is the oldest church in Elwood. The intention to build a larger
church adjacent to it on the corner of Tiuna Grove was never fulfilled.
The architects were North and Williams and James Brown was the builder. It
cost £925. The porch was a later addition.
J. J. McCall became the minister in 1921 and under his guidance the
vestries and a guild room were added in front of the schoolroom. A meeting
room and kitchen were also attached to the hall. In 1929 a new front to
the building facing Byrne Avenue was added to match the main porch. The
architect was H. V. Frew.
The church’s interior was remodelled and a fine rood screen added.
The original vestries were removed and an organ recess added. Later, the
rood screen and choir were removed and the altar brought forward. A window
over the altar was removed because it was regularly broken when basketball
was played in the adjoining hall. The carved wooden pulpit was donated in
memory of John Gray Mitchell in 1934 and the communion rails were
presented by the Sunday school. The carved wooden lectern is in memory of
Jane Hannah Foggan and dated 6 February 1951. A carved wooden font is in
memory of John James McCall, the vicar from 1921 to 1935. He died in 1939
and his family donated a stained-glass window depicting the disciples
discovering the empty tomb.
stained-glass windows in memory of Alice Habersberger and her daughter
Wilhelmina, and to Arlie Wrixon. The window in memory of Stella Elizabeth
Clemenger, 1895-1974, depicts St Bede, who wrote the first history of the
English people and translated and commented on the Gospels. A window
showing Mary holding the baby Jesus is dedicated to Celia and Ida, the
daughters of Elizabeth Nott. A wall plaque commemorates Isabella Margaret
Kilbur, who died in 1944 aged eighty-two. The centre panel of the reredos
names Maxwell and Hannah Reynolds with the date 1921 while the side panels
are in memory of Evelina Benson Mitchell, 1860-1950. There is a World War
I wooden honour board and a stained-glass window depicting Christ on the
Cross is a World War II memorial. The most recent stained-glass windows
are a triptych in the porch by Derek Pearse, in memory of E. A. Owens.
bell used to be in a wooden stand at the rear of the church. The stand
fell into disrepair and the bell was kept in storage. The bell has
recently been refurbished and mounted on a bronze ship-style bracket in
the church’s entrance.
continues as a place of worship and reunified with Holy Trinity in 1995,
as the parish of Balaclava and Elwood.
was built by A. J. Bell at the rear of the church in 1918. A kindergarten
was built in 1921 by E. H. Cooper. Known as St Bede’s College, the school
once had 150 pupils and just two teachers. A curtain in the middle
separated the two classes. It was bigger than the local primary school and
pre-dated St Colman’s school (see below). The buildings are still used for
Hall was named in honour of Graham Farley. He was a member of the church
and the founding principal of Braemer College.
A vicarage at
2 Tiuna Grove was built in 1917-18 at a cost of £1108. It was designed by
R. M. King and built by A. J. Bell.