10 December 2022

Earthquake damage to churches hits near $1 million, storm bill yet to be known

By Stephen Cauchi

5 November 2021

At least 14 churches sustained damage after heavy storms tore through Melbourne in late October, according to the latest information from the diocese.

Another four churches have suffered a total of nearly $1 million damage from the earthquake that hit the state on 22 September.

The damage comes as the Dandenong Ranges, the Macedon Ranges and Gippsland slowly recover from devastating storms in June.

Read more: Anglicare launches program to help churches hit by June storms

Earthquake damage hit Holy Trinity Balaclava, Holy Trinity Coburg, St Thomas’ Moonee Ponds, and the Parish of St Alban the Martyr in St Albans.

The main church buildings, and in some cases halls and vicarages as well, suffered structural damage from the earthquake. 

Balaclava and Coburg have filed claims for $400,000 damages each while St Albans filed a claim for $140,000. The claim at Moonee Ponds has not yet been finalised.

The cost of the October storm damage is yet to be assessed, but the most common damage was to external fittings such as roofs and gutters.

St Andrew’s Rosanna and St Dunstan’s Camberwell both suffered trees falling on their halls while trees fell onto the vicarages at Holy Trinity Coburg and St Stephen’s Warrandyte.

Christchurch Newport was among the most affected by the October storms. Church warden Jenny Abela said the church had sustained serious damage.

“What was a part of the old wall of the church has fallen on the roof and through into the toilet block,” she told The Melbourne Anglican. “The wall has collapsed onto the roof below it. If you were inside the church there’s a mezzanine there and that mezzanine now has no wall.”

Holy Trinity Surrey Hills, St Mark’s Fitzroy, All Saints Clayton, St Luke’s Frankston, All Saints Preston, St Philip’s East Doncaster, St Paul’s Frankston, and St Andrew’s Somerville also suffered damage.

The archbishop’s residence Bishopscourt in East Melbourne also suffered some storm damage.

Melbourne Anglican Diocese Corporation chief operating officer Matt Wilson said this was not major however.

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