6 December 2022

170-year-old Geelong church seeks funds to serve future generations 

St Paul’s Geelong has launched a fundraising appeal appeal for its historic building. Picture: supplied 

By Elspeth Kernebone 

3 February 2022

A GEELONG church has launched an appeal for $500,000, to fund repairs to its 170 year old building. 

St Paul’s Geelong initially set out to fix a damp south wall, but in doing so discovered a host of other issues needing attention first. 

It’s meant fixing drains, rain heads and plumbing, before it can repair the damp in the wall. Two years in, the church is yet to complete the seemingly simple fix it set out to do. 

And the work to date has all come at a cost. 

Read more: St James plans stained glass window for 150th

But parishioners see the restoration as an important part of maintaining their building for future generations of Geelong residents. 

St Paul’s Heritage Advisory Committee member John Duncan said the church was preserving its building for the future, because it could see it had an important role to play for the region’s growing population. 

“The church has been well-maintained over the years, it’s been well-looked after, and we want to see it have another 170 years into the future of Geelong,” he said. 

The 170-year-old early Gothic Revival St Paul’s building is constructed from soft Waurn Ponds stone.

Mr Duncan said this tended to be a softer stone, which required a special, expensive, type of mortar. 

He said it was important to fix the damp in the wall, as it could cause further deterioration throughout the building. 

But, even with funding from Heritage Victoria, the sums needed are larger than parishioners can cover. 

“Every time you do anything with a heritage building, it costs thousands of dollars,” Mr Duncan said. 

St Paul’s Geelong launched a fundraising appeal on Sunday January 30, attended by the local Legislative Assembly member, two local councillors, and the chair of the National Trust (Victoria). 

Mr Duncan said the committee was planning a series of concerts to raise funds for the restoration work. 

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