The history of
The first organised services in the district were held monthly during 1885 in the recreation hall on Albany Crescent, near the Surrey Hills railway station which had opened in 1883. The Reverend H E Taylor, then Vicar of St Barnabas, Balwyn conducted the services and had care of the area.
A committee of five was formed to establish a church and a building fund commenced. Mr E D Dyer, who had bought considerable quantities of land in Surrey Hills at the height of the speculative land boom of the 1800's, donated the land for a church on the corner of Mont Albert Road and St George's Road in what is now Mont Albert. The foundation stone was laid on 17 July 1886 and the first church service was held with eighty people present on Sunday, January 30, 1887.
The church known as Holy Trinity Surrey Hills and was then part of the parish of St Barnabas, Balwyn. Two years later it became part of the parish of St Peter's, Box Hill.
As early as 1897, it was realised that the church was not central enough for the developing district and suggestions of obtaining a more central site were made. A new site in Union Road, Surrey Hills was acquired for a church (lots 3 & 4 in the plan above) and a new wooden church was erected and opened in 1907 on lot 4. It was known as Holy Trinity Surrey Hills and the existing Mont Albert Road church was used as the parish hall.
A vicarage adjacent to the church was desirable. Lot 5 available and was purchased by the parish for £220 in 1912. The present vicarage, which was built for £836, was completed in December 1913.
By the end of World War I, there was an urgent need for more Sunday school accommodation. After considerable deliberation, it was decided to build a brick church on the present site (lot 3) and use the existing church building for Sunday school and parochial purposes than spending more money on Sunday school extensions. Services resumed in the Mont Albert Road building which had served as a Sunday School and hall from 1907 until the 1922, and was thereafter known as St George's Mont Albert.
To keep pace with the growth of the Sunday School and to be in line with the trend of religious education, a separate kindergarten building was erected through money raised by donations and debentures in 1924. This building is now known as Carter Hall.
In the 1920's Sunday School classes to meet the needs of the expanding north were at first held in Mont Albert Central School prior to the construction of a church/hall designed by Mr J. Gawler in 1929. From these beginnings St Augustine's , Mont Albert North met the needs of a rapidly growing area, becoming a separate parish in 1949.
In November 1939 two tennis courts and a pavilion were erected on land acquired by the parish in a lane off Balmoral Crescent. The Holy Trinity Tennis Club had 80 years of distinguished success in match play until it closed in 2014. That land was sold in 2015 and the parish's real estate holdings diversified.
After the dislocation of the war years, the parish like many others in the diocese entered a period of rapid growth. In 1949 to cater for growth in the south and south-east part of the Parish, a new branch church was established. St Theodore's, Wattle Park had humble beginnings in an army hut, but with much enthusiastic hard work were soon able to build a brick church and it became a separate Parish in 1953.
St George's hall was built and dedicated by Bishop Redding in 1961. Two flats were constructed adjacent to the church. Alterations were made to that Church with the demolition of the timber northern end of the building. This section was rebuilt in brick with the sanctuary being moved to the southern end of the church.
Trinity Hall was extended and bricked altering the external appearance of the former wooden church (which was erected in the style of the vicarage). The sanctuary area of the church was enlarged by removing the choir stalls. New altar rails and a Nave Altar were installed. Stained glass windows were also installed in this period.
The parish continued to operate as a two centre parish in spite of the very close proximity of the two churches. As the years passed it became obvious to many that we could operate more effectively out of one centre without the distraction of keeping two sets of aging buildings in good repair. After much prayerful consideration the decision was made to close the smaller of the two centres.
St George's, at the time of its closure on October 25, 1998 was the oldest church building in the City of Whitehorse, in which Anglican services were still held. After the service of secularisation, led by Bishop John Stewart, many of the items used in worship were transferred to Holy Trinity for continued use, especially in the newly created chapel of St George. The more portable of these were carried in procession behind the flag of St George by parishioners to Holy Trinity where they were received by representatives of the Holy Trinity congregation. During 2000 extensive renovations were undertaken to the front of the church and the hall, made possible by the sale of the St George's site which was subsequently and sympathetically redeveloped as townhouses.