Belmont Uniting Church

The History of the Belmont Uniting Church

Our journey to make two Uniting Churches into ONE Church

These are the milestones in the coming together of the congregations that made up the Belmont Parish of the UCA.

In 1977, the Uniting Church of Australia was formed with both the former Belmont Presbyterian Church and the former Belmont Methodist Church as member churches, soon to become two stand-alone parishes, Alexander Thomson Uniting and Belmont Uniting.

During the mid 1980’s, there was some discussion between the two parishes about future directions for the Belmont area.

It was agreed to establish one Belmont parish, with two separate congregations.

There would be a combined Parish Council to deal with matters of common concern but that the two congregations would continue to operate separately under Council of elders and property and finance committees.

10 June 1987

The first meeting of the single Parish council took place. Rev. wes Trigg was the chairperson, Barry Abley, Secretary and John Stevens, Treasurer.

Discussions about matters of common interest continued. Gradually, it was agreed that it was time to establish a more efficient parish structure.

8 August 1990

A parish meeting agreed to a combined parish structure with separate congregations but a Parish Council to oversee finance and property for the whole parish. The Parish Council of Elders was to oversee ministry, mission and pastoral core for the whole parish.

14 November 1990

First meeting of the new Parish Council took place. Rev. Ralph Clarke was elected chairperson, Wallace Harper, Secretary and Oliver Missen, Treasurer.

19 February 1991

The first meeting of New Parish Council of Elders. Peter Woods was elected as the Chairperson and Keith Palmer, Secretary.

At the first meeting, the Council of Elders established a long term goal to combine the two congregations and established a working party to address the issue.

19 November 1991

The Council of Elders agreed to set the goal of one congregation by 1995 and established a Task group to work toward this.

24 June 1992

The One Congregation Task Group was expanded and named the Parish Strategy Committee.

11 November 1994

A Strategy Committee Report was presented to the Parish Council of Elders and approved for presentation to a Parish meeting.

26 February 1995

The congregation at its Annual Meeting adopted the Strategy Committer Report.

During 1995, the Parish Council of Elders devoted considerable time to consideration of, and improvements to, the Strategy Committee Report” (Parish Council of Elders Annual Report, 1995)

9 August 1995

The Parish Council of Elders asked the Parish Council to take whatever steps necessary to assess the suitability of our separate properties to conform to the recommendations of the Strategy Report.

[Extract from the Strategy Committee Report:

Section 1 PRECESSES OF IMPLEMENTATION

The Parish council engages a consultant to report, by September 1996, on property and financial issues in implementing the report.”]

13 September 1995

The beginning of single congregational services, alternating between our two sites.

5 June 1996

Phillip Harmer, architect, approved Parish Council as the architectural consultant, to provide re-development options for both properties rather than making a specific recommendation for one of our sites.

7 August 1996

Valuation report received from Landlink Property Group for valuations of both properties.

4 September 1996

Phillip harmer presented drawings showing concept designs for the re-development of both churches based on requirements of the Strategy Report. These were displayed for inspection by the congregation.

20 October 1996

The two congregations voted by secret ballot to become one congregation.

This decision was forwarded to Presbytery for its agreement.

1 December 1996

The Belmont Parish formally becomes one congregation.

6 March 1997

The congregation agreed to the proposal to to offer both properties for sale or lease with a view to selling or leasing one of them.

During 1997, the Parish Council worked through issues involved in preparation of the two properties for marketing, sale or lease.

3 December 1997

Confirmation was received from the Synod Board of Mission and Resourcing of moneys available for architect’s fees and re-development of the retained property. These money represented the complete proceeds from the sale of one of the properties.

During 1998, the Parish Council worked through issues involved in the marketing process for the two properties.

7 October 1988

Synod finally agreed to the proposed marketing strategy – marketing both properties concurrently for sale or lease by public tender.

18 April 1999

The congregation agreed to the sale of the Regent Street property and re-development of the Thomson Street property.

November 1999

John Mitchell was appointed the architect for the re-development of the Thomson Street.

January 2000

The congregation agreed to the basic plan as presented by the architect and approved the application to Synod to proceed with building.

April 2000

Lyons Construction appointed the Project and Construction Managers of the building project.

July 2000

The congregation agreed to secure a loan of $80,000 to cover the estimated shortfall of the building program finances.

8 August 2000

Church Council agreed to a gift/loan/bequest program to fund the loan for the building program.

15 August 2000

Building construction commenced.

To see photos of the new building works, click on the button:

9 March 2001

Building formally handed over by the builders on completion of the building program.

March-April 2001

Completion of interior fittings of new complex.

Sunday 29 April, 2001

Building dedicated by the Moderator of Synod of Victoria at a Service of Thanksgiving.