St. John’s clergy and the St. John’s community continue to pray for all affected by COVID-19, and for our world.
Ever present God,
be with us in our isolation
be close to us in our distancing
be healing in our sickness
be joy in our sadness
be light in our darkness
be wisdom in our confusion
be all that is familiar when all is unfamiliar,
that when the doors reopen
we may with the zeal of Pentecost
inhabit our communities
and speak of your goodness
to an emerging world.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen
(A Prayer from Lichfield Cathedral, England)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. John’s church is currently closed
However, weekly services are available on our YouTube channel.
St. John’s has developed a comprehensive wedding package that arises out of long experience of hosting many weddings, including those of celebrities and prominent Melburnians. St. John’s is privileged to be the church of choice for many.
Children & Families
Children of all ages are always welcome at St. John’s.
Normally every Sunday, there is a children’s talk early in our worship together. We hold Sunday School in a safe designated room on Sundays during the sermon time of the 10am worship (except for school holidays and long weekends). All activities are supervised by adults who hold current Working With Children Checks. Parents are welcome to attend these sessions or to enjoy the service in the Church.
St. John’s also has a dedicated Children’s Corner in the church. It is a safe, comfortable space for children and parents to enjoy, complete with toys, books, cushions, and a quiet area for reading.
St. John’s is a child-safe church. We have a zero tolerance of any behaviours that may harm children. On this website you will find policies and procedures that inform our practices in child safety. You will find these documents under ‘About Us’. If you wish to make a report, please contact the Director of Professional Standards at Kooyoora.
Acknowledgement of Country
We acknowledge that St. John’s Toorak is on the traditional land of the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people and offer our respects to elders past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect the cultural heritage of this land and the ongoing work of reconciliation.
Buxton HallThe Buxton Memorial Hall at St. John’s Toorak is available for hire as a location for drinks and canapes and finger foods etc. after a wedding and before the reception, for a wake following a funeral, or for after Baptims refreshments.
The Revd Dr Peter French
Peter was appointed to St. John's in February of 2016, having returned to Melbourne from almost a decade in the USA, where he served principally as Chaplain to Princeton University for 8 years. For the Diocese of Melbourne Peter serves on Archbishop in Council and the Prevention of Violence Against Women Program. More broadly he is a member of the Council of St. Catherine's School, Toorak, and is a founding member of the Grief Group with The Mental Health Foundation Australia. For more information, please see below.
Ms Sally Robertson
Parish Administrator & PA to the Vicar
Sally manages the busy parish office and is also personal assistant to the Vicar of the parish. Sally handles all enquiries of a general nature.
Mr Christopher Cook
Director of Music & Parish Organist
Christopher graduated in piano & organ from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1983 and has worked in the music and education professions variously as teacher, performer, conductor, musical director & more.
St. John’s Toorak History
The foundation of St. John’s Toorak can be traced back to a meeting hosted by Mr. H. W. Dauglish in his Heyington Place home (now part of St Catherine’s School) in November 1859. It was resolved at this meeting to appoint trustees and commence subscriptions for the building of a church in Toorak. Within months, one of the six trustees appointed at that first meeting, Mr. Alfred Ross, had donated sufficient land from his property ‘Orrong’ for the site of the church and over £1500 had been raised.
The newly appointed government architect, William Wardell, was contracted to build the new church on its present site in the early English Gothic style. Wardell also designed and built St Patrick’s Roman Catholic cathedral in East Melbourne. In April 1860 the Governor of the colony of Victoria, Sir Henry Barkly, laid the foundation stone and building commenced.
Following a delay caused by some difficulty in separating the new parish of Toorak from the existing parish of South Yarra, St. John’s Toorak was opened for worship, again by Sir Henry Barkly, in July 1862. As the first vicar, the Revd Walter Fellowes, was still in transit from England, the first service was led by Dr Bromby, the first Headmaster of Melbourne Grammar School.