eekly Services at St. John’s
Services are normally held at 8am and 10am on Sundays, and 7pm on Wednesday evenings. Sunday services at 10am are followed by morning tea in the Buxton Hall and the Wednesday evening service is followed by refreshments and fellowship in the vestry. Currently, masks are required at all services.
Children are always welcome at church. There is a comfortable space at the back of the church with plentiful books and activities. At the 10am service, there is an age-appropriate children’s talk.
Sunday sermons are recorded and are available on our website under ‘Worship’ and ‘Sermons’. Previous sermons and 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 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 and present. 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 2016, having returned to Melbourne from almost a decade in the USA, where he served principally as Chaplain to Princeton University for 8 years. In the Diocese of Melbourne, Peter has served on Archbishop in Council, the Prevention of Violence Against Women Program, and as Area Dean of Stonnington. He is a member of the Council of St. Catherine's School, Toorak, and the founding Chair of its Hardship Committee of the School. 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.
The Revd. Dr. Wendy Crouch
Wendy was appointed Assistant Priest at St John’s in March 2022. She
comes to this half-time appointment from ministry at St. Bartholomew’s Burnley with St. Stephen’s, Richmond, and St. Peter’s, Bundoora. She completed her theological studies through the University of Divinity (Trinity College Theological School). Wendy is also a trained clinical psychologist and Fellow of the Clinical College of the Australian Psychological Society. For more information, please see below.
The Revd. Lydia Thangadurai
Lydia was ordained as a Deacon in February 2022 at St. Paul’s Cathedral and is now appointed as an Assistant Curate at St. John’s. She completed her Master of Ministry and Graduate Diploma of Divinity at the Australian College of Theology (Ridley College).
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 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.