Weekly Services at St. John’s
Services are held at 8am and 10am on Sundays, and 7pm on Wednesday evenings. There are no more restrictions in terms of numbers permitted in the church. You are encouraged to wear a mask but it is not mandatory.
All attendees need to be fully vaccinated and be able to show a vaccination certificate (electronic or hard copy) to the Covid officer.
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.
TRINITY COLLEGE FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS, SUNDAY 5 DECEMBER 5PM
We are delighted to host one of the world’s finest College Choirs, Trinity College Melbourne, for a superb Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, led by Trinity’s Director of Music, Mr Christopher Watson. All are welcome (if fully vaccinated). Please consider arriving early to allow for check-ins.
Friday 24 December 6pm: Children’s Pageant. This is a hugely enjoyable service for all children, with dress-ups and participation in the story of Jesus’ birth
Friday 24 December 11pm: Midnight Mass with Melbourne University’s Choral Society under the direction of Andrew Wailes and with the Majestic Brass Ensemble
Saturday 25 December 8am & 10am: Christmas Day
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 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 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 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.
The Revd Keiron Jones
Keiron was ordained deacon at St. Paul's Cathedral in early 2020 and priest at St. John's Toorak later in the year, where she is currently serving as Assistant Curate.
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.