Services at St. John’s
The most recent lockdown is now over and Melbourne is, thank God, returning to some degree of normality.
Services for Sunday 24 and Sunday 31 October will remain via Zoom. The pew sheet below contains Zoom links for all streamed services.
On Thursday 28 October, there will be an All Souls’ Day Service at 7pm via Zoom (the link is in the pew sheet). This is a solemn service where we remember the dearly departed and all souls who have gone to their rest.
On Sunday 7 November, we will resume services inside the church, at both 8am and 10am. At 10am, the service will be the All Saints’ Day and Remembrance Day Service. Members of the Toorak RSL will be in attendance and will contribute to the service. As numbers are capped at 80 inside the church, please go to the pew sheet below to find the TryBooking link if you wish to attend and if you are fully vaccinated.
Our Wednesday evening prayer service (Compline) will continue on Zoom at 7pm until Wednesday 10 November. The link to this short and lovely prayer service can be found in the pew sheet. All are warmly welcome.
BLESSING OF THE PETS SERVICE
On Sunday 31 October at 4pm, St John’s will hold its annual Blessing of the Pets service on the south lawn of the church. All dogs, cats, birds, terrapins, rabbits, guinea pigs – any beloved creature great and small is welcome. Humans are welcome too – but you must be fully vaccinated to allow us to hold a service for up to 50 people. (Attendants must show a hard copy or electronic copy of a vaccination certificate.) Coffee, tea and soft drinks will be available. St. John’s supports Save-a-Dog Scheme so if attending, please give generously if possible. Come along to this service where we thank God for all the joy that pets give us!
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.
Children are always welcome at church. There is a comfortable space at the back of the church with plentiful books and activities. Or for children 4 years and older, Sunday School is held in the Whitney King Room every fortnight. The next Sunday School sessions will be announced once the church is open. The two Sunday School leaders have required police checks and Working With Children Cards. The Whitney King Room is bright, welcoming and safe, and there are lots of games and activities.
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.