St. John’s church and garden is open every day of the year from 9am to 5pm and you are welcome to visit, pray and wander through this historic and beautiful corner of Toorak.
Sunday Services at St. John’s
8am Holy Communion, followed by breakfast hospitality in the Guild Room
10am Holy Communion, a sung service with choir, followed by morning tea hospitality in the Gardens or Church Hall
Worship of Holy Communion includes readings from the Bible, Prayers, and sharing in the Bread and Wine
After Christmas and through January, Sunday service is at 9am only.
Weekday Service at St. John’s
February – December until Christmas
Wednesday 7pm Holy Communion, followed by hospitality in the Vestry
Children & Families
Every Sunday, there is a children’s talk early in our worship together. We hold Sunday School in the Kinder room on Sundays during the sermon time of the 10am worship each week apart from 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, a safe and comfortable space for children and parents to enjoy complete with toys, books, comfortable 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 or will 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, a founding member of the Grief Group with The Mental Health Foundation Australia and in 2019 commences as Chaplain to the Australian Grand Prix. 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 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 seperating 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.