What is significant?
In 1866 St Jude's Church was a temporary wooden structure erected for worship. From 1866-67 the chancel, four bays of the nave, and vestry of the current church were erected to the designs of architects Reed & Barnes. The contractor was John Pigdon. From 1869-70 the last four bays of the nave, balcony, narthex and crypt were erected. In 1874 the south porch and steps, area wall, iron railings and Lygon Street gates were erected. The church is a Gothic-polychrome building erected on a high bluestone plinth with dark hawthorn brick walls and red and cream brick quoining, diaperwork and window surrounds. The plastered interior includes a western gallery, an early pipe organ, and stained glass by several prominent makers, including Ferguson & Urie, Rogers & Hughes, Brooks Robinson, and William Montgomery. George Fincham of the firm Finch and Fincham built the pipe organ contained in St Jude's in 1868. It was installed in the west end gallery of St Jude's when it opened on 17 September 1872. The organ is enclosed in a painted timber case of roughly 2000 x 2000mm base and 2500mm height. The display pipes are of gilded metal with dust covers. In 1885 contractors Hiam & Sons constructed a portion of the Lower Hall to the designs of Mr James. The construction of the Lower Hall to its original design was never completed. In 1891 however an Upper Hall was erected abutting the Lower Hall to the designs of architects Reed Smart and Tappin. The designs of the Upper and Lower Halls are not as elaborate as the main church building, but are a simplified version of the details. The bricks on the Upper Hall around openings have been surfaced in different colours to imitate polychrome and the Lower Hall has bi-chrome brickwork.
How is it significant?
St Jude's Anglican Church is of architectural, aesthetic, historical and scientific significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
St Jude's Anglican Church is of architectural significance as it is an early example of Gothic-polychrome and one of the first fully polychromatic brick churches in Australia. The exterior of the building demonstrates fully developed polychromy, with red and cream bricks against a brown background in quoining, diaperwork and window surrounds; the last deriving explicitly from Italian examples published by Street and Ruskin. The Reedian polychrome became the cradle for a whole family of innovative styles in red brick. St Jude's is of further architectural significance for its associations with the well-known firm Reed & Barnes. The firm later became Reed Smart & Tappin and was involved with the design of the Lower Hall. The Upper and Lower Halls, while not as elaborate are of significance for their architectural detailing derived from the main church building. St Judes Anglican Church is of aesthetic significance as a complex of early brick buildings, which are a prominent landmark in Carlton.
The Organ contained in St Judes Anglican Church is historically and scientifically important as an early substantially intact organ designed by leading nineteenth century Victorian organ builder George Fincham. Fincham arrived in Australia in 1852 and began his organ building business in 1862 in which he achieved a level of perfection in organ building such that his best organs were able to compare favourably with imported English organs. The organs hand-blowing apparatus still functions and the original key, stop, and combination actions are still present. Positions of four former fittings on the vertical pillars of the casework are visible and the timber organ bench still exists. St Judes Anglican Church is of historical significance as an intact complex of church buildings constructed before the turn of the century, demonstrating the early growth of the Church of England in Melbourne.