Holy Spirit Church, Manifold Heights was built in 1932 by W. J. Kelly to a design by Geelong architect Cyril C. Kelly. The stucco building with terracotta tiles has a prominent tower surmounted with a bell and cross.
Holy Spirit Church is of architectural and historical significance to Victoria.
The church is an extraordinary example of an architectural style. Based on the Californian Spanish Mission Style, the architecture of the Franciscan orders who established their missions in California and New Mexico in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, it was the first application of this design to religious buildings in Victoria. The style was more commonly applied to domestic buildings and there are relatively few examples of churches in the Spanish Mission style in Victoria. The Holy Spirit Church compares most closely with the Church of Our Lady of Victoria, Bowen Hills, Queensland which has an almost identical facade.
The church is also architecturally important as it demonstrates the craftsmanship, decoration and method associated with the Spanish Mission style with its painted stucco walls, terracotta tiles, round headed arches, arcaded loggia, decorated parapet, metalwork and tower and the stained glass dome in the sanctuary. The principles connected with this style, that is of introducing light, colour and fresh air, are expressed through the dark timber ceiling highlighting the amber glass windows, the semi-circular windows designed to be opened and the stained glass dome.
The building is important for its historical associations with the Catholic Church. The imposing church with its tall campanile surmounted by a cupola and cross demonstrates the pride and strength of the Catholic community and the belief in the building as an expression of its faith and its identity. The building is also of interest as a manifestation of the religious and spiritual beliefs of the architect and the parish priest of the time, Father Malone, relating to the Holy Spirit, symbolised in he stained glass of the dome.