The Uniting Church (formerly Methodist) at 131 High Street built in 1929, with 1937 roof cladding, and the palm tree are significant. The hall at the rear and new entrance building at the side built c. 2000 are not significant.
How is it significant?
The Uniting Church is of local historical, aesthetic and social significance to the City of Greater Bendigo.
Why is it significant?
The Uniting Church is of historical significance for its association with the Wesleyan Methodist movement in the Kilmore circuit. The present Uniting church represents the culmination of the amalgamation of the Wesleyans and the United Free Methodists in 1898, to achieve a Methodist Church. This 1929 church represents a permanent place for the Methodists following years of poor or temporary accommodation. It is also of historical significance as continuing to serve as a Uniting Church following the amalgamation of the Presbyterians and Methodists to form the Uniting Church in 1969. Criterion A
It is of aesthetic significance as a modest work of the well known architect Alec. S Eggleston whose work for the Methodist Church formed a significant part of his practice. The interior is notable for the Arts and Crafts features of face brick arch, windows of unpretentious but thoughtful design, and honesty of materials in the use of stained timber and white plaster. CriterionD
The Uniting Church is of social significance for the Heathcote community as a place of worship for nearly 80 years. Criterion G
The former Methodist (now Uniting) Church at 131 High Street is a conservatively designed church built in 1929 in the Gothic 'survival' style. It was designed by architect Alec S Eggleston who was responsible for a number of Methodist churches including Colac in 1926. Alec Eggleston (1883-1955) trained as an architect in the office of Usher & Kemp between 1900 and 1904, and officially commenced his private practice in 1907. Alec Eggleston later became a prominent figure in the Melbourne architectural scene, and his firm still continues today as Eggleston McDonald.
Elements of the style include the use of the pointed arch in the design of the windows, however this is contrasted in domestic 1920s brick detailing. White painted stucco outlines the windows and parapets. The wall plane to the front elevation is modelled with a projecting panel of brickwork that includes a large window. There has been some intent to model the walls of the church by using brick pilasters as buttresses and a horizontal string course in moulded bricks. The windows have leaded clear glass with a white cross motif.
The sanctuary was designed with a brick self supporting arch in face brick that allowed the wall to be removed should it need to be enlarged. The interior is of white painted plaster and the roof structure is of dark stained scissor trusses. The red brick, timber and plain plaster gives the interior an Arts and Crafts ambience.
A side porch provides a separate entry to the church, although a new entry building has been constructed to the other side of the church. A large hall has been constructed at the rear and is a well mannered addition.
The roof of the church was replaced in 1937 following a fire and the terra cotta tiles are of that period. The palm tree is a notable feature of the garden.