FORMER ST JOHN'S THE LESS ANGLICAN CHURCH AND SCHOOLROOM
1 BEDDOE AVENUE BRIGHTON EAST, BAYSIDE CITY
Statement of Significance
What is significant?
The former St John's the Less Anglican church and schoolroom, designed to seat about 120 people, was opened on 1 February 1850 to serve the pioneer agricultural settlement around the Elster Creek at Little Brighton (now East Brighton). Construction of the humble building, using local ironstone and volunteer labour was assisted by a grant of thirty five pounds from the Melbourne Diocesan Society. Later named St John's the Less, to distinguish it from the larger Church of St John built in East Brighton (now Bentleigh), the building was continuously used for worship until replaced by a new brick church in 1890. It then became a Sunday School for many years. The building has a small entrance porch and the slate roof and timber boarded ceiling is supported on exposed king post trusses. A fireplace on the south wall is boarded over and the top of the chimney has been removed.
How is it significant?
The former St John's the Less Anglican Church and schoolroom is of historic and architectural importance to the state of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
The former Anglican church of St John's the Less and schoolroom is historically important as one of the oldest religious and educational buildings in Victoria, having been constructed before separation of the new colony of Victoria from New South Wales in 1851. It is also historically important as one of the earliest known surviving buildings from the pioneering days of Brighton, Melbourne's oldest satellite settlement. Brighton, which became a fashionable seaside village like the English resort after which it was named, was the focus of Henry Dendy's Crown "Special Survey" of 1840. Dendy was the first to accept the British Government's initiative to encourage colonial immigration and settlement by sale of 5120 acre lots covered by Special Surveys in the Port Phillip District of New South Wales.
It is important to the history of education in Victoria as a rare surviving example of a pre-Separation and pre-Gold Rush Denominational (non-vested) school building, and as the earliest extant school building in Brighton. It is the earliest surviving Anglican school building in Melbourne. Its construction, at the predominantly Protestant settlement of Brighton, predated the establishment of a National Board of Education which aimed to acknowledge the diversity of religious and cultural affiliations in Australia and to minimise sectarian animosities. The ensuing strong government school system was a legacy of the National School system.
The former church of St John's the Less and schoolroom is architecturally important as a representative example of the simple pioneer construction methods and techniques of the 1840s using local labour and locally quarried ironstone.
FORMER ST JOHN'S THE LESS ANGLICAN CHURCH AND SCHOOLROOM - History
St Marks Church of England ( timber hall, Louis Williams Church and 1890 church all now demolished) was next door to this church.
FORMER ST JOHN'S THE LESS ANGLICAN CHURCH AND SCHOOLROOM - Permit ExemptionsGeneral Exemptions:General exemptions apply to all places and objects included in the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR). General exemptions have been designed to allow everyday activities, maintenance and changes to your property, which don’t harm its cultural heritage significance, to proceed without the need to obtain approvals under the Heritage Act 2017.Places of worship: In some circumstances, you can alter a place of worship to accommodate religious practices without a permit, but you must notify the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria before you start the works or activities at least 20 business days before the works or activities are to commence.Subdivision/consolidation: Permit exemptions exist for some subdivisions and consolidations. If the subdivision or consolidation is in accordance with a planning permit granted under Part 4 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and the application for the planning permit was referred to the Executive Director of Heritage Victoria as a determining referral authority, a permit is not required.Specific exemptions may also apply to your registered place or object. If applicable, these are listed below. Specific exemptions are tailored to the conservation and management needs of an individual registered place or object and set out works and activities that are exempt from the requirements of a permit. Specific exemptions prevail if they conflict with general exemptions. Find out more about heritage permit exemptions here.Specific Exemptions:General Conditions: 1. All exempted alterations are to be planned and carried out in a manner which prevents damage to the fabric of the registered place or object. General Conditions: 2. Should it become apparent during further inspection or the carrying out of alterations that original or previously hidden or inaccessible details of the place or object are revealed which relate to the significance of the place or object, then the exemption covering such alteration shall cease and the Executive Director shall be notified as soon as possible. General Conditions: 3. If there is a conservation policy and plan approved by the Executive Director, all works shall be in accordance with it. General Conditions: 4. Nothing in this declaration prevents the Executive Director from amending or rescinding all or any of the permit exemptions. Nothing in this declaration exempts owners or their agents from the responsibility to seek relevant planning or building permits from the responsible authority where applicable.
Specific Conditions: 1. Painting of previously painted surfaces provided the preparation does not remove evidence of the building’s original and subsequent decorative schemes.
Specific Conditions: 2. Re-wiring provided that all new wiring is fully concealed and any original light switches and GPO’s are retained in-situ.
Specific Conditions: 3. Installation of hooks, nails and other devices for the hanging of paintings, mirrors and other small wall-mounted items.
Specific Conditions: 4. Installation of smoke detectors.
Specific Conditions: 5. Removal of extraneous pipework, wiring etc and making good.
Specific Conditions: 6. Management of trees and plants in accordance with Australian Standard AS4373 Pruning of Amenity Trees.
Specific Conditions: 7. The process of gardening, mowing, mulching, bedding displays, removal of dead plants, disease and weed control, emergency and safety works.
Specific Conditions: 8. Installation, removal and replacement of garden watering systems.
FORMER ST JOHN'S THE LESS ANGLICAN CHURCH AND SCHOOLROOM - Permit Exemption Policy
The extent of registration protects the whole of the building and sufficient land around the building to protect views of the building from Union Street and Hawthorn Road. It would be desirable to keep the registered land vacant but construction of small non-intrusive structures may be possible. Such development would require a permit. Extension of the building or subdivision of its interior would not be desirable. Reconstruction of the upper section of the chimney would be supported.