Church of All Nations (formerly Methodist)
Palmerston Street, Carlton
George Fincham 1877; Swell added 1886; restored 1991-92 by South Island Organ Company
2 manuals, 15 speaking stops, 3 couplers, mechanical action
The present church on this site, designed by noted Melbourne architects Reed & Barnes, was opened on 6 March 1870. Built in bluestone with stucco dressings, it is unusually designed in a Romanesque style. The original plans showed a spire to the right of the main façade. The interior includes a gallery at the rear – provision was made in the foundations and in the fenestration for erecting galleries down the sides of the church, but this didn’t eventuate.
The organ was built by George Fincham at a cost of £239 and was opened on 16 August 1877; it was the gift of the young people of the church, as recorded on a plaque beneath the central tower of the organ case. This comprised the casework, console, façade pipes, Great and Pedal Organs of the present instrument. The Swell Organ was later added by George Fincham at a cost of £165 and opened on 13 April 1886.
The organ remains totally intact apart from the installation of electric blowing and the fitting of tuning slides to the metal pipework, which is entirely of spotted metal. The original mechanical key and stop actions, console, casework and splendid pipe decorations survive unaltered.
A careful and sympathetic restoration was carried out by the South Island Organ Company Ltd, Timaru, New Zealand, in 1991-92. Click here for further information on the restoration.
This instrument is highly valued on account of its originality and the excellence of its sound, which was favourably commented upon by the Dutch organist Ton Koopman who performed upon it at the Melbourne International Festival of Organ and Harpsichord in 1977.
Gt. Open Dia
Gt. Stop Dia
Swl. Open Dia
Swl. to Gt.
Gt. to Ped.
Swl. to Ped.
Lever swell pedal
3 composition pedals to Great
Mechanical key and stop actions
C. Irving Benson, A Century of Victorian Methodism (Melbourne: Spectator Publishing Co., 1935), pp. 404-5
E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969), p.125
Photos and notes: JRM (July 2008)