St John's Anglican Church
Armstrong Street, Soldiers Hill, Ballarat

B 1891 Fincham & Hobday; ren 1972 Leighton Turner (electrification of stop and pedal actions).
2m, 18spst, 3c, tr & elpn. Gt: Sw: Ped: 16.16.


This fine brick church was designed by prominent Melbourne-based Anglican architect Leonard Terry.  It was built in three stages: 1864-1865, with additions in 1869-1870 and in 1884, when a side aisle and organ chamber were added to the design of Terry & Oakden, the aisle separated from the nave by cast iron columns.  Terry intended the building to have a massive tower and broach spire at the south-west, but sadly this never materialised.  The building has a magnificent west window, with elaborate curvilinear tracery, while the apsidal sanctuary incorporates single light windows placed beneath small gables.

There are many fine fittings, including early stained glass in the apse by the Melbourne firm of Brooks, Robinson (1885) together with other windows by William Montgomery and John Ferguson & Nick Pappos.  The Oamaru stone pulpit (1889) incorporates colonettes of Belgian rouge marble, while the brass lectern is of English manufacture.

The organ was built by Fincham & Hobday at a cost of £728 and opened on 13 September 1891.  It is of particular interest for its double cases, the largest facing down the south aisle, and a smaller one above the console facing across the chancel.  The instrument remains largely unaltered apart from the removal of a Swell Mixture and its replacement by a Harmonic Flute in 1924 and the electrification of the stop and pedal actions in 1972 by Leighton Turner following severe water damage.  The gilded finish on the façade pipes appears to be original and similar to that at the Presbyterian Church, Hawthorn, by the same firm. The console is constructed from Tasmanian blackwood.

Gt: Open Dia
Gt: Loud Gamba
Gt: Claribel
Gt: Dulciana
Gt: Principal
Gt: Suabe Flute
Gt: Fifteenth
Gt: Clarionet
Swell to Great

Sw: Dou Dia
Sw: Open Dia
Sw: Gedact
Sw: Gamba
Sw: Octave
Sw: Flute 4
Sw: Super Octave
Sw: Oboe

Ped: Open Dia
Ped: Bourdon
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal





(Mixture III rem. 1924)

Compass: 56/30

3 composition pedals to Great (removed 1972)
3 composition pedals to Swell (removed 1972)
Trigger swell pedal (converted to balanced pedal 1972)
Attached drawstop console
Mechanical action to manuals
Electric action to pedals and drawstops (originally mechanical)


Photos: JRM (Dec 2008)



Lois Reynolds, St John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Soldier’s Hill, Ballarat, 1865-1989.  Ballarat: Graeme A. Reynolds, 1989

E.N. Matthews. Colonial Organs and Organbuilders.  Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, p.160

Specification noted 1966 John Maidment


John Maidment

9 December 2008