Uniting (Methodist) Church

High Street, Preston

First organ, built c.1866 George Fincham, details and current location unknown
Present organ, built 1877 George Fincham for St Peter's Anglican Church, Ballarat.
Large Open Diapason installed 1914 Geo Fincham & Son in place of Mixture.
Inst present loc 1930 Hill, Norman & Beard (o/n 107)
2manuals, 15speaking stops, 3couplers, tracker action

Uniting Church, Preston : the building viewed from the south-west
[photograph from Panoramio.com]

Historical and Technical Documentation by John Maidment
© OHTA, 2012 (last updated August 2012)

The Methodist Church, Preston dates back to 1854 when a wooden church was erected, with a new bluestone church erected in 1863 allegedly designed by the Revd E.E. Stephenson that was later enlarged through the addition of brick transepts in 1902 designed by a Mr Gardiner.1

An earlier organ, thought to have been built by George Fincham around 1866, was installed in the church about this time but cannot be traced.2

Uniting Church, Preston
[photograph by Ken Falconer (4 December 2008)]

The present organ at Preston was the first organ at St Peter's Anglican Church, Ballarat and was built in 1877 by George Fincham at a cost of £500, where it was opened on 10 August of that year by P.C. Plaisted.3 It included some English black-metal pipework that Fincham had in stock. The Oboe was added in 1884 and restoration work was carried out by the Fincham firm in 1890 and a cleaning and releathering in 1910.4 In 1914, the Great Mixture was replaced by an Open Diapason of larger scale by George Fincham & Son5 and in 1930 the organ was installed at Preston by Hill, Norman & Beard who had recently completed a three-manual organ for the Ballarat church.

The casework is a standard three-tower Fincham production of the period, with turned wooden spindles holding the larger tower pipes in place, and is largely identical with those at the Baptist Church, Armadale and the Church of All Nations, Carlton. The keyboards do not overhang and there is no nameplate. The stop jambs and music desk have regrettably been painted. The façade pipes are also covered with gold paint but it is not known whether these were decorated or gilded initially.

Gt. Open Dia
Gt. Stop Dia
Gt. Clarabella
Gt. Dulciana
Gt. Principal
Gt. Flute
Gt. Twelfth
Gt. Fifteenth
Gt. Open Dia
Swl. to Gt.

Swl. Open Dia
Swl. Stop Dia
Swl. Principal
Swl. Fifteenth
Swl. Cornopean
Swl. Oboe

Pedal Open Dia
Gt. to Ped.
Swl. to Ped.





replaced Mixture III 1914


added 1884


Compass: 56/29
3 composition pedals to Great
Trigger swell lever
Mechanical key and stop action6

Uniting Church, Preston : left-hand stop jamb
[photograph by Ken Falconer (4 December 2008)]

Uniting Church, Preston : right-hand stop jamb
[photograph by Ken Falconer (4 December 2008)]


1 Victorian Churches, edited by Miles Lewis. East Melbourne: National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1991, p.82

2 E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969), pp. 145-146, quoting the Australian (Richmond) 3 March 1866

3 Ibid, pp. 161-162

4 Ibid.

5 George Fincham & Son letter book, quotation 20 April 1914, cost £36

6 Specification and technical details noted John Maidment 1966, c.2000