Ballarat Central Uniting Church – Beginnings
Ballarat Central Uniting Church is the fruit of the Uniting Ballarat Project, undertaken at the request of The Grampians Presbytery – now the Presbytery of Western Victoria – for all Uniting Churches within Ballarat to examine and change the way we, the Church, approached our mission and ministry.
This active and vibrant new congregation was formed in March 2008 and is made up of the majority of members of Ballarat Parish Mission – Lydiard Street Uniting Church – and St Andrew’s Uniting Church in addition to members from other Ballarat Uniting Churches.
The move to our permanent home on the present site in Lydiard Street South was made in 2009. Ballarat Central Uniting Church has decided to sell the St. Andrew’s site.
Ballarat Central Congregation was designated as a Parish Mission in 2008 by the Standing Committee of Synod of Victoria and Tasmania at the request of the Presbytery of Western Victoria.
The new Central Congregation is the sponsoring body of UnitingCare Ballarat and as such continues ‘the joining of Word and deed’ into our community.
Lydiard Street Uniting Church
A group of Wesleyans on Winter’s Flat – now Magpie – decided to form a Society and purchase a tent for worship. The tent was erected on Pennyweight Hill – now Otway Street South. This was the nucleus of the Lydiard Street Methodist Church.
A place for worship and a denominational school removed to the corner of Lydiard and Dana Streets in the developing township. A stone building was erected on the site of the present church. This building soon became too small and was unstable due to subsidence above the Waterloo Mine. Although it was used as a School for a few years, a new church was soon planned.
St Andrew’s Kirk Ballarat
The Government of the early 1850’s performed a singular service for the city of Ballarat, and for the Church, when it reserved this magnificent site in Sturt Street for the building of a Presbyterian Church.
The site was intended originally for the followers of the Established Church of Scotland. However, it was not this body but the Free Presbyterian Church of Australia Felix, which became the active Presbyterian body in the district. The first resident Minister of any denomination on the district goldfields was the Rev. Thomas Hastie, of Buninyong, who also preached to a small Free Church congregation at Specimen Hill.