Christ Church Anglican, Whittlesea
In 1863 a Whittlesea resident Thomas Wills donated fifteen acres of land to the Church of England for the use of promoting the Christian religion within the area. More specifically though Wills directed that part of this land was for the erection of a building for public worship and of a dwelling for the Minister duly appointed.
On the 13th June 1863 a meeting took place in the school house for the purpose of electing trustees for the land, donated by prominent local resident Thomas Wills Esq. for the building of an Anglican Church. The Chairman of this meeting was another respected resident Mr George Sherwin Esq.
Within three months they had raised 230 and an architect by the name of Alfred Smith was instructed to furnish plans for a church not to exceed 600 including internal fittings, bluestone foundations, brick walls and slate roof.
Tenders went out for the supply of 50000 bricks and the construction began on 20th June 1864. Local resident Mr Nelson was contracted to be the builder. Thomas Wills laid the Foundation Stone on 14th July 1864 and the building was completed by August 1865.
An architect Alfred Smith was asked to draw up plans for the Church incorporating bluestone foundations ,brick walls and a slate roof. A local builder by the name of Nelson was then contracted to build the church.
Thomas Wills himself laid the foundation stone on 14 July 1864 and by August 1865 the building was completed. The Church was finally opened on Sunday 25th February 1866 by Bishop Perry of Melbourne who had stayed the weekend at “Braemore” the home of the Sherwins.
The first Minister appointed by the Bishop was the Rev. W. McGennet from Bunninyong.
The bell that originally hung in the tower was lowered in 1909 when its weight endangered the structure of the Church.
Rev. William McGennett conducted his first service in Christ Church on 2nd March 1866. In the absence of the vicarage which was erected several years later the accommodation for Rev. McGennett was provided at Taylor’s Carriers Arms Hotel which stood at the corner of Jack’s Creek and Yea Roads.