Christ Church, Geelong - Archival Records

Some details of the Christ Church Archival Collection

The Association of Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Societies’ 2006 Report (hereafter "AADFAS 2006"), 2006,  Report into the Christ Church furnishings [18] lists the following historic documents/ archive materials that are held in the Christ Church collection -

1. copy of Baptism Registers including baptisms for September 1843-July 1853 (2 volumes), and for September 1843- July 1909 (6 volumes).

2. Original Baptismal Registers for 1853-1860, 1860-1909, 1909-1993, 1993 to date.

3. copy of Marriage Registers for 1853-1859, 1853-1854, 1853-1912 (2 volumes).

4. Original Marriage Registers for 1853, 1854-1855, 1855-1857, 1857-58, 1858-1959, 1859-1863, 1865-1875, 1875-1897, 1898-1938 (4 volumes), 1939-1954 (3 volumes), 1955-1963 (2 volumes), 1963 to date (5 volumes).

5, Banns of Marriages Register 1960-1968.

6. copy of Burial Registers for 1846-1853, 1853-1877 (2 volumes).

7. Original Burial Registers 1853-1854, 1854-1863, 1863-1902, 1922-1965 (3 volumes), 1966-1994, and 1994 to date.

8. Original Registers of Services for 1859-1885, 1911-1925 (3 volumes), 1926-1929, 1930-1933, 1933-1941, 1941-1948, 1948-1958, 1955-1959, 1959-1961, 1961-1981, 1991-2000, 2000 to date.

9. Confirmation Registers 1995 to date. 


 Other historic documents held by the Parish include -


10. the Goodman Bible

11. Teacher and Sunday School Minutes 1884-1934

12. documents of Christ Church Incumbents, Wardens and Ordinands 1845-1960

13. Parish Correspondence 1862-1985

14. Parish Annual Reports 1872-1975

15. Pew Payments Book 1930

16. Parish Minute books 1975-1989

17. Miscellaneous historical papers and sundry publications

18. Registers of Services and Preacher's notes 1860-1981

19. Parish Cemeteries Book (see photograph in the Attachments) dating from the earliest years of the Parish. The first burial recorded is of one John Williams, who died on 25 August 1863, and the Register records burial details until the last entry in 1901. This Register records the burial details of such significant historical figures as Captain Foster Fyans (who died on 23 May 1870, aged 80 years), Sir Charles Sladen (died 27 February 1884 aged 67 years), and Theodore and Martha Stretch, (12 April 1899 and 2 May 1881 respectively) sometime incumbent of the Parish and his wife. Several entries are for persons buried from the Geelong Gaol, including (for example) those for Ebenezer Challmers (a teacher, who died on 19 July 1881) and John Olfe (watchmaker, died 22 November 1887).

20. Parish Magazines including the 'Chronicle' 1897 onwards, and The Church of England 'Messenger' (1950s & 1960s).

21. Preachers’ Books (or Service Books): 1859-1885, 1911-present (14 volumes).

22. Sunday School Minute Books: 1882 – 1908, 1918-1934.

23 Annual Reports and Statements of Accounts: 1880 – 1989.

24. Cash Books and Pew Payments: 1901 – 1939 (various titles).

25. Minutes of Trustees and Vestry: 1841 – 1850, 1870 – 1881, 1903 – present. The original bound volume containing the Minutes of Christ Church Vestry 1890 – 1903 is held at the Geelong Heritage Centre (“GHC”) ; negotiations with the GHC are to be undertaken to arrange for the return of this volume, inadvertently not returned after various parish registers were loaned in the 1960s to the GHC for indexing.


In addition, the Parish also holds hymn books and music books; records of church societies and associations; photographs of Sunday School children, young people, clergy and other parishioners engaged in church-related activities; artworks, including a rare nineteenth century etching; some nineteenth century books; and good series of monthly newsletters and pew sheets which throw light on the regular activities and the priorities of the parish at various stages in its history. Among these items are:


26. Church Magazine: Christ Church Chronicle (1897 until approximately 1969, with an unbroken run from 1909 until 1913)

27. Correspondence Book of the Geelong Branch of the Melbourne Diocesan Society, 1850 – 1867

28. A small collection of nineteenth century published works, some of which are rare.

29. Art Works: etching by Meredith; etching 1855 by De Gruchy and Leigh, etchings by Arthur Baldwinson and Victor Cobb

30. A collection of hymn books and music books dating to 1825, and music used by the congregation and organist 1855 – present., including the Hymn Book: Hymn tunes, chants and services in use in the Chapel of Trinity College Cambridge.

31. A large number of Orders of Service, reflecting the church’s role as the ‘city Church’ of the Anglicans in Geelong and indicating changes in the parish’s theological emphasis

32. Preachers’ Books (or Service Books): 1859-1885, 1911-present (14 volumes)

33. Ephemeral material, including photographs, advertising posters, notices of events and lectures, parish publications and histories, written and taped reminiscences, files on incumbents, and medals and badges relating to various church activities. [19]


In addition to the archival documentary records,  the 2009 Significance Assessment identified several archival non-documentary items of particular significance including –

       Etching and Metal Plate: ‘Christ Church Geelong, Port Phillip. Erected AD 1847. Revd E Collins Minister’. drawn by R. Meredith and engraved by Thomas Ham, c. 1847.

       George Goodman: Engraving ‘Christ Church Geelong’, printed by De Gruchy & Leigh, Sc, and published by Heath and Cordell, 1855. 7.5h x 15l.

             Architectural plans by A.J.Skene (1842)


The Parish Archives also include a number of historic photographs of early (pre 1900) buildings on the Parish grounds, and parish organisations and congregation members attending various church and community events, together with assorted drawings, plans and other memorabilia, much of which is undated.


sources -

[18]. The Association of Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Societies’ 2006 Report (hereafter "AADFAS 2006"), 2006,  "Record of Church Furnishings 2006".

[19] The 2009 Significance Assessment, p. 10.

[20] The 2009 Significance Assessment, pp 14ff.