St Johns East Malvern

Restoration Appeal

Saint John’s has served the Malvern East community for over 125 years. It is rightly proud of its history. The challenge now is to ensure this legacy continues for generations to come. Those who have gone before us have given us a wonderful gift of a beautiful Church. It falls to us now to preserve this sanctuary for those who will follow in our footsteps.

The Parish Church

Saint John’s has been an iconic landmark in Malvern East since 1888. The current church has been unaltered for over 90 years and is a place of immense historical, religious and community significance. It is a classified building in the Register of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria),

Saint John’s Stone Veneer

Like many other buildings in the late nineteenth century, Saint John’s is constructed of Barrabool stone mined from the Geelong area. This stone gives our church its unmistakably beautiful sandstone finish, however it has been found to corrode with age. The surface of the stone flakes easily, leading to portions of the surface breaking away. It is also a porous rock, allowing damp to permeate the inner wall linings, and hence into the church itself. Untouched, the stone will decay to a point where the entire building is unsafe.

What Needs To Be Done?

Steps must be taken now to replace the corroded Barrabool stone and undertake preventative measures to protect the building from further damage. We need your help to ensure St. John’s continues to remain safe.
After 15 years of concentrated effort on repairing the fabric of the church, the final stage of restoration has now begun.

What started as remedial repairs to replace decaying stonework, grew over a decade into major emergency works to save the tower and west wall from collapse.

Drawing on the expertise of heritage architects, engineers, stonemasons, and glass conservators, the building has been transformed. Skilled masons and carvers using the same traditional craft skills employed to build the church, have created a lasting heritage for future generations. Over 600 stones have been replaced on the tower and west wall alone, using a more durable product imported from Udelfanger in Germany.

Yet as we approach the end of the project, substantial work remains. Integral weaknesses in the original construction of the north transept, combined with crumbling stone under the large Trinity window, need immediate attention to prevent the wall from collapsing. Tree roots have weakened the foundations and a dangerous subsiding now requires underpinning to prevent further slippage.

How Much Will It Cost?

The total cost of the restoration is over $3.5million. The most immediate work on the North Transept wall will cost $550,000 to complete. Currently around two-thirds of the stone on the wall is being replaced, including much of the fine tracery work around the large Trinity window. On completion, new stained-glass will be installed in the window, providing a dramatic display bring new light and vitality to the building. Underpinning work is also required to the foundations of the wall, to counter the effect of tree root incursion. Your support will help us to ensure Saint John’s heritage of worship and community service continues for years to come.

How You Can Help Saint John’s

Saint John’s needs your help to restore and maintain its historic Church building. Assistance can be provided in a number of forms, including by

Donations to the Appeal are tax-deductible through the National Trust of Australia (Victoria),

For further information or to make a donation, please contact

The Saint John’s Building Restoration Appeal
5 Finch Street
Malvern East VIC 3145

Telephone (03) 95716616

National Trust