Christ Church Kilmore closed it’s doors to worshippers on New Years Day for a long awaited major renovation project.  It is expected the church will be closed for approximately 12 weeks and hopefully will reopen in time for Easter.

Christ Church is said to be the oldest inland church in Victoria.  On 19th November, 1857, the first stone of the church was laid by Bishop Charles Perry. By January 1861 the first service was held in Christ Church. There had been 3 architects: Perrot, Kingk and Fleury in succession, but despite many set-backs Christ Church, Kilmore was completed (except for the Bell Tower) in 1864. 

The renovation works will include repairing damage to flooring and walls, as well as painting and restoring, re-carpeting, heating and cooling, and a new entrance way.

Renovation work started on January 2nd with first the church being completely gutted of furniture and chattels, followed by the carpet being removed and some floor boards seeing the light of day for the first time in decades. 

This page will include weekly photographic updates on the progress of the project.

Week 1. January 1st - 7th

Sunday January 1st  was the final service in Christ Church before a team of parishioners set to work the following day to empty the church in readiness for the builders to move in for the long awaited renovations.

January 3rd saw the church gutted and under the watchful eye of Project Manager Ian Staring, the work began. First job was to lift the floorboard to check the foundations. Unfortunately some of the bearers were found to be damaged by borers and damp. This needed to be rectified before the flooring was strong enough to bring in the scaffolding to begin the work.

Week 2. January 8th - 15th

Week two saw the Sunday worship start in the Senior Citizens Rooms in Kilmore;  the floor boards being taken up; rotten bearers being removed; Pest Control called in; Castin Reinforcing Plates being made; and some "treasurers" (165 year old nails) being found.

Week 3. January 16th - 22nd

Week three saw us already behind schedule due to the unforeseen damage being found under the floorboards, but work progressed with the Castin Reinforcing Plates being concreted into the ground to support the new galvanised steel bearers.

Week 4. January 23rd - 29th

The scaffolding arrived in week 4 and more steel bearers replaced the last of the rotting ones.

Week 5. January 30th - February 6th

Week 5 saw the old floor boards being covered over to make a completely flat working space for the carpet (the original floor boards being slightly warped and not suitable for covering by carpet squares).  "Observation holes" were created for future pest control and to allow us to see what is happening under the floorboards without having to remove the flooring. More electrical work was completed; and the sanctuary floor was strengthened.

Week 6. February 7th - 13th

Week 6 saw work begin on the top part of the church. A start was made on sealing the ceiling and the woodwork re-stained. The chapel (old sanctuary) was prepared for the laying of the steel bearers.

Week 7. February 14th - 22nd

In week 7 the painting of the walls was started and more work on the ceiling. The 'Flower Vestry' had the cupboards removed and unfortunately more damage was found behind and under them due to dampness being trapped and no air circulating behind them. This room will now need to be re-rendered. This will wait until after the main body of the church has been completed to keep the project on track.

Week 8. February 23rd - 28th

Week 8 and the painting continued on the rendered walls. The ceiling work was ongoing, and the chapel flooring strengthened.

Week 9. March 1st - 7th

Week 9 and the chapel walls were patched and repaired in readiness for the painting; the final work on the chapel flooring; lighting going in and the 'arched' wall being painted, and the feature blocks at the end of the church being painted brown to highlight them.

Week 10. March 8th - 11th

The main part of Week 10 was the working bee at Christ Church. While we still had the scissor lift in the building, this was the ideal time to give the windows a much needed clean. The floors were also swept and vacuumed to within an inch of its life. This was needed in preparation of the carpet going down. As with most of the work over the last ten weeks, we once again came across some more damage. This time to one of the stained glass windows which was starting to come away from the frame work. Another job to be looked into!

Week 11. March 12th - 19th

Week 11 saw the ceiling being completed with the help of a huge scissor lift; the walls nearly finished; and the preparation of the floors for the new carpet. Another working bee was held and great work continued.

Weeks 12 & 13.  21st March - 8th April

Week 12 saw the Chapel walls and flooring finished and the carpet in the whole church being laid.

By week 13 it was the start of moving everything back in. What great excitement!

Week 14. 9th March - AND WE ARE IN!!!!

9th March - Palm Sunday and we made it back into Christ Church for our first service.  We no longer needed our sign sending people to the Senior Citizens Rooms for worship - we were back "home". With many thanks to all who made this possible. For Ian for overseeing the whole project; for all who turned up at short notice working bees; and all who helped move us back in. 

Christ Church looked wonderful - the Chapel, Sanctuary, Nave and children's area! What a great transformation.