Christian Israelite Church, Fitzroy Street

The Church is a beautiful bluestone building on Fitzroy
Street. You would be forgiven for thinking that the bricked up windows are recent, but no, these are original, with all the light inside the church provided by skylights in the roof that resemble an ark.

  • Architect: Unknown / Builder: Unknown
  • Built:1861
  • Established by: John Wroe

The following is from the January 2005 Fitzroy Historical Society Newsletter:

The present church was built in 1861 (with further buildings in 1870) and it replaced an earlier building (perhaps dating to as early as 1853) on the same site. Indeed, the new was built over an old chapel which was then demolished.

The church was founded by John Wroe, an Englishman from Bradford, Yorkshire.

By the time of the American Civil War John Wroe had traveled numerous times to Australia and America establishing Christian Israelite Societies in these countries. A picture taken in the Fitzroy church around 1895 shows that an instrumental music
tradition was firmly established in the Christian Israelite Church. Over twenty instruments were used in this Christian Israelite sanctuary including a pipe
organ, several brass horns, woodwinds and numerous stringed instruments including a concert sized harp.

John Wroe built a mansion in Wrenthorpe, England patterned on the old Melbourne Town Hall and called it Melbourne House. It is still there.

Wroe actually died on one of his visits to Australia at the Fitzroy chapel on 5th February 1863 and his body was interred in Melbourne Cemetery.

You can find more details about the church here.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: