Collins Street Baptist Church

For more than 167 years, the story of Collins Street Baptist Church has been entwined with the story of Melbourne. Located part way between the historic Town Hall and State Parliament, at 174 Collins Street the Baptist Church is recognised as a part of Melbourne’s cultural, commercial, political and spiritual heart. Today the church is as committed to the people and welfare of the city as the day it began. Many couples choose Collins Street Baptist Church as the venue for their wedding, and at Serendipity Photography we highly recommend  the unique combination of traditional service, charming aesthetics and convenient location. The church’s grand entrance and beautifully maintained 19th century interior provide a magnificent setting for a ceremony to remember, while its central location with easy access to the city’s gardens, hotels and receptions centres makes it an attractive and flexible venue for many types of weddings.

The first service was held in 1838 under a makeshift tent to a congregating of just 16 people. The Church community grew upon the first chapel being constructed on the present site in 1845, however, by the end of 1850s the congregation had outgrown its space. Joseph Reed, the architect who designed the Melbourne Town Hall, was commissioned to enlarge the church building. Consequently, Reed demolished the original structure and replaced it with the present one opened in 1862. Since then the Collins Street Baptist Church has been a sought after venue for Melbourne wedding’s. The classical temple façade with its four Corinthian columns places the building in the neo-Greek architectural tradition rather than the gothic style used for many of Melbourne’s churches. It reflects the Baptist understanding of the church as a community of believers rather than a sacred building. Heritage Victoria describes it as “the grandest classical church in Victoria”.

Though many of Melbourne’s churches were built in the Gothic style, Collins Street Baptist Church differs in featuring a classical temple façade with four Corinthian columns which places it in the neo-Greek tradition of architecture. This reflects on the church as not just being a special sacred building, but a place of gathering built for a community of believers. Staying true to the Baptist dislike of grand decorations, the interior of Collins Street Baptist Church is quite minimal. Though don’t be too quick to underestimate its array of beautiful features, which include: arched stained glass windows along the length of the building, subtle carvings on the pulpit and communion furniture, a majestic full sized organ, and grand piano, as well as a double aisle and side-facing seats that open onto the pulpit. The church has the capacity to seat up to 450 guests, so is well suited to both intimate affairs or ceremonies on a larger scale. As well as the extraordinary acoustics, the soft natural light cast by the exquisite windows, frames bride and groom ideally, giving skin a rosy glow both during the ceremony and in the selection of photographs captured by Serendipity. This beautiful simplicity makes Collins Street Baptist Church a popular choice for couples who wish to bask in the church’s grand entrance and highly maintained interior, whilst remaining confident that their ceremony will be one to remember many years to come.




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