A very brief history of our Meeting houses in Melbourne.
The first Friends Meeting House in Melbourne, in Russell Street, was built using money largely contributed by British and Irish Friends. The Orrong Road Meeting House was funded from the sale of 20 Russell Street. The current Victorian Friends’ Centre was purchased using proceeds of the sale of the Orrong Road property.
When Friends bought the Victorian Friends Centre, it was essentially two separate office premises, and it needed to be reconfigured in order to suit our needs. We removed partitions to give us larger spaces and we put in disabled access bathroom facilities, a lift, a kitchen, and staircases. Stage 2 of the renovations transformed the Meeting Space into an area which is bright, open and welcoming.
- 23 July 1843: First Meeting for Worship at Edward and Deborah Sayce’s house in Little Bourke Street.
- March 1860: The Friends Meeting House at 20 Russell Street opened.
- 1953: Melbourne Friends moved to Friends House, 631 Orrong Road Toorak.
- 1960s: Addition of four flats at the rear of the Orrong Road property.
- 2013: Sale of Friends House.
- June 2014: Remembrance and Thanksgiving weekend.
- 2014/2015: Temporary Accommodation in Toorak Road South Yarra.
- August 2015: Purchase of The Victorian Friends Centre, 484 William Street, West Melbourne.
- October 2015: The Building Committee begins work with the architects.
- July 2016: Stage 1 commenced (completed in March 2017).
- April 2019: Stage 2 commenced (completed in April 2020).
The Victorian Friends Centre is at 484 Williams Street, West Melbourne, 3003.
Phone contacts: 0417 798 396
The Centre is available to Friends and other organisations and groups.
The Centre calendar is available at this link https://teamup.com/ks65c8308fb18457c4/
There are a number of spaces which can be used for meetings, workshops, single or multi day events. The spaces are named after early Quakers living and active in Victoria. See below fro a list of the spaces and seating capacity.
Groom Conversation Space casual conversation areas; ’round-table’ meetings (6 people); internet connection points; kitchenette.
Erskine Space children’s space; small meeting room; access to courtyard
Gibbons Space and Kitchen social room; ’round-table’ meetings (12 people)
Indiana Allen Meeting Space main meeting room ( <50 people)
Miller Space smaller meeting space (can be opened up to extend adjoining meeting)
The VFC manual is available here VFC Manual version 1.0a.pdf. This details booking, accessing and other information for Friends and others wishing to use the Centre.
Quakers Victoria Building Fund Appeal
A Building Fund has been launched to cover the costs of the renovations needed in the Victorian Friends Centre (VFC). To find out more about the renovations and how Friends can support the fund, please downland and read the BuildingFundFlyer.pdf. it includes details of how to support the Fund.