Lydiard Street Anglican church for sale after 162 years

Christ the King cathedral. PICTURE: Hstudios
Christ the King cathedral. PICTURE: Hstudios

The Anglican cathedral on Lydiard Street could be yours for less than $3 million. 

An expressions of interest phase for the property closed this week. 

It includes the Christ the King Cathedral, diocesan centre and deanery at the back of the sloping title. 

Bishop Garry Weatherill said they were exploring a sale and possible shift to St Andrew’s Kirk on Sturt Street. 

“We’re trying to ascertain whether it’s a good move or not,” he said. 

“It’s a very difficult (decision), but it’s not a done deal.” 

Bishop Weatherill said St Andrew’s Kirk would offer much better parking than Lydiard Street South, a serious consideration for the ageing congregation. 

Jim Bambridge from PRD Nationwide is handling the expressions of interest stage of the sale. 

He said they had had some strong expressions of interest for the site, which stretches from Lydiard Street down the hill to behind the Eureka Medical Centre and Centrelink. 

“We’ve had interest from a few developers, investors, really,” he said. 

There was “no way known” the cathedral would be knocked down, he said, but outlined some intriguing ideas for it. 

“The church is an interesting one, looking at the possible usages,” he said. 

“It could be an office itself, or an accounting firm said it would be a nice library.” 

(The cathedral) could be an office itself, or an accounting firm said it would be a nice library.

Real estate agent Jim Bambridge

Construction of the cathedral began in 1854. 

Mr Bambridge said the building’s age and prominence in Ballarat made it a “once in an epoch” sale. 

“It’s not once in a lifetime, or once in your grandparents’ lifetime,” he said. 

Bishop Weatherill said a decision had not been made, and they were still listening to parishioners, as well as experts looking at the state of St Andrew’s Kirk. 

“There’s an enormously wide consultation going on with the church community,” he said. 

“I encourage people to read the reports on the website, or call the Dean (Christopher Chataway), who’s always happy to talk about it.”