The History of Christ Church South Yarra

In 1852, land was set aside for a parish district which included South Yarra and parts of Prahran and Toorak. Community meetings were held in the pub over the road - now The Arcadia - and early services were held in the nearby Presbyterian Sunday School. The church building was begun in April 1856; by April 1857 the first service was held in the new church building during the Incumbency of the Reverend William Guinness, the first Vicar.

Mr Guinness also had the vicarage built in 1859, and the church was enlarged the following year to accommodate the increasing numbers of people who were attending services. The vicarage later became notable as the birthplace of Fr Gerard Kennedy Tucker, the founder of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Christ Church South Yarra was consecrated on 27 September 1875.

Canon Horace Tucker was Inducted as the second Vicar on St Martin's Day, 11 November, 1880 (co-incidentally, the same day Ned Kelly was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol). Canon Tucker had been influenced by the Tractarian and Oxford Movements, and had a genuine concern that the parish's life and outreach be centred on worship - especially Eucharistic worship - enhanced with choral singing and worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness. During his time as vicar, the church building was completed with a chancel for the choir, an apse for the high altar sanctuary, and the bell-tower tower and spire.