As I have intimated in my review on Pilgrim Uniting Church, the block between Flinders Street and Pirie Street, hosted two churches – the then Stow Memorial Church (accessed from Flinders Street) and the Wesleyan Methodist Church (accessed from Pirie Street. Until 1969, when the two congregations merged the churches were separated by a high stone wall and locked gate.
Following the merger, the Stow Memorial Church (which ultimately became the Pilgrim Uniting Church) became the meeting place for both congregations. In the early 1970s, the Adelaide City Council compulsorily acquired the Pirie Street property. The former Wesleyan church building, built in 1851, was demolished and all that remains today is the former church meeting hall which the City Council now hires out for meetings.
The hall, built in 1862, was originally a school room and later (1869) the birthplace of Prince Alfred College – still a rather prestigious independent school, elsewhere, in the city. The church has been replaced with a rather sterile council building.
The stone and plaque in picture 4 attached, marks the church’s (picture 5 – 1890, courtesy of the State Library of South Australia) former location. Thankfully, before the Church was demolished important memorial plaques, stained glass windows, wood panelling from the pulpit and the organ were moved to the Stow Memorial Church, along with the people!
The Meeting Hall, which you can now access from either Flinders or Pirie Street, is worth a look. Designed by local architect Edmund Wright, it is of Dry Creek stone with red brick dressing and is in a rather simple Gothic style. I specially like the ivy covering on the rear wall (potentially disastrous as it is for the fabric of the building).
Internally (and you don’t need to go in to see it – viewable from the main door as per picture 3 attached) you can view the lovely hammerbeam trusses that hold up the building’s slate roof.
Directions: Located just behind Pilgrim Uniting Church – 12 Flinders Street.