St Nicholas Church Restoration
Restoring St Nicholas is a short film about the restoration of a Greek Orthodox Church in Ballarat.
St Nicholas Church in Humffray St, Ballarat East, was built in 1867. Originally named the Bible Christian Church, it was built by Cornish miners in the evenings and weekends after they had returned from their work at the diggings.
Like most buildings of its time it was built to last, constructed of solid brick with lime mortar. By the 1970s, the mortar was crumbling and the church community of the time re-mortared it with cement, a process we now know was incorrect for buildings of its age. The cement mortar, combined with rising damp, caused salt attack in many of the original bricks and the building literally began to crumble.
For more information about restoring buildings using traditional trade skills, visit our Technical Information page.
In 2009 the Greek Orthodox community of St Nicholas approached the City of Ballarat, Heritage Victoria and the trade school at the University of Ballarat to form a unique partnership to restore the church. This project allowed young apprentices to learn traditional trade skills and practice the technique of mixing and using lime mortar.
With a number of open days held for locals to inspect the work and see appropriate practices in action, the conservation work has become a significant case study for individuals and groups planning works on their own buildings.
In the process, the humble church has had its life extended, and the Greek community have a religious and cultural centre they can use for generations to come
Watch Restoring St Nicholas below.
This film was developed for Culture Victoria, which showcases stories form cultural agencies and collecting organisations around the state.
Heritage Victoria has also added several other stories to Culture Victoria:
These can be found under Heritage Victoria on the Culture Victoria website or on this site via the links below.
Viewbank: Unearthing a Colonial Homestead - a story of the history, archaeology and conservation of objects found at the Viewbank Homestead
What house is that? - videos, text and images taken from the WHIT interactive, exploring the history of Victoria's housing styles.
From Riches to Rags and Back Again – an audio tour of St Kilda's housing
Unearthing a 19th Century Chinese kiln - a short film on the discovery of a Chinese Kiln near Bendigo
Tales from the deep - oral history of John Black, early scuba diver and underwater explorer
Culture Victoria was developed by the Victorian Cultural Network (VCN), a collaborative project dedicated to digitising our cultural assets and making them available to education and community users. The VCN is facilitated by Arts Victoria.