I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Monday, March 30, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Sad Monday

Oh dear. Woke to the news that St James Catholic church in Brighton has been destroyed by a huge fire, so large it was visible from the West Gate Bridge. The church was build in 1891. 

How does stone burn? All its beautiful wooden interiors....

The Victorian Heritage site says the nave was built in 1891 to the design of architect Edgar J Henderson; the transepts and chancel in 1924, designed by Schreiber and Jorgensen.

 The historical St James Church, in Brighton, fully ablaze.

ABC reporter on radio now says the "beautiful old church" still looks to be standing, but the roof has collapsed and there are sounds of large crashes. It's a huge fire, with many trucks and cranes. Awful.

Update: Apparently this church was the site of lots of complaints about sexual abuse of children. As Jon Faine said on 774 radio this morning, 'it's a church that has given much pain'.  Apparently some folk are glad the church has gone...  Sadder and sadder.

2nd Update: And here is Rachel Griffiths on why so many people feel "elated" the church has gone: the priest turned her mother away after her father left them, and so she feels her brothers were saved the predations of the priests. The community dispersed after the abuses became known.

And here's an astonishing photo from The Age reader Garry Furlong: weird effect of yellow flames lighting up windows designed to bring light inside.

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