St Edward’s history

St Edward’s was established in 1956 by members from the neighbouring suburb of St John’s, Anglican Church, Blackburn. A hall was built that operated as both a church on Sundays and multipurpose activities during the week throughout the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s, the current church building was constructed. Throughout this period, the church was a bustling, busy and family orientated church – much like many others in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne when Christianity was at the centre of the social and religious life of many communities. As the 1990’s moved toward the new millennium, the congregation aged, and its traditions, although rich in meaning, became an obstacle to new members who were seeking something else and in particular, seeking answers to questions which were not being asked.

We are in the process re-building the congregation with a focus on meaningful Christian spirituality which seeks to be relevant to the person who lives in a society that has many competing religions and ideologies; a culture which focuses on placing our needs first as the way to find meaning in daily life. More information about our focus and what we are trying to do can be found on the tab next at the top of this page, “What we are on about”.

The church is named after St Edward the Confessor King lived from 1003 – 5 January 1066. He was among the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England, and usually considered the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066. He was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, who was defeated and killed in the same year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He is remembered in the church calendar on 13 October when in 1269, his body was translated to the shrine of Saint Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey to a chapel on the east of the sanctuary by Henry III. (His first translation to the chapel had also been on that day in 1163).

The addition to his name (‘the Confessor’) reflects the traditional image of him as other worldly and pious. He was given the title ‘Confessor’ as it is the name for someone who was believed to have lived a saintly life but did not die as a martyr. He was the only king and first Anglo-Saxon canonised a saint, and is distinguished from King Edward the Martyr. His is remembered in particular for the major building project of his reign, Westminster Abbey, the first Norman Romanesque church in England. This was commenced between 1042 and 1052 as a royal burial church, consecrated on 28 December 1065, completed after his death in about 1090. It was then demolished in 1245 to make way for Henry III’s new building, which still stands. It was very similar to Jumièges Abbey, which was built at the same time. Robert of Jumièges must have been closely involved in both buildings, although it is not clear which is the original and which the copy. (Source: Wikipedia.)