Donations and Bequests to St Peter's

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St Peter's Eastern Hill is the historic Anglican parish church of Melbourne, founded in 1846. It is a beautiful place of worship in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Bequests to the parish and donations to St Peter's are always welcome since we rely on the generosity of our parishioners and supporters for our survival. The regular offertory which is part of worship services goes some way towards meeting expenses, but bequests and special donations are important for the longer term survival of the parish.

This page is provided to help potential donors and bequestors with information about ways in which tax-deductible donations can be made, and provision for the parish can be included in your will through a formal bequest. Follow the links below to access information relevant to your wishes.



For many people, the possibility of tax deductibility is a significant factor in any decision they make about where they will donate, and how much they might give, particularly for larger donations. There are three ways in which a person can make a tax-deductible donation to St Peter's.


St Peter's Eastern Hill Melbourne Charitable Foundation

This Foundation was established in 1999 to support the activities of St Peter's Church of the City of Melbourne, in so far as they relate to the benefit and support of people in necessitous circumstances and the restoration and maintenance of the buildings used for the benefit of persons in such circumstances.

The Foundation therefore helps further the charitable work of St Peter's among those in need in the district. In particular, as an inner city parish, St Peter's recognizes a particular ministry among the homeless and unemployed of the inner suburbs of Melbourne. In partnership with Anglicare Victoria, the Foundation runs a breakfast program for the homeless and other people in need, and funds a part-time chaplain who ministers to those who attend this program. The Foundation is also involved in other initiatives which support people in need, and can assist St Peter's directly by contributing to the maintenance and upkeep of those parts of the church precinct that are regularly used by clients of the breakfast program.

Meszaros bronze of the Magnificat

The Magnificat

Tax-deductible donations to the Foundation can be made at any time by contacting the St Peter's Parish Office at 15 Gisborne Street, or by speaking to the Vicar or one of the Churchwardens. Direct payment by EFT can be made to the Foundation bank account at Westpac: BSB: 033 009, A/c No: 505 321. Please write your name in the payer's instructions, and contact the parish office to give your details for the provision of a donation receipt for taxation purposes. The Foundation is also has a website giving further information, with provision for making a donation.

The National Trust of Victoria

The National Trust recognizes that the church and other buildings of the St Peter's precinct have national heritage value so the National Trust runs a tax-deductible building fund for the church. St Peter's is the oldest parish church in Melbourne that is still on its original site. Work to construct the church began in 1846 when the colony of Melbourne on the banks of the Yarra river was in its infancy. The buildings on the site have great historical and architectural significance but, given their age, these heritage buildings are expensive to maintain.

The building fund run through the National Trust has a specific charter to provide for expenditure "on the interior or exterior of the buildings within the St Peter's precinct, on such musical instruments or art statues paintings memorials bells and other things as constitute fixtures fittings or appurtenances of such buildings and on the gardens fences and other surroundings of such buildings when and where and so often as need shall be." What this rather legalistic wording amounts to is that tax-deductible donations to the building fund can be used to pay for much of the maintenance work required by the parish.

Donations to this building fund can be made through the parish office, or by sending a cheque directly to:

National Trust of Australia (Victoria)
Tasma Terrace, 4 Parliament Place,
East Melbourne, Victoria 3002

Cheques should be made payable to 'The National Trust (Vic) – External Appeals Account', with additional notation on the back of the cheque stipulating the St Peter's Eastern Hill Building Fund. Make sure you also provide your contact details for the sending of a receipt. Donations can also be made by EFT using the following details of the Trust's Westpac bank account: BSB: 033 000, A/c No: 937 419. The National Trust deducts a 4% administration fee from all donations to this building fund.

Meszaros bronze of St Augustine

St Augustine

The Melbourne Anglican Cultural Organization

At St Peter's, music has long been a central element of our Anglo-Catholic tradition of worship. Canon Handfield introduced a surpliced choir in 1862, even though this was contrary to the preferred tradition of the then Bishop, The Rt Rev'd Charles Perry. However, in 1865 Bishop Perry eventually reached a compromise with Handfield when he declared a limited number of churches – including St Peter's – to be, in the words of the rubric, 'places where they sing'. A paid organist, paid choristers and a music director have been a feature of the liturgical tradition at St Peter's ever since.

The maintenance of this tradition of fine musical performance in worship is, however, expensive, and donations from those who wish to help in maintaining the highest standard of music at St Peter's are always welcome.

Meszaros bronze of St Hilda

St Hilda

The Diocese of Melbourne has become more liberal in its attitude to music and choirs in churches since Bishop Perry's time. The Melbourne Anglican Cultural Organization was established in 2005 with tax exempt status in order to accept tax-deductible donations for music programs in churches of the Melbourne diocese. The choir and music at St Peter's are an approved cultural project under the terms of this organisation.

Donations to this music fund can be made through the parish office, or by sending a cheque directly to:

The Secretary, The Melbourne Anglican Cultural Organisation Inc.,
The Anglican Centre, 209 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Cheques should be made payable to 'The Melbourne Anglican Cultural Organisation Gift Fund', with additional notation on the back of the cheque stipulating that the donation is for St Peter's Eastern Hill Choir and Music. Make sure you also provide your contact details for the sending of a receipt. The Anglican Centre may deduct a small administration fee from such donations.



This information page has been prepared in answer to questions from a number of Parishioners about leaving a bequest to St Peter's. It is not intended to be used as a 'Do it yourself Will' kit. Rather, it points out the importance of having a current Will and indicates how you can include St Peter's in it.

Remember that, if you die without a valid Will, your estate will be administered in accordance with the law. This may not be in accordance with your wishes. So when making or altering your Will in any way, do seek the advice and guidance of your solicitor.

Wills are a means of providing for the continuation of your life's witness, caring for those you love, and for fulfilling your community responsibilities. Whilst suggesting that you might like to remember St Peter's in your Will, we recognize that family and other commitments may also have a claim on your estate. For many of us, although we may wish to give more while we are alive, this may not be possible, and a bequest is a way in which you can make a lasting contribution to the parish without significantly impacting your family and other beneficiaries.

Meszaros bronze Memorial over the Crypt

Memorial over the Crypt

Should you wish to include St Peter's in your Will, there are two basic forms of bequest of which you should be aware. A bequest can be either UNRESTRICTED or RESTRICTED. These terms are defined below.

An UNRESTRICTED bequest does not specify the purpose or intention other than that the bequest be available for use by St Peter's. However, current diocesan regulations mean that 16% of unrestricted bequests must go to the Diocese once the capital is drawn down into the Parish Accounts.

A RESTRICTED bequest arises when money is designated to be used for some specific purpose which a donor believes to be important: for example, a trust fund for the payment of assisting clergy and curates; for providing Vestments and Servers Robes; for Choral Scholarships; for the purchase and maintenance of Ornaments and Artworks for the church; or for some other specified particular purpose. Diocesan assessment is not payable on bequests that are restricted in this way.

However, it should be pointed out that it can be time consuming to administer many small specific bequests. With this in mind, you can direct your bequest to a special fund administered by the Parish Council in which your capital is kept in trust in perpetuity, with only the income generated being available for parish purposes. Such a provision avoids diocesan assessment on the amount of the bequest, and is an effective way for you to ensure that your bequest will continue to support the parish of St Peter's into the future. In effect, it enables you to continue a regular weekly offering for ever, even after you are dead.

If it is your desire that your bequest be directed to the work of St Peter's among the homeless, unemployed and others of the district living in poverty, then the bequest can be made directly to the St Peter's Charitable Foundation which was set up for these purposes.

Please feel free to discuss the various options with the Vicar, one of the Churchwardens, or with the Treasurer. The Vicar, at least, should be consulted before any more restricted bequest is contemplated. In addition, should you consider a more restricted bequest, an alternative should also be nominated at the time of making the bequest, perhaps by making a provision that a restricted bequest should revert to the general Preserved Capital Fund in case the more specific intention is impossible to fulfill.

Meszaros bronze of St Columba

St Columba

Forms of Bequest

I direct my executor to pay ............% of my residual estate, or an amount of .................................. dollars clear of all deductions (delete as appropriate) to:

The Anglican Church of St Peter's Eastern Hill,
15 Gisborne Street
Melbourne Victoria 3002

to be held by the Parish Council of St Peter's in a Perpetual Trust, with the income being made available for the general purposes of the parish.



to be applied by the Parish Council of St Peter's for the purposes of




I direct my executor to pay ............% of my residual estate, or an amount of .................................. dollars clear of all deductions (delete as appropriate) to:

The St Peter's Eastern Hill Melbourne Charitable Foundation for the relief of persons in necessitous circumstances, such as the homeless, unemployed and those of the district living in poverty.

In each case, the following words may be added:

AND I DECLARE that the receipt of a Trustee, Secretary, Treasurer or other proper officer shall be full and sufficient discharge to my executor for the payment of the said legacy and that my executor shall not be bound to see the application thereof.


Funeral Planning Guide

As well as making a will, consideration should be given to what form you wish your funeral to take. A form is included below that will help lead you through the process of planning for this. Although this form has no legal status, it is meant to help you engage in planning for your funeral, and can be kept in a safe place with your will so that your family know your preferences in this important matter.

Click here to download this Funeral planning guide.

The Handfield Club

Those who indicate that they have made provision for St Peter's in their Will are automatically members of the Handfield Club. This club is named in honour of the Rev'd Henry Handfield, who was vicar of St Peter's from 1854 until his death in 1900. The Handfield Club is a small way in which the parish acknowledges the important contribution that bequests make towards ensuring the financial future of St Peter's. Members of the club meet once or twice a year for an informal lunch.

Meszaros bronze of St Agnes

St Agnes


A brochure outlining the options for making a tax-deductible donation can be downloaded here...
A brochure outlining the options for bequests to St Peter's can be downloaded here...


Notes: The photograph in the header to this page is a detail from the Wayside Cross on the Corner of Albert and Gisborne Streets. The other images used on these pages are details from the memorial bronze reliefs by Andor Meszaros that line the Sanctuary wall behind the High Altar. These bronze plaques are used to record the names of those whose ashes are stored in the Crypt behind the High Altar.


Parish Office: telephone 9662 2391
fax: 9662 2400
Office hours: 9.00am to 1.00pm

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