This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol5", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
For a country with but limited traditions and without an Established Church, Australia has considerable work to show in church and school building. And if her own traditions be but short, the traditions of her colonists, hieing back as they have done to the old world, have brought with them the spirit and the atmosphere of those memories that have enriched the land of their fathers with ecclesiastical art. Each man has built according to his convictions, and the various denominations have shown a desire to establish in a new land those structural and decorative forms that have been for the centuries clustered around their shrines. Hence there has been great diversity of style, rather more marked perhaps by adherence to old forms than to new conditions, but yet showing signs here and there of some virility and conformity to climate and circumstance.
The practice of the colonial Governments in granting for religious purposes free sites of land in cities and townships gave the first impulse to church building, and many of these sites have since, with the advance of the cities, become of the greatest value, and in some cases sources of large revenue, several of the most conspicuous sites in such cities as Melbourne and Sydney being occupied by church property. Added, then, to private generosity and the establishment of bishoprics and chief churches, there are many large and fine Australian churches to-day, some finished, others with well-laid schemes await their final completion.