The foundation stone for the church was laid for St. Ambrose Church in 1869. The newspaper of the time reports:
"The weather was beautifully fine, and about 800 persons from the various parts of the surrounding district were present at the sacred ceremonies. The want of a Catholic Church in Brunswick has been severely felt for a long time by the Catholics of the Borough, who are obliged to go to Coburg to Mass or come to Melbourne. The land for the church was donated by Mr. Michael Dawson, a resident of the neighbourhood. In 1873 the church was completed at a cost of 6,000 pounds."
In those days, there was an Italian family in the Parish, maybe the only Italian family in the area at that time, and this family came from Milan. The Italian family suggested Saint Ambrose as the name for the Parish because St Ambrose was a bishop in Milan in the 4th century. In 1888 Brunswick was proclaimed a town and it had a population of 14,792. In 1890, St. Ambrose became a parish in its own right, being cut off from the Coburg parish.
With the need for more room, the church was extended in 1899 when the transepts, with the sanctuary and the two chapels, the porch and the baptistry were added. The memorial stone was laid near the door of the northern transepts on 19 February, 1899. The Parish Church building, is of a late Gothic style, and is one of the finer churches of Melbourne, built in bluestone, with a timber supported ceiling, a 19th century organ and high quality stained glass windows. Most recently extensive restoration of the church was carried out, both inside and out, beginning in the year 2000.
This post is part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.