The book Campaigns, Causes and Commitments: The Continuing Story of St Kilda Church in the Balaclava Community was written by Maureen Walker, a member of our St Kilda Uniting Church congregation. It tells the continuing story of a small church in working class Balaclava, a suburb of Melbourne. Due to its location, and its roots in Wesleyan Methodism, social welfare issues and concern for the marginalised have been prominent throughout its 140 year history of the congregation. Campaigns, Causes and Commitments is therefore not just an account of the ‘bricks and mortar’ of the church buildings. Rather, it is a story of a group of people of faith diligently seeking to meet the needs of their local community.
Introducing the Book
Interview with the Author: Maureen Walker
How did you join Uniting Church and what is your relationship to St Kilda Uniting Church?
I grew up in rural Tasmania in pre-Uniting Church times and was part of the local Methodist Church and Sunday School. Although I have lived in St. Kilda for an extensive period I did not become actively involved in the local Uniting Church until about ten years ago.
When did you start being interested in St Kilda Uniting Church’s history?
After retirement from paid work I completed university studies with a history focus thinking that, perhaps, an involvement in recording local histories might follow. I then became aware that the St. Kilda Uniting Church in Balaclava had had a presence in its local community for almost 140 years but few details were known.
What was the main motivation to write the book?
It seemed to me that any organisation, or institution, that had existed for so long would likely have a story worth investigating and telling. A number of other members of the congregation were also interested and hence the research commenced. It needs to be stressed though that we had little idea where it would lead – would the outcome be a manuscript of just a few pages or would it be something more? It is fair to say though that no-one envisaged a book – certainly not me.
What kind of publications have you authored or co-authored before?
I had no experience whatsoever in authoring a book, my only history writing having been confined to university studies.
What will be your next book about?
I have no plans for a further book.