The story of a shopfront on the Sydney Road
264 Sydney Road has been connected with Christ Church on Glenlyon Road since it was built with the adjoining property, currently a dentist, in 1888 on land owned by the Church and leased to developers.
The Stafford Buildings, as the property is called, standing on the intersection of Sydney and Glenlyon opposite the historic Brunswick Town Hall, has had a long and varied history since then, and has 'watched' Brunswick change and develop into the vibrant and multicultural community it is today.
It's first tenant was a Miss Mahoney, who in 1890 established her 'Underwear Emporium' in the property. We reckon she must have been a purveyor of all things fancy in the nether regions department. When 130 years later the parish of Christ Church decided to establish 'The Lamb and Flag' as a social enterprise cafe, our decorator uncovered a hidden and hand painted fancy frieze that we are pretty certain dates from Miss Mahoney's time. Delicately painted, creating just the right ambiance for the 'delicacies' on offer to the ladies of Brunswick!
Between times, 264 has been home to a chemist and dentist, a confectioner, for over 20 years a hairdresser, an estate agent and most recently for almost twenty years an art studio.
and now, among other things its a home for barista vicars....
In November 2021, Bishop Lindsay, the parish vicar began pouring coffees and selling pastries to all comers at 'The Lamb' ably assisted by the team from Christ Church, who want nothing more than to provide a warm welcome and hospitality to the people of Brunswick. And we are delighted that Miss Mahoney's frieze once again graces the establishment, uncovering a bit of precious Brunswick history!
You can read elsewhere about our fare at our licenced cafe, and about the activities as they develop at 'The Lamb'.
A CAFE with a DIFFERENCE..
We are a SOCIAL ENTERPRISE and are committed to ploughing back any profits from the cafe into community activities in and around the Christ Church 'precinct'.
So, for example, on Thursdays, instead of opening as the usual cafe, we are open serving a free take away lunch to all who would like it. In this venture we join with the Salvos and others providing for the needs of those who in these days can do with a bit of help. But all are welcome. We don't ask any questions, just offer food and friendship.
During 2021 we will be establishing a regular thing called 'The Lamb - a thinking place' offering the opportunity for relaxed discussion over a beer or glass of wine, or something soft on matters of interest and current affairs..
And we want 'The Lamb' to be a place of hospitality for musos, especially young musos, looking for an informal place to perform. The relaxed and intimate atmosphere of the cafe space, spilling out as it does onto the land next door, soon to be developed as an urban park by the Moreland Council.
The cafe is available for small groups needing a venue for evening meetings or receptions at reasonable rates.
So, for us at Christ Church this is a new adventure! In the midst of the changes and chances of Brunswick, for 165 years the church with its distinctive Italianate bell tower has remained a place of stability and faith on Glenlyon Road. Now we are also Christ Church on Sydney, just wanting to add to the good that is going on in this neighbourhood....