April 1927 – December 2021

Peter Cundall, well known to most Australians for his commitment to gardening through his unmissable garden programme on ABC, ‘Gardening Australia’. Who can forget his key ending to every programme, spoken in his irreversible Manchester accent, ‘and that’s your blooming lot.’

While respecting Peter’s wishes for complete privacy regarding his funeral, his relationship to our church and his lifelong support of the same ideals as our church, of the need to fight for world peace, worker’s rights, and against anti-capitalist exploitation must be recognised. Peter Cundall was born into the extreme poverty existing in mining areas across the UK. He was self-educated, great hearted, wise and clear eyed about the world and people’s rights. His experiences, throughout his life, including fighting in what he termed the most brutal war, in Korea shaped the man. He never faltered in his courage to speak out against what he saw as the injustices of the capitalist system everywhere. He was an internationalist in the true sense of the word.

He returned from that war and was de-mobilised in Melbourne. He said that at that time he was in despair and that the world he saw was dark and hopeless. He was angry at what he called the lies and misrepresenting of the truth by media. While in this frame of mind, he heard the then Minister of this church the Reverend Victor James speaking on radio and obtained a copy of the church journal Beacon. He said in reading that copy of the Beacon a new light shone on his life and he blessed the Melbourne Unitarian Church, Victor James and Beacon for this. He continued to subscribe to Beacon till his death.

At our 160th Anniversary in 2012, we invited Peter to be our Guest Speaker and his Address to a packed church was an inspiration. Peter spoke of his commitment to justice, peace and socialism and he stayed true to these till his passing this month.

A life well lived. A lifewell served. A life well committed.

Vale Peter


Melbournes' First Unitarian Church

Established on the 29th of November, 1852, the Melbourne Unitarian Church is one of the oldest religious organisations in Victoria.

The Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church is a church with a difference.  We impose no creedal demands and we have no liturgy you must adhere to.  Our church motto is ‘Seek the Truth & Serve Humanity’.  All of our Services, written material, programmes, committees, and work are based on this philosophy.  

Our Sunday Service, which commences at 11am, is an hour of music, inspiring words and an address based on issues of peace, the environment, social justice, democratic rights and political issues of a non-party nature.  We firmly believe that churches have a responsibility to take up all issues that affect the people.

All who care about the future of our country and its people, who support social justice, the environment and democracy, and who demand world peace, are welcome at our church.  If you are looking for a church with a difference, the Melbourne Unitarian Church may be just what you are looking for.

The church has produced a leaflet to provide a basic introduction to the tenets of our organisation: Are You A Unitarian Without Knowing It?

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 Microphone  The Unitarian Half-Hour “Seek The Truth and Serve Humanity” goes to air at 10:30 am Saturday mornings on radio 3CR, (855 on the AM dial)