Fire has destroyed the old Anglican church, which currently operates as an op-shop, in Hastings overnight.
The fire started around 4am, and witnesses report hearing an explosion before the fire took hold.
While the fire brigade attended quickly, the weatherboard structure was completely gutted.
Quick action prevented the fire spreading to the adjoining brick church and surrounding housing.
Police are appealing for information and an arson chemist is expected to attend the scene later this morning.
Anyone with information about the fire is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
Pictures: Gary Sissons