Sydenham Green - former Coptic Church site


A public art and landscape interpretation of the former Coptic church will be created in Sydenham Green when the building is demolished in early 2016.

Council is seeking stories, memories and images from the local community and the Coptic and Methodist communities that worshipped here. The project designer will use these to inform the design for a public artwork that honours the site’s history and the creativity of the Sydenham-St Peters area. The design will incorporate items salvaged from the site including the original foundation stones and the memorial plaque in the front fence.


Background

The building which originally housed

A public art and landscape interpretation of the former Coptic church will be created in Sydenham Green when the building is demolished in early 2016.

Council is seeking stories, memories and images from the local community and the Coptic and Methodist communities that worshipped here. The project designer will use these to inform the design for a public artwork that honours the site’s history and the creativity of the Sydenham-St Peters area. The design will incorporate items salvaged from the site including the original foundation stones and the memorial plaque in the front fence.


Background

The building which originally housed the Tempe Park Methodist Church opened in 1884 and was expanded in 1902 as the Methodist congregation grew. In 1968 the Coptic community purchased the building and it was reconsecrated as St Mary and St Mina's Coptic Church. It was the first Coptic Church in Australia and the first owned by Coptic migrants outside of Egypt.

Sydenham Green was created in 1994 when the third runway was built at Kingsford Smith Airport and 152 homes, made uninhabitable due to aircraft noise, were demolished. The St Mary and St Mina's Church moved to Bexley in 2001.

The former church building is severely degraded and beyond restoration. Attempts over many years to repurpose it by Council and the Coptic community have been unsuccessful. Council will soon demolish the building and commemorate the site’s history in a public art and landscape interpretation, informed by the community's memories.

Read updated information about the project in the news section below

Read the history of the project in the FAQs section.


Queries

Contact Fiona Cui Parks Project Manager 2 9392 5586 fiona.cui@innerwest.nsw.gov.au


  • Construction completed

    12 days ago
    Img 0495


    The Sydenham Green Landscape interpretation project on the former Coptic Church site is now completed.


    The Sydenham Green Landscape interpretation project on the former Coptic Church site is now completed.

  • Construction to start late October 2018

    7 months ago

    Council will be carrying out construction works for the Sydenham Green Landscape Interpretation project, in late October 2018.

    The plans were developed with community input and are guided by the Sydenham Green Master Plan.

    Council is committed to delivering high quality, cost effective infrastructure and facilities for the community of the inner west. It is investing $380,000 to bring you this project which is part of the $18m investment that Inner West Council will spend on Parks Capital Works in the 18/19 financial year.

    Areas of the park south of Railway Road will be temporarily closed to public access during...

    Council will be carrying out construction works for the Sydenham Green Landscape Interpretation project, in late October 2018.

    The plans were developed with community input and are guided by the Sydenham Green Master Plan.

    Council is committed to delivering high quality, cost effective infrastructure and facilities for the community of the inner west. It is investing $380,000 to bring you this project which is part of the $18m investment that Inner West Council will spend on Parks Capital Works in the 18/19 financial year.

    Areas of the park south of Railway Road will be temporarily closed to public access during the works. Hours of work will be 7:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. It’s anticipated work will be completed in January 2019. View the plans here


  • Council resolves to go ahead with new landscape plan for the site

    11 months ago

    At its meeting on 12 June 2018, Council considered a report outlining the community engagement and designs for a landscape interpretation for the former Coptic Church site at Sydenham Green.
    Read the council report here.

    See the revised concept design here


    Council resolved to

    1. endorse the revised concept design for tender and construction of Stage 1 works; and

    2. consider funding of Stage 2 works in future capital works programs.

    Construction will commence late 2018 and it is expected that a formal Coptic Church dedication event will held on completion of the interpretive memorial prior to or in coordination with the Church’s 50th year celebrations in January 2019.

    At its meeting on 12 June 2018, Council considered a report outlining the community engagement and designs for a landscape interpretation for the former Coptic Church site at Sydenham Green.
    Read the council report here.

    See the revised concept design here


    Council resolved to

    1. endorse the revised concept design for tender and construction of Stage 1 works; and

    2. consider funding of Stage 2 works in future capital works programs.

    Construction will commence late 2018 and it is expected that a formal Coptic Church dedication event will held on completion of the interpretive memorial prior to or in coordination with the Church’s 50th year celebrations in January 2019.
  • Fire damages Coptic Church - demolition to proceed

    about 2 years ago

    The former Coptic Church on Railway Road in Sydenham sustained serious damage during a fire on the night of Tuesday 2 May 2017

    Council’s priority is to ensure the safety of staff, contractors and pedestrians.

    The police and fire services have undertaken independent investigations into the fire that took place.

    The back portion of the building has been heavily damaged and will be demolished immediately.

    The rest of the building will be dismantled and items will be salvaged for an interpretation and landscaping installation. It is expected that the demolition of the building will be completed by the end of...

    The former Coptic Church on Railway Road in Sydenham sustained serious damage during a fire on the night of Tuesday 2 May 2017

    Council’s priority is to ensure the safety of staff, contractors and pedestrians.

    The police and fire services have undertaken independent investigations into the fire that took place.

    The back portion of the building has been heavily damaged and will be demolished immediately.

    The rest of the building will be dismantled and items will be salvaged for an interpretation and landscaping installation. It is expected that the demolition of the building will be completed by the end of July and the landscaping and interpretation completed December.

    Even before this fire, the building required extensive work – estimated at $5 million – to make it useable.

    Read more
  • Demolition of Coptic Church on hold

    over 3 years ago

    Council received an Interim Heritage Order (IHO) from the Minister of Heritage on 24 December 2015. Demolition has been placed on hold awaiting assessment by the Heritage Council of NSW of the heritage significance of the building and whether listing on the State Heritage Register is warranted. Council resolved to take no action to demolish the Coptic Church until completion of assessment by the Heritage Council of NSW and the lifting of the IHO. Read more in the Council business paper.

    Council received an Interim Heritage Order (IHO) from the Minister of Heritage on 24 December 2015. Demolition has been placed on hold awaiting assessment by the Heritage Council of NSW of the heritage significance of the building and whether listing on the State Heritage Register is warranted. Council resolved to take no action to demolish the Coptic Church until completion of assessment by the Heritage Council of NSW and the lifting of the IHO. Read more in the Council business paper.