11 December 2015
Mr Brian Barrett
PO Box 14
PETERSHAM NSW 2049
Dear Mr Barrett,
St Mary and St Mina Coptic Orthodox Church, 24A Railway Road, Sydenham
The National Trust writes with deep concern at the news that Marrickville Council has intentions to demolish the heritage listed St Mary and St Mina Coptic Orthodox Church at 24A Railway Road, Sydenham.
The National Trust is itself examining the listing of this property on the National Trust Register and understands from its investigations that this building has the highest social significance with the Australian Coptic Community as evidenced by a supporting letter and instructions to the church in Australia from His Holiness Pope Shenouda, 117th Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic See of St. Mark the Evangelist of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.
The National Trust understands that statements of support for the social significance of the church to Coptic Orthodox followers in Australia have also been received from the NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Nick Kaldas and Member of Parliament, Mr Edmond Atalla. The Reverend The Hon. Fred Nile, Assistant President of the NSW Legislative Council has also expressed his opposition to the demolition of this building.
The National Trust is contacting the NSW Heritage Office and the Office of the NSW Minister for Heritage on this matter and will be forwarding a more detailed submission to Council in coming days.
Council is strongly urged to take no immediate action on demolition of this building. Your response on this issue would be appreciated.
Upper Fort Street, Observatory Hill
Millers Point, NSW 2000
GPO BOX 518
Sydney NSW 2001
T +61 2 9258 0123 F +61 2 9251 1110