Hon. Mark Speakman grants Interim Heritage Order to stop Church demolition

NSW Environment and Heritage dept logo

The Hon. Mark Speakman MP has responded to calls from Australian Coptic Heritage and Community Services to temporarily stop the demolition of the historic St. Mary and St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydenham. ACM members and supporters played a pivotal role in assisting the Australian Coptic Heritage and Community Services with their campaign. We thank Mr Speakman for responding to the concerns of the Coptic Community regarding this matter. We also thank all other MP’s and the National Trust for their support.   


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Heritage Minister Mark Speakman has made an Interim Heritage Order (IHO) for the former Coptic Church at 24a Railway Road, Sydenham.

Mr Speakman said an IHO was a temporary order for eight months, which would allow time for experts to assess the site’s potential state heritage significance.

“I have received strong representations from the Coptic community in Australia and from the National Trust, which expressed their concerns about the imminent demolition of the church building by Marrickville Council.”

“The church was the first Coptic Church in Australia, having been re-consecrated in 1968 from a former Methodist Church.”

“The IHO will allow a full assessment of the site’s values to be explored, to see whether it warrants state heritage listing. While the IHO is in force, the Heritage Council of New South Wales will be the approval body for any development on this site.”


Mark Speakman

Minister for the Environment

Minister for Heritage Assistant

Minister for Planning

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