List of MP’s and NGO’s that support saving the Coptic Church at Sydenham, Sydney.

Photo sydenham 8.5.17

It is important that the Coptic Community and broader Australian public be well informed of the current politicians, NGO’s and community leaders that support ACHCS in its efforts to save this iconic site which has now become a place of pilgrimage for many members of the community.  It is our intention to ensure that all who support this cause during this critical period are openly acknowledged.  

List of MP’s and organisations that have continued to support saving the Coptic Church at Sydenham, Sydney.

As of today, 17 May 2017, the iconic church at Sydenham is miraculously still standing. Earlier this month,
the unelected Inner West Council (former Marrickville Council) moved to demolish the historic church following
a reported deliberate arson attack on 2 May 2017. The fire reportedly resulted in minimal fire damage due to the great efforts of the local fire station crew who arrived promptly at the scene.

Led by Miss Hanan Ghabour, The Australian Coptic Heritage & Community Services (ACHCS), members of the Coptic Orthodox
community and many NGO’s (including our own) have been campaigning to permanently save and renovate the building at
24A Railway Road, Sydenham since November 2015 following the conclusion of negotiations between the then
Marrickville Council and the Coptic Diocese of Sydney.

Despite all efforts, community support and many valid factors in our favour, dismayingly, the recent negotiations resulted in the council deciding to demolish the church.

The ACHCS is now strongly lobbying the NSW Government to intervene to save this historic church from demolition.
The Church was originally built in 1884 as a Methodist church. It was purchased by Coptic immigrant pioneers in 1969 and
became the first ever Coptic Orthodox Church purchased outside of the Nile Valley. The church was named ‘St Mary and
St Mina’ and was founded during the reign of the St. Pope Cyril VI (Pope Kirollos). The church also contains war memorial
plaques dedicated to Australian soldiers.

The Coptic Orthodox Community throughout Australia and around the world is strongly backing the efforts of ACHCS in trying
to salvage this sacred and historic site by stopping demolition and requesting that it be heritage listed at NSW state level
then handed back to Coptic Community via ACHCS so that immediate restoration works can commence.

Listed below are names of politicians, NGO’s and community leaders that have actively and publicly supported saving this church since the beginning of this month by either delivering a speech in parliament or issuing a public statement. We encourage previous MP’s that have supported this cause to re-affirm their support now.

Their continued support and efforts are certainly recognised and sincerely appreciated. 


Hon Anthony Albanese MP – Federal member for Grayndler, Shadow minister for Infrastucture, Transport, Cities and Tourism.

Rev the Hon Fred Nile MLC  – Leader, Christian Democratic Party and Assistant President, Legislative Council of NSW Parliament.

Mr Luke Foley, MP – Member for Auburn, Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Western Sydney (ALP).

Mr Craig Kelly MP – Federal Member for Hughes (LNP)


National Trust of Australia  

Marrickville Heritage Society

H.G Bishop Anba Suriel

Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Melbourne & Affiliated regions

H.G. Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel

Bishop for Sydney Australia

Christ The Good Shepherd Assyarian Church

Pastor Chris Athavle – Smithfield Baptist Church

Mr George I Abraham
Member of the Board
Australian Christian Nation Association

Mr Milan Maksimovic
Serbian Community – Care Connect


-end of list-

To be added to this list we request that you email ACHCS or ACM at with a copy of your letter or links to hansard/ media reports.

We will update this list on a daily basis from now until the issue of the Sydenham is finally settled.

The Australian Coptic Movement Association

UPDATE: Unfortunately the demolition was fully executed on 26 May 2017.

15 May - vigil outside Sydenham church on Tuesday night.

15 May – vigil outside Sydenham church on Tuesday night.

Sydenham rally image Albo and Fred

6 May – rally outside Sydenham church. From left to right Miss Hanan Ghabour (ACHCS), Rev Hon Fred Nile and Hon Anthony Albanese.


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