Church land garners plenty of attention

‘A lot of interest’ surrounds sale of St John’s land

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St John’s Anglican Church, Camden, and (inset) the Camden Residents’ Action Group spoke out about the potential sale last September. Main picture: Angelo Velardo

FIFTEEN months after the Sydney Anglican Diocese first approved the sale of land surrounding St John’s Camden Anglican Church, a deal remains to be sealed.

St John’s Camden Anglican Church minister Tony Galea confirmed there had been a number of inquiries about the land.

“There has been a lot of interest but nothing formal,” Mr Galea said. “A lot of interest, you could say that.”

“I think there are just people who want to find out the situation (from) people who just want to do some sort of investment or development.”

The decision to sell 1.3ha of land surrounding the 174-year-old church, as well as the rectory, was not well-received in the Camden community.

However, Mr Galea has guaranteed the church community of Camden will be consulted as part of the sale process.

“We have still got to get congregation approval,” he said. “We would like to (bring it to the congregation) this year or early next year.

“It would be: ‘Do you want to sell the land for the building of this building?’.

“It’s still the Parish Council that makes the decision but it’s good to get a good feel of what the congregation wants. Something like that, it would be crazy to do without giving the congregation some ownership.”

The inquiries into the land follows the recent approval from Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton for the precinct to be listed on the State Heritage Register.

The listing, which will be formally gazetted on September 24, will mean any major changes will require Heritage Council of NSW approval. The precinct also will be eligible for financial incentives from the NSW and Federal governments.