The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is planning to restore the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady and build a new theological college, library and museum.
The Cathedral has been located at 242 Cleveland Street in Redfern since 1848. The rectory was designed by John Burcham Clamp. It was an Anglican church for its first century, before being reconsecrated to the Orthodox faith in 1970.
“The Archdiocese constitutes a sacred space and is at the epicentre of the Greek Orthodox presence in Australia,” His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia said.
“The newly created facilities will bring us closer together, and most importantly, will enable our young people to have their own space within the Archdiocese and our Theological College.”
His Eminence said he hoped the plans would inspire all Greek Australians to develop and maintain a deeper connection to the Church, as well as to our ancestral culture, language and traditions.
It is also listed on the state heritage register for its significance as an “early ecclesiastical design in the architectural career of Edmund Blacket. Originally St Paul’s Anglican Church, its Decorated Gothic design became one of the established architectural models for parish church construction throughout NSW.”
“This item is also significant as the Greek Orthodox Cathedral for Australia and for its association with the migrant communities that settled in NSW following the Second World War. Establishing churches and maintaining the orthodox faith has always been a significant aspect of the Greek-Australian experience and, since the conversion and re-consecration of the church to the Orthodox faith in 1970, the cathedral has become a centre for worship and the continuity and celebration of Greek customs, traditions and language,” it added.
The Honorary Secretary and Trustee of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Consolidated Trust, Nicholas Pappas said the masterplan was an ambitious and long-term project that will ultimately enable the Church to better-connect and engage with the Greek Australian and broader Australian community.
“The proposal is necessary not only to repair ageing and deteriorating infrastructure of the Archdiocese but will also improve functionality and ensure the Archdiocese’s facilities meet the needs of our community,” Mr Pappas said.
The proposal which is designed by award-winning Greek Australian architect, Angelo Candalepas, consists of five stages and is to be realised over the course of two decades with a total budget of approximately $27 million.
Mr Candalepas said the plan fulfils the Archdiocese’s duty as custodian of an important site. “It will ensure that this site and its surrounding areas will be here for many generations to come.”