Bid for state recognition

Bid to protect site: The NSW Heritage Council is considering adding the entire St John's precinct to its register of historically-important areas in the state.
Bid to protect site: The NSW Heritage Council is considering adding the entire St John's precinct to its register of historically-important areas in the state.

Camden residents have been urged to write to the NSW State Heritage Register and appeal for the St John’s Anglican church precinct to be included on the prestigious list.

The Camden Residents Action Group (CRAG) is concerned the site could be developed after church staff revealed last year they were investigating the possibility of selling off land at the site.

Vacant land along Menangle Road, also known as the horse paddocks, between the church itself and the historic rectory is being considered for sale as the St John’s staff attempt to fund a proposed secondary worship site off Broughton Street.

CRAG president Glenda Davis said it was important as many people as possible packed the bid to have the whole precinct – not just the church building – included on the register.

“Inclusion on the register would mean another level of protection for the site,” Ms Davis said.

“Any developer would need to go through the heritage council before they could build.”

The heritage council is currently considering the site for inclusion on the register.

Former church warden Fletcher Joss contacted the Office of Environment and Heritage earlier this year and nominated the precinct for inclusion.

The State Heritage Register committee will meet today on Wednesday, October 4 to determine if the nomination will proceed to the next level.

Ms Davies said the site had great historical importance.

“It was given to the Anglican Church by the Macarthur family, who were the first entrepreneurs of the new colonies,” she said.

“Back then the church was so important it was like donating the site to the Camden people. We think it’s very important the site be recognised with the highest level of protection.”

Ms Davis said residents could write to the heritage committee to show their support for the precinct’s inclusion, as public sentiment would be a consideration.

Letters can be written to Gabrielle Upton at vaucluse@parliament.nsw.gov.au.

Inclusion on the State Heritage Register would mean another level of protection for the St John's precinct.

Glenda Davies, Camden Residents Action Group