Reverend Ted Brush admits the new Anglican church earmarked for Glenbrook will raise some eyebrows when it replaces the familiar A-frame building at the entrance to Glenbrook come spring this year.
“It is different isn’t it?” he tells the Blue Mountains Gazette of the artist drawings.
“Though I think it fits into our local community quite well and being ‘un-churchlike’ is a bit of a relative term anyway — after all, in biblical times there were no churches like we have them today — maybe we could call it non-traditional?”
Reverend Brush came to look after the Lower Mountains parish three years ago and set about trying to get the plans for the new St Peter’s Anglican Church at the corner of Wascoe and Raymond Streets off the drawing board and into action.
While he had no input into the design “it was finalised well before I took up my role in this parish,” he admits “for what it’s worth, I like it”.
Last week construction workers removed the sandstone bricks at the front of the 46-year-old landmark building — the sandstone will have another life as a feature in the foyer of the new centre — and the asbestos was also carefully taken away.
It is all part of the eight month-long process of knocking down and rebuilding.
The building will increase in size from seating 110 parishioners to 250 seats in a large auditorium with room for Sunday school.
“It’s done it’s job, but we simply couldn’t hold all our congregation in there,” he said.
A Seven Hills building company, Reitsma Constructions, won the tender for the project. The company has a long history of working with religious groups and safety manager Frank Jobse said there was often delays in getting these types of projects off the ground.
“We end up having to work with committees that have all sorts of different ideas — one project in Wollongong took 10 years — everybody wants to be involved.”
Mr Jobse said the steel and brick veneer building project, including fit-out, would cost $2.7 million money. The church announced five years ago that the building would go and had raised the funds, said Reverend Brush, through the sale of “excess property, gifts from parishioners and a bank loan”.
This will be the fourth Anglican church to be built in Glenbrook.
The first was erected in December 1896 in Hare Street, it was replaced in 1926 by a church at the current site before being moved in 1967 to make way for the A-frame building.
The current St Peter’s church officially closed on January 20 this year and the congregation has been meeting at Blaxland High School, with the Children’s Ministry using five classrooms and the staff room.
“Blaxland High has been so supportive and that’s been great but it’s not under one roof.”
While the senior minister is confident the new modern building will be complete for September, he’s not yet ready to take wedding bookings.
“I wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone.”