St Mary's Cathedral - Sydney

Religious Architecture Sydney

Religious Architecture Sydney has many buildings  as places of public worship. Their architecture has at times been the most significant in the era, and exceptional in the architecture of Sydney. At other times, church denominations have settled on continuing a successful type, seeking to make a noticeable character across the region. Sometimes the churches seem to be building little of note. Lately the power of the established types has been seen as something to be avoided and very different concepts have been trialled. This overview makes an account of this, identifying the denominations or branches which commission the architecture. Church-building reflects the changing strengths in the denominations at different times, and so the account is sometimes patchy.

The background is Sydney as a great migrant city. Its migrants have necessarily imported its architecture with a view to transporting the culture of the old country. In Sydney there was experimentation with these traditions from the start. The adaptation to the new place began with materials, such as the great sandstone of Sydney, and then moved to siting for effect in the setting, and the adoption of Australian themes in decoration. More recently, the appropriation of salvaged buildings has become important.

This is also an account of what exists in Sydney by way of church architecture and where to find it. There are too many churches for them all to be mentioned, but readers are encouraged to seek them out.first church in Australia was built of primitive materials in just eight weeks by Reverend Richard Johnson. He was the Church of England chaplain to the colony at Sydney and paid for the work himself. Divine service was first conducted in the unnamed church on 25 August 1793. His church had a novel plan, with a three-part chamber in the shape of a T, separating three classes of people, one class being convicts. The governor’s rule of compulsory church attendance for the convicts was unpopular and the building was burned down in October 1798.