A Current Affair Joins Fight to Save Iconic Church

Despite claims to the contrary the decision by the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst to sell St Pauls at Carcoar isn't just about finding the money to pay restitution to victims of sexual abuse by the church. Let's face it, in 2013 the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst was already in deep financial trouble when it sought a $40m loan from the Commonwealth Bank. The money was spent on two new start-up schools which failed to meet enrolment expectations, a new cathedral bell tower in Bathurst and the Bathurst Goldfields function centre owned by the church. In 2013 the diocese defaulted on the repayments, reportedly still owing more than $36 million. In March 2016 Bishop Ian Palmer of the Bathurst Diocese was interviewed for the Financial Review. "We're going to have to make challenging decisions," he said. "That's an absolute certainty and together we're going to have to prioritise where and how ministry is done." No churches or graveyards will be sold, he said.

So what happened? Well, it seems that parishioners of the district churches are now paying for the financial mismanagement of the Anglican hierarchy. On Monday @ 1pm A Current Affair will be at St. Paul's. The reporter is Brady Halls. Brady and the crew will be there again on Tuesday at 9am. While it is important that people have their say, everyone needs to be mindful that it is not a banner wielding process but a sensible explanation of the facts. What can you do? You can throw your support behind the move to save St Pauls at Carcoar by attending for the filming on Monday and Tuesday.

The Carcoar community would like to thank all those who have already shown their supoport in the fight to save the iconic St Pauls. The Facebook posts have been viewed thousands of times and have prompted hundreds of comments. Here are some of the comments from across Facebook:

Tania Wills Financial mismanagement of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst should definitely not have any detrimental result on the churches and parishioners of the district churches such as Mandurama and Carcoar. As many locals will agree the sale of these valuable assets will not go close covering the debt created by those who were supposed to be in control of the Diocese’s assets. You made the mess now you need to fix it up without selling our places of worship. Our churches belong to us that maintain, clean and spend our money on them. If our village churches are considered for sale this is completely wrong. They should be returned to the local communities without doubt. Pay your debt that you made without consulting your parishioners some other way and good luck doing it.

Chris D Burgess Why wouldn't you want to save it ? Its bloody beautiful

Ann Graham I just wonder how much the Church still owes the banks. This might just them trying for a soft sell.

Vicki Powys It's more about Anglican church going broke because of poor investment strategies.

Mark Oldrey What would a historic village be without it's beautiful historic church...it's such an irreplaceable gem! I always go into St Paul's when I visit Carcoar. It's so old worldy and peaceful.

Angela George Vicki Happ speaking as someone who has worked in the heritage management industry for a few decades, government and philanthropic grants aside, that’s quite a narrow view of the revenue earning opportunities heritage buildings offer. Something as simple as making the building and grounds available for hire to wedding parties for photographs can bring in thousands of dollars for a single use. Rather than looking at it as a burdensome money pit, it should be considered as a fabulous financially self supporting opportunity that offers so much to the community in terms of spirit and sense of place. Good luck to the people of Carcoar, don’t give up on the fight to make sure your past has a future

Michael Alexander Stokes In April this year I drove to Carcoar to see the village and this beautiful church , it should be saved at all and any cost , the church and setting is iconic , how can they possibly even consider abandoning / selling / stripping or loosing this church

Sue Murphy Legalized vandalism on a very heartless scale

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