Parishioner vote will decide fate of St John’s land sale

Passive protest: Anti-sale advocates hold signs outside the church before services on Sunday. Picture: Brett Atkins
Passive protest: Anti-sale advocates hold signs outside the church before services on Sunday. Picture: Brett Atkins

Parishioners from St John’s Anglican Church, Camden cast their votes for or against the impending sale of church land at services on Sunday.

Church leaders are considering selling three parcels of land at the site – the horse paddocks, historic rectory and an adjoining property on Alpha Road – to aged care providers The Moran Group for $7.7 million.

Parishioners were asked to share their thoughts on the sale via secret ballot during three services.

Any members of the congregation who could not make the services have until Friday to hand in their votes in person at the church.

Minister Tony Galea said he was positive the church would achieve the two-thirds majority parishioner support needed for the sale to continue.

“I’m quietly confident we’ll get the majority,” he said.

“But you never know how it will turn out.”

Rev Galea said there was a slightly larger turn-out for each of Sunday’s services.

He said the votes would be tallied this coming weekend and would be taken to the next Parish Council meeting – October 8 – for finalisation.

Camden resident Sue Cross – a vocal opponent to the proposed sale – organised a ‘passive protest’ before each service on Sunday.

She had signs made and spoke to parishioners about community opposition to the sale.

“It was a peaceful, polite way for us to let parishioners know that there are people in the community who do not want this to go ahead,” she said.

“Some people driving by stopped and asked us what we were doing and they didn’t even know about the sale.

“This doesn’t just affect the church, it affects the whole community.”