Hi everyone! Very pleased to have this week been published by the Blacktown Advocate, part of the Telegraph group, in a short article about Australia’s community of Egyptian-Catholics.
The published piece below and my full story beneath it.
“A dream in the making,” that’s how the community of St Mark’s Coptic-Catholic church in Prospect describe the construction of their new place of worship.
The community of 200 families last week the celebrated the raising of the domes and cross to the church roof after almost 30 years of prayerful anticipation.
The laying of these decorative elements means that the church is near completion, with its official opening set for mid 2018.
“It hasn’t been a walk in the park to gather the finances we need to build this church. This has been a long journey of almost 30 years,” says Moheb Salama, Youth Coordinator at St Marks.
“Prior to the purchase of the church of the land in 1994, a small committee of our community members came together to discuss the possibility of one day purchasing this land.”
“The construction of this church has been a dream in the making.”
The land upon which the Coptic Catholic community worships at 533 Reservoir Road Prospect was purchased in 1994 and the community remains the largest Coptic Catholic community in Australia, who attend the only consecrated Coptic Catholic church building in the Southern Hemisphere.
70% of Australian Egyptians are Christian, amounting to over 35 000 Australians with Egyptian ancestry, according to the latest census data. Most of these are Coptic-Orthodox, with small communities of Egyptian Catholics in Sydney and Melbourne.
Upon its completion, the unique building will be modelled in the traditional Coptic style with ancient Coptic iconography, a new carpark and other amenities.
“At these times, where the Christian community in the Middle East faces severe persecution and Christian values are under threat in the West, the raising of the cross to the top of the church is an emblem of our hope and joy as Christians,” said Mr Salama.
“We welcome all the people of Blacktown and greater Western Sydney to join with us at our weekly Sunday morning service and to pop in and enjoy good company and delicious Egyptian food.”
The priest of the church is Father Youssef Ekladious and those wishing to make a donation to the ongoing construction of the building can visit: buildstmarks.com.