Old photos show how the garden around St Paul's has changed so much

NEW LOOK: Dawn and Peter Williams with McKenzie Graham and George King in front of the obscured St Pauls.
NEW LOOK: Dawn and Peter Williams with McKenzie Graham and George King in front of the obscured St Pauls.

Ever since the notion of purchasing the historic St Paul's Anglican Church in Carcoar was first mooted, George King and the other directors of the St Paul's Community Facility have been dreaming big.

For their plans to turn the church into a true community space the location has to be transformed from being simply a church, with all the rudimentary facilities that come with them, into a self-sustaining, financially independent community centre that will last well into the future.

The first sign of change is in fact just that, the sign, and in coming weeks the thrum of machinery will be heard around the church.

OBSCURED: The church is barely visible from the road.

OBSCURED: The church is barely visible from the road.

Now called St Paul's Community Facility, Mr King said that the plans include a new toilet block and canteen, retaining walls and a deck that looks out over the village.

"Our main source of income will be weddings," he said. "To do that we need to have the facilities in place where the guests can mingle afterwards.

In 1984 the church wasn't as obscured by trees as it is now. Photo: Mark Logan.

In 1984 the church wasn't as obscured by trees as it is now. Photo: Mark Logan.

"On the northern side of the church is a brilliant sunny spot which is where the toilet block and canteen will be built. This is where we can hold community markets and all sorts of special events."

Revealing the church to the public will be the very first project undertaken, and that won't be an easy task.

A long line of invasive bamboo, scattered with privet and cotoneaster, have taken over the garden whilst a number of statuesque Holm Oaks will be trimmed into shape.

The northern side of the church where the toilet block and community area will be.

The northern side of the church where the toilet block and community area will be.

"Once we remove the weeds we'll have to put some heavy matting down to suffocate the bamboo and then plant a row of silver birch along the fence line," Mr King said.

"Then we're going to install some timed LED floodlights to show the church off for a few hours at night."

The retaining walls will have a stone facade put in place and the timber deck will also reflect the history of the site.

An artist's impression of how the new building will look.

An artist's impression of how the new building will look.

"The railing will be made from wrought iron similar to those around some of the graves, and also looking like the new wrought iron gates we're having built for the top gate," Mr King said.

Thanks to continuing donations, including one very large one made after the original amount needed was reached, and support from the community, Mr King is hoping to see the official opening sooner rather than later.

"We hope to have an opening ceremony here towards the end of the year," he said.

HAVE YOUR SAY:

Send us your thoughts with a letter to the editor: