Virtually walk through the city

Virtually walk through the city

With COVID-19 temporarily shutting a lot of church buildings, Warren French found a sudden use for his hobby of photographing churches.

“During the COVID lockdown I was looking for something interesting to do with the spare time I suddenly had at my disposal,” he recalled.

“I realised I had lots of church photos and I thought it would be interesting to post these on a page.”

With people unable to visit these places in person, there was a lot of interest.

“The thing that amazes me is that my readers have taken over control of what churches I post about – I’ve got over a hundred requests!”

The blog covers Australian churches from all denominations with interesting history and architecture.

“Many churches I’ve found interesting,” Mr French said.

“The original St Matthews Anglican at Richmond and the Catholic same-named St Matthews also at Richmond, St Jude’s Anglican at Dural, Ebenezer Uniting, the oldest existing church in Australia, St Johns Anglican at Parramatta, the oldest continuous use church site in Australia, and just recently the first Australian Church, built in 1793 and burned down in 1798 because the convicts hated it!”

From Wednesday, 21 October, Mr French will take his photographs of the various buildings and making them a part of a ‘virtual walking tour’, starting with the Garrison Church at the northern-most end of the city. After that, every two days, participants will ‘walk’ through Sydney, as he will upload a new regular post about a different historical church, finishing eventually at the southern-most end of the city.

According to Mr French, those who ‘take the tour’ can expect, “more of an insight (no pun intended) into the fascinating history of the churches in the City of Sydney.”

“Many are second generation, the first being lost for a variety of reasons – fire (St Mary’s),  the need to enlarge due to congregation growth (St Phillips), development impacts (the first St Stephens Uniting was wiped out due to the building of Martin Place).”

“I’m trying to emulate a real walking tour of the City Churches by making it a virtual walk, making our way from the northern-most church, the Garrison Church all the way south to St Barnabas. Each post will have a collage of the sites we would see on the way as if we were actually walking together.”

For more information on the virtual walking tour visit the Facebook event page.

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