Visitors and Community members have been battling the Anglican Diocese of Sydney who want to sell the Huskisson Anglican Church.
The Save Husky Church group was formed as soon as de-consecration of the church became known. @savehuskychurch, (concerned locals), submitted a request for an Interim Heritage Order to the NSW Heritage Office. The request included the Cyril Blacket designed church, the grounds in which it stands, including the trees planted in an anniversary celebration by parishioners in 1938 and the graves known to be on site. The graves were originally noted as numbering 7, but the numbers keep growing. Only 11% of the site has been tested with deep penetrating radar.
While waiting for an answer to this request many issues have arisen
- Notification that Contracts had been exchanged (but settlement of sale not yet reached) for the sale of the land, including the church.
- The proposed owner submitted DA to Shoalhaven Council to demolish the Cyril Blacket church, the church hall that was original church building, and sheds on the site.
- In response to community outcry this DA has recently been amended to keep the church, but move it
- Then researchers discovered newspaper articles stating that well-known and respected Aboriginal King Budd Billy ll, ‘King of Jarvis Bay’ (Jimmy Golding) was buried on the church site (1905), with a Christian Minister present at the time of the burial.
- Elders of the Carpenter family, (Queen Mary Carpenter was King Billy’s Queen), have given their total support for the actions of Save Husky Church group and totally against any development action on these Lots of land.
- Shoalhaven City Councillors voted 7 to 6 to write to the Heritage Office stating Council’s objections to Heritage listing of the Huskisson Anglican Church. Part of the Motion was to send the original request (2005) to remove the church from proposed Heritage items in their Local Environment Plan.
- Questions have arisen re the ethics of one Councillor who voted and works for the Anglican Development & Investment Foundation in the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn.
- A petition to have the church and grounds listed on the Shoalhaven Council’s heritage list, including the grave site with unmarked graves and the trees, some of which were planted by local parishioners in 1938 has received over 2000 signatures in a few weeks. The population of Huskisson at the last census was about 760, so there is enormous support for this.
Note: On the of 7th November, the NSW Heritage Council resolved to recommend to the Minister for Heritage, the Hon. Gabrielle Upton, “that an interim heritage order be placed on the site.”