The Banksia Free Church has found new owners who call the deal a gift from God.
The church was built in 1890 on what is now the Princes Highway after former members of the St. Paul's Church of England in Kogarah broke away to form their own congregation.
After parishioner numbers dwindled in the 1990s the church was leased to other religious and community organisations.
It was a prime position for developers who made several offers to buy the site.
However, the owners held on and eventually leased the property to The Orthodox Church of St Savvas of Kalymnos late last year.
Father Savas Pizanias said the church is relatively new having only been established for three years.
He said in that time they grew from around 10 parishioners to 600.
The growth forced to them to move on from the ex dance studio they leased in Kogarah Bay and look for new space.
‘’When we were looking for a place I drove past and saw this church. I wrote a letter and left it in the mailbox but didn’t hear anything back,’’ he said.
‘’Two years later when our lease ended we got a call from the owners to see if we were still interested.’’
He said the good luck didn’t stop there.
‘’We leased the space in November and were given seven months to buy the property,’’ he said.
‘’A week before that date we managed to get finance.’’
They settled on July 31, spending just under $1 million for the whole property.
Since then they have transformed the aging church- spending around $100,00 and replastering and painting the walls.
‘’Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could buy a church, let alone an existing one,’’ he said.
‘’For us, it’s from God. I bring it down to divine intervention.
‘’It was a dream come true.’’
They hold a weekly Sunday service from 8am and hold youth groups, bible study and a playgroup during the week.
Father Pizanias said the church was welcoming to the whole community.
‘’Even though we’re a Greek church, we’re open to everyone,’’ he said.
‘’We’re happy it has been given back to the community to use.’’
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