When St Barnabas Church in Broadway was burnt to the ground in 2006, the congregation thought all was lost. A fire ripped through the very soul of one of Sydney’s oldest churches on May 10 that year, leaving nothing unscathed except the bones of its stone exterior.
Six years on, hope has been restored, with the Church being rebuilt and recently re-opening its doors to the community. Not only was it the first major new church building in Sydney in 100 years, it has also seen the revival of a well publicised tradition between a pub opposite and the pastor.
The two contradictory institutions used billboards to exchange religious and publican banter in the 1970s – a war that raged for two decades.
The church is again beaming with pride thanks to the craftsmanship of tradesmen, architects and builders who took part in the refurbishment process. Fondly dubbed “Barneys”, was nurtured back to life with the help of architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Buildcorp Contracting NSW and subcontractors brought on board to give intricate character to an age-old religious ground.
Barney’s resident Reverend Mike Paget said the church and the congregation were particularly pleased with the work performed by flooring and wall surface specialist Honestone, who was also key to perfecting the finishing look of the church. Rev Pagent said the company had “certainly met all expectations and we are so pleased with the finished look. “It’s very beautiful but also very functional,” he said. “The children in particular just love the surface and running over it as it’s so robust. The surface invites people to engage with it.”
Honestone director Rick Hendriks said his team of experts worked closely with other trades to ensure no stone was left unturned in cementing the prefect look for the new church. “We came on board three months prior to project completion to ensure the best, timely, and professional seamless floor and wall solutions were utilised,” Mr Hendriks said.
“We wanted to incorporate a true representation of the warm and holy nature of the church and worked with a white Ardex panDOMO Floor-Plus seamless polished cement finish for several areas, including the upstairs worship space, the stairs to the alter and a beautifully curved feature wall. Spanning some 200 square metres, we also used a subtle light-grey polished cement for the lobby floor of the church, which was in tune with the serene nature of the space” Mr Hendriks said his team, as always, took extra steps to ensure seamless project management and an outstanding final result.
We used three different skill sets of our highly trained crews over an eight week period to perfect the project. The project involved many intricate processes too, such as blending wall products to the flooring, working with curvatures, and technical details such as lining up corners and levelling various planes.
No one has done anything like this in Australia on one project, which in total encompassed 600 square metres of flooring and 280 square metres of walls. We are very proud of the final aesthetics Honestone was able to contribute to the church, coupled with great functionality of a well gripped surface for the congregation.”