Notre Dame's major restoration of Sacred Heart Church, Darlinghurst

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 8-8-2006

Publisher Name

The Univeristy of Notre Dame, Sydney

Publication Place



The historic Sacred Heart Church (corner of Oxford Street and Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst) is being restored to its 1912 architectural heritage by the University of Notre Dame Australia, at an anticipated cost of about $2M. The University is also investing another $16M on the Darlinghurst site to construct Medical and Nursing Schools.

On Tuesday, 8 August, (subject to the weather) the church’s 65 tonne Mosaic of Christ will be moved about 11 metres as part of restoring the church to its correct dimensions. Extensive planning has occurred in preparation for this move, including advice from conservation architects, heritage architects and engineering consultants.

When fully restored, Sacred Heart will be a beautiful church. A rejuvenated Crypt will include quality parish facilities for the priest and his secretary, including offices, kitchen and a large meeting room. The Parish will have private access to the church.

Prior to the commencement of renovations the church was a safety risk to parishioners and the community and the Parish did not have the significant capital expenditure necessary to restore the church.

A clear precedent of Notre Dame’s impressive and sympathetic restoration is evident at its first Sydney campus at Broadway, where St Benedict’s Church and former buildings (corner of Broadway and Abercrombie Streets) have been magnificently transformed into a heritage-centred University Parish.

In its foundation year, 500 students attend Notre Dame’s Broadway Campus and St Benedict’s Church has been returned to its rightful prominence in inner-city Sydney.

Subject to approval from the Australian Medical Council, Notre Dame’s Medical School will commence in Semester 1, 2008 at Darlinghurst. The Nursing School, which successfully commenced at Broadway earlier this year, will relocate to Darlinghurst by 2008, also.

The University’s Deans of Medicine and Nursing will work closely with the Parish Priest to ensure the Darlinghurst site is a thriving centre for the church’s mission.