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“The interior is now in great harmony…”

All Saints Church is said to be the largest suburban Anglican church in Australia. A generous set back from the street allows the triple gable style of this bluestone building erected in 1858 to be fully appreciated.

Upon request from Father Ramsay Williams, Mulholland Restorations’ was asked to recommence discussing the interior restoration of the church. Initial discussions had taken place ten years earlier when the cost of the proposed works was more than the available funds at that time.

As the church is of great significance and deserved to be treated appropriately our recommendation at the time was to wait for funds to accumulate to allow for the appropriate level of works to be carried out.

Mulholland Restorations was engaged to undertake the interior redecorating to coincide with the celebration to mark the 150 years on All Saints Day (1 November) 2008.

In 2009, Mulholland Restorations began the challenge of preparing the interior for painting. Significant water entry had discoloured the limestone arches and columns, and had caused a paint failure over many sections.

With all roof works complete our approach was to remove the stains and wash clean the limestone throughout the church.

We vacuumed clean the timber ceiling and carried out minor repairs to reinstate any missing sections.

All paint was removed from the walls as there was a failure at a base level. This was a very large undertaking.

The decorated sanctuary was very eye-catching and impressive from the body of the church, however, the standard of workmanship varied from good through to unacceptable. With the repairs to some sections and damage to other sections, it was proposed and accepted that the work be redone in the proper manner.

One aspect of the works that had to be rectified was an apparent dislocation of the body of the church from the chancel and the sanctuary. This was caused by an inappropriate colour scheme and a strong element of screen and ‘fence’ acting to cause a separation.

By way of an introduced dado and stencil to act as a link band around the church, we achieved the reconnection we were seeking.

In addition, we introduced some appropriate stencilling to the Lady Chapel. This chapel had not been decorated previously and was lacking any dignified treatment which made it look very much like an afterthought.

When stripping the paint from the walls one remaining indication of a stencil band was located and this allowed the development of a complete design for the aisle and trancept walls.

W and G Audsley designs were selected from the 1870 period to expand upon the Audsley Sanctuary design existing.

The interior is now in great harmony and looks completely appropriate with a balance of traditional treatments and the freshness and cared for look that new carpet, floor polishing and new lighting contributes.

The results are very beautiful.

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