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Blessed John XXIII Church


Catholic Parish of Blessed John XXIII
Glenwood / Stanhope Gardens Fr. Paul Venticinque


Glenwood, NSW





St John XXIII Church was designed to symbolise the metaphorical ‘opening up’ of the church undertaken by Pope Saint John XXIII with Vatican II.


Greg Isaac
(Project Contact)

Katerina Dracopoulos
John Hay

Lionel Kettler
Mark Trotter (L)

The St John XXIII parish was established in 2002 within newly developing residential communities in the north-west of Sydney.  The church is situated at the top of a hill within the suburb of Stanhope Gardens, and at the centre of the St Mark’s Catholic College campus.

The brief for the church was developed with the inaugural parish priest and parish council. The church’s layout is strictly in line with modern liturgical concepts, positioning the sanctuary in amongst the congregation and the baptismal font at the entry of the church.

The design maximises the use of the steeply sloping, triangle shaped site through a 2 storey building that fits into the existing contours of the site. Specialist spaces are located in the triangular corners of the building, creating a dynamic, creative learning node. Community areas, teaching spaces, sound recording studios, workshops, and food preparation spaces are also included. Courtyard spaces provide settings for sharing food, performing, and making meaningful connections within a welcoming setting.

The industrial aesthetic of the façade serves as a dramatic counterpoint to the fertile surrounds of the Mary Valley. Studded with shard-like windows, the membrane of the building peels back at the corners providing a glimpse of what lies within.

Photographer: © Eric Sierens  |  Sketches: © Fulton Trotter Architects

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