Sub-deacon Naser Mansor of the Syriac Catholic Parish is not only a man with a mission to serve God but also a passion to literally build churches.
Miniature ones, that is.
Using Googlemaps, his memory and with the help of his eldest son Amar, Naser has painstakingly re-created his former parish church, which was attacked and burned by ISIS in 2014, and a number of other churches and holy sites in Iraq, and the church in Sydney using tiny hand-cut cork bricks.
He’s also built a small-scale Anzac Bridge and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and is currently labouring in his garage workshop in Fairfield to replicate a stunning 1980s war memorial in Iraq, the Al-Shaheed Monument.
The former chef was encouraged by his parish priest Fr Lenard Ina, who was also his pastor in Iraq.
“I never did anything like this before coming to Australia with my family in 2013,” Naser said.
My passion for this began when I noticed our processional crucifix for the Good Friday Stations of the Cross was very simple, nothing like what we used to use in our church in Bakhdida,” he said.
“I was inspired to make one myself, similar to the one I remembered.
“It turned out well and things just exploded over that.
“When in Bakhdida, I spent so much time in its churches, and what I don’t remember I use my imagination to recreate.”
Each design takes Naser roughly four to six months to complete, and he says his devotion to the craft is only possible with the support of his wife Thurya and family.