St Andrew’s breathes new life into East Perth

Members of St Andrew’s Uniting Church have well and truly settled into their new home in East Perth, with new life blooming and exciting projects on the horizon.

A dedication service for their new Bennet St building was held in June, with a dedication also being made for the Rev James Reid Memorial Room. James Reid was a minister at St Andrew’s Uniting Church in Perth’s CBD from 1959 to 1971.

On Saturday 19 October, the congregation are holding their first major event, the East Perth Urban Village Festival, in Wellington Square. The festival will bring businesses and services in the community together with family friendly activities such as camel rides, a drumming circle, giant games, as well as food and information stalls.

Organisers are expecting over 500 people to come along and experience what East Perth has to offer.

Helen Williams, member at St Andrew’s, said the congregation is keen to carry on its legacy of being active in the local community.

“We’re new into the area, but we have a legacy of being quite highly involved in the community when the church was in the city,” she said. “We’re thinking of ourselves now as an ‘Urban Village  Church’. We’re trying to set ourselves up so that many activities can happen in the new building.

“We would like to expand and hope to get a whole range of people using the space.”

A drop-in coffee morning – the Uniting Corner Hub – and English conversation classes, have already begun running, with plenty more ideas to come.

Helen met with UnitingCare West to set-up the Uniting Corner Hub, which will take place on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, from 10.30 to 11.30am – the off weeks of the Rainbow Program at nearby Maylands-Mt Lawley Uniting Church. English conversation classes are being held for one hour each week, on Tuesdays from 5.00pm.

A Sleep Out is also being held at the church on Saturday 5 October, raising money for UnitingCare West’s Tranby Centre.

Helen said that while there have been some challenges in the initial stages of setting up new programs, once word of mouth gets around these events will be of great benefit to many people in East Perth and its surrounds. As there are plenty more ideas in the works, including mindfulness and wellness activities, as well as making their space available to the Uniting Church WA  Multicultural and Uniting Generations Networks, Helen acknowledged that there are lots of leadership opportunities for younger Uniting Church members who are keen to get active in the church and community.

Having moved from their church building on St George’s Terrace in the city to the temporary space at St Bartholomew’s Church, and now into their new multifunctional centre, Helen said it’s the  people that make St Andrew’s Uniting Church what it is today.

“We’re acknowledging that, in the 21st century, it’s not actually the building; it’s the people coming together – worshipping together – that is going to make or break St Andrew’s. It’s like any  church.

“Our mission is to grow.”

To get involved with mission activities at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, or to find our more, email standrewseastperth@gmail.com.

Heather Dowling

Top image: St Andrew’s Uniting Church has begun weekly English conversation classes, for those wanting to practice the English language, at their new building in East Perth.

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