A Service of Closure for Nannup Uniting Church was held on Sunday 31 October, led by Rev Andrew Broadbent.
Andrew’s grandfather, Leonard Broadbent, was posted to Nannup Uniting Church from England as a Methodist Home Missioner in 1927. In his journal from the time, he writes that an old unused timber hall was transported to Nannup for use as the church building so that they could open the church.
“I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to transport that disused timber hall, by oxen, and then re-erect it here in Nannup,” Andrew said. “In effect those men and women of Nannup were bringing their loaves and fishes and offering them to God. They wanted a place that would be a hub for the love of God to go out from and impact the town of Nannup and its surrounding areas.
“And I think it would be fair to say that over many years that is exactly what has happened – from this church people have been encouraged in their faith, people have been married, baptised and buried. God’s love has been faithfully shared in word and in deed.
“It is right that we acknowledge and celebrate that. It’s also right that we acknowledge that this place of worship is now closing and we are sad about that. When a church closes it can feel like a failure; it can feel like we’ve let down those people who’ve come before us – including those who carted the old hall here – and many others who have kept the doors open over the years.
“However, we need to recognise that an ending isn’t always a failure. Things change, towns change, and in the case of the church traditional ways of meeting and being are becoming less and less relevant – that’s just a fact.
“And so today, we celebrate what this church has been and meant to so many people over the years and we thank God for that. We grieve the fact that an era has come to an end, but we also remember that God is not done with us yet.
“God and the people of God are not confined to a particular building. We can encounter God wherever we are and God will continue to use whatever we offer for the sake of sharing God’s light and love in this community.”
Andrew explained that the Nannup Uniting Church building will be set-up for use as an op-shop for the community, with the funds raised going back into blessing the wider community of Nannup.
“God has done some wonderful things through this church and God will continue to work in this community, using whatever it is you and I are prepared to bring,” Andrew said.