The past challenging year for our church saw significant progress in the development of projects as we continued steadily to carry out some of the works previously planned for but not yet executed. We also built one project which we had not previously thought about but became necessary in the course of the year.
The Year’s Achievements
The work completed during the past year included:-
St Philip's Eastwood
- Construction of the perimeter seat under the welcome shade of the Plane tree in the main entry court yard.
- Construction of an external timber deck/stage completed in time for the Christmas Carols service in December.
- The commencement at last of the Stage 1A toilet block and access ramp adjacent to the Sunday School hall.
This project is the first stage of the final masterplan for the site development as approved in 2020 and has been designed to be connected to the future development which surrounds it.
- Laying compacted gravel to carpark driveway to make it weather proof.
Whilst the Toilets have been delayed due to COVID issues and supply delays in the building industry in NSW generally, I expect that the work should be completed by about Easter.
St Mark's Ermington
- Complete Refurbishment of the existing on site rectory including a new bedroom, a new kitchen and two new bathrooms, required to bring it up to an acceptable standard for a minister’s family. This work was completed around the end of October in time for the Kinstead family to move in so Ermington now has a very comfortable home for the future.
- Materials were purchased for the construction of perimeter safety fencing to part of the site, and installation of the fencing will hopefully be completed later this year.
- Dedicated volunteers from both parishes successfully removed piles of rubbish and unwanted surplus items during the year with tree and shrub removal, shed repairs and general tidying up, carried out during several working Bees. The site now looks quite tidy but will need ongoing work in several areas to make it more user friendly and suitable for the anticipated indoor and outdoor uses we can expect as the church grows under God’s guidance.
Assistant Minister’s Residence
8a Clanwilliam St - Minor Works
During the past year minor works to the Assistant Minister’s residence were carried out which included:-
- A new timber boundary fence to replace the dilapidated old fence.
- Construction of a new external deck adjacent to the family room providing better outdoor living space for the property.
This project was funded from rent money retained from the previous lease.
The Church Grounds
Building works unfortunately create a lot of mess and disruption. As in many years past, our dedicated resident Garden Guru, Field Marshall Dave Smith guided his happy troop of volunteers to maintain and improve the grounds at both our church sites. This is a huge task, particularly during summer and Dave would welcome any new helpers who can make a few hours available to assist with this work. We are so thankful for God’s provision of regular rain this past summer to make the grass grow and plants mature and we see the results each week in the presentation of our grounds to the community as they walk past.
We again thank God for Dave’s amazing work and commitment to maintain our church grounds in top shape.
Whilst we are pleased with what was achieved in 2021, the work is ongoing and there is always much still to do. The only other work for Stage 1 completion is the sealing of the carpark and construction of the underground rain water detention tank which is required when the carpark is permanently sealed.
At Ermington there is an urgent need to reroute the overhead power line and improve the existing sub standard toilet facilities as a minimum. We seek God's guidance as to how these works may be achieved.
We are so thankful that all of the work carried out in the past year was fully funded from generous donations from our multiple congregations and there are no external loans or debt to be serviced. This puts us in an excellent position to fund future works as the need and resources become available.
We are so very thankful for the many young and old energetic volunteer helpers who contributed their labour and care throughout the year to carry out this work. We trust that this will continue throughout 2022 as there is still a great need for improvements at Ermington.
As we recover from the pandemic and try to imagine the future for our thriving church we can look back at what was achieved under difficult circumstances and thank God for his provision and ask for guidance with future development and improvement opportunities.