By Andrew McKaysmith, Synod Writer and Content Creator
After Cyclone Debbie struck and caused immense devastation to the historic Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church, a cherished place of worship since 1899, devoted members of the congregation, Tina Hamilton, Jane Bettridge, and Kim Porter, have taken the initiative to support the church’s restoration with their ‘Brick by Brick’ campaign. Their ambitious objective is to gather $250,000; the community has shown tremendous support for the cause.
With Tina on a well-deserved break, Jane and Kim took the opportunity to share their perspectives on the project. Jane conveyed the church’s vision: “We view this as a chance to foster stronger connections within our community.” This reflects the broader mission of the campaign, aiming to create spaces that cater to local needs and services, such as providing a secure environment for court support and counselling. Kim expressed the overwhelming response from the community, saying, “Through this campaign, we aspire to demonstrate our unwavering presence and dedication to making a positive impact.”
Ross Hughes is the convenor of the building group. He emphasised the importance of community consultation, stating, “The goal was to integrate the desires and needs of the community into the architectural plans.” He outlined the various spaces planned for the new building, including quiet areas, gardens, an auditorium, a lobby, new restrooms, and a kitchen.
The new building’s strategic location, which will see the building move closer to the kerb, reflects the desire for transparency and engagement with the community. Passersby can glimpse the activities inside, fostering a sense of connection and inclusion.
Throughout the campaign, heartwarming narratives have emerged, demonstrating the lasting impact of the Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church on individuals and families. Ann Porter, a dedicated church member, shared her family’s moving history with the church, illustrating the deep roots and lasting influence the church has had on generations of worshipers.
“As a family, we have been intricately woven into the fabric of Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church,” Ann shared. “Our involvement spans generations – from weddings and baptisms to teaching Sunday School and serving as Church treasurer. Although the old building was lost to Cyclone Debbie, we eagerly anticipate a new beginning, knowing that God’s goodness will guide us.” With the reconstruction planned for Main and Herbert Streets, Proserpine Whitsunday Uniting Church seeks your help to preserve its cherished history and community connections for future generations.
For more information and to contribute to the “Brick by Brick” campaign, visit https://proserpineuniting.church/brick-by-brick/.