WITHOUT church halls and houses, welfare and support services offered by the Bathurst Anglican diocese would suffer.
Services that often go unnoticed by the general public but are vitally important for the emotional and spiritual well-being of those who receive them, says Archdeacon Frank Hetherington.
The diocese is engaged in a court battle with the Commonwealth Bank over about $25 million owed to the bank by the church.
The bank ordered the church pay back the money immediately by selling its assets but the church refused and is committed to fighting the order in court.
Archdeacon Hetherington said without buildings it would be difficult to co-ordinate services such as pastoral care and volunteer work.
“The first service is providing the opportunity for people to worship God and with that comes a whole lot of other things like the church community which loves them and cares for them,” he said.
“The second is the pastoral care that goes on … you can’t see that, you can’t measure that.”
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Archdeacon Frank recounted a time when he was the Holy Trinity parish rector and there had been deaths in a small community on the outskirts of Orange.
He said he had it in his diary to call the families on the anniversaries of the deaths “to see how they were getting on”.
He said a parishioner who did not regularly attend church had a baby son who was ill. The archdeacon ran into him down the street and remembered the name of the baby and asked how he was.
“He was surprised I knew his name, but I told him every weekend I said his name because the congregation prayed for him … you can’t measure that,” he said.
They were examples of the support the church offered people, examples that could not be quantified in dollar value.
Archdeacon Hetherington said Anglicans offered scripture classes in schools, one parishioner co-ordinated the Meals on Wheels roster for the church and there were over 200 volunteer organisations run by or with members of the church community.
“There needs to be some co-ordination of those activities and halls and houses are central to the system,” he said.
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