Syrian Refugee family finalised for Gymea – After months of planning and preparation, a Syrian refugee family will take up residence in Piper cottage 133 Gymea Bay Road  on Saturday 9th December.  The family are from Homs.  This video shows the devastation of their city.   They are parents around 50 years old and two boys in their 20’s.  They have been in Australia for 9 months and want to move to an area where English, not Arabic, is predominant.   The father is an accountant and the 2 boys are working here with the NSW Public Service.  The family fled Syria via the Kurdish area of Iraq.  They were part of the Presbyterian church in Syria which was American based.  Homs has been all but destroyed by Regime because it was seen as a centre of rebellion. A small team of 2 couples from our church will act as Care Co-ordinators for the Parish in liaison with warden George Ward.  Offers of help, hospitality and friendship will be coordinated through and by our Coordinators so the family are not overwhelmed or swamped.   Anglicare has appointed an Arabic speaking Case Worker who will provide weekly support visits.  Furniture needs will be finalised over the next week.  We are seeking a small garden shed if anyone has one.  The renovation of the garage to a 3rd bedroom will also be completed soon.  It is expected that this family will occupy the property for 9-15 months while they transition to normal rental accommodation.  Please pray for them and for the transition process, and that God would make us sensitive, empathetic and thoughtful in our care for them.

Parish Council Update:  At a longish meeting our Council addressed the following issues:

  • The 2018 budget was completed with provision made for all our existing staffing & ministries.  Our fundraising this year for 2018 with Fashion Fiesta / Spring fair on budget at $21,000 and Thanksgiving at $16,895. But both great team efforts.  Our 2018 Budget would be 1.8% above current giving.
  • Our Building mortgage is now below $230,000 and with the help of our leasing of the properties & regular member donations, we are on track to be debt free by the end of 2020.  Currently our properties are leased to 9 different groups for income of over $50,000pa
  • Investigating a) the possible replacement of our photocopier with a newer, better, cheaper model (do we buy or lease?), b) purchase & installation of solar panels if it is economically advantageous.  Richmond Parish has installed a 22Kw for $16,000 and expect it to have paid for itself in 4½ years.
  • Install ramping in the children’s playground and church over the Christmas holidays to aid access for wheelchair and frail walkers.
  • A Syrian refugee family have visited Piper cottage & if suitable for their needs, could move in before Christmas. See above for latest update.
  • We currently have 2 grant applications for reroofing Thompson Hall $6,700 and replacing the deteriorating church facias $13,000.
  • Planning a consultation with Archdeacon Kara Hartley & our women on pastoral care of women in the church & development of lay pastors.  PC has allocated $2000 in our 2018 budget to assist and encourage our female members to pursue further theological training.  Members interested in being part of the consultation or the training should speak to our staff or Parish Councillors – Helen Ient and Laura Burns.
  • PC would like to thank all our members for their prayers, generous giving, unity and love, and always welcome our members feedback.


Your brother in Christ, Graham