Inner-west growth hub

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The All Saints’, Petersham Hub of Hope continues to grow, providing a direct Christian link with disadvantaged locals.

The Hub has run for nine years, taking an increasingly important role in the church’s life. “It just started with a BBQ and a community garden, but over the years it’s grown and more people [have become] involved,” says All Saints’ rector, the Rev Ben Gray. “The real idea behind it now is that it connects people not only to our church, but to each other and to various services in the area.”

These services include Anglicare, Centrelink, Baptist Care, Legal Aid and the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre. Many groups use the All Saints’ property as a neutral setting while also partnering with the church in local initiatives.

The Hub hosts meals for about 100 locals twice a week, many of whom are without accommodation or live in nearby boarding houses.

“The intention behind the kind of culture we’ve created is not so much that Hub of Hope is a ministry we do, but is just part of what we are as a community,” says Hub co-ordinator Matt Nutt. “We try to integrate everything as much as possible.”

Future dreams include small-scale emergency accommodation, but a key desire is to link the Hub ever more closely with the parish.

”Often Sunday church is a huge leap for people,” Mr Gray says. “We’re trying to think about how we could do a chapel service with the Hub, something that might be a smaller step to them connecting up with all aspects of the church community. We have a Bible study that meets after lunch on a Thursday... but we’re always looking at ways to further encourage [involvement].

“There are many stories of people who’ve become Christians... and we want to share the gospel with people because that’s one of our priorities as a community.”

Pictured: One of the Hub’s weekly lunches on the Petersham church grounds

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