This Church has gone 13 years without a Building
Construction will soon begin on a building for Stanhope Anglican. Since planting the church in 2006, members have met in Blacktown Leisure Centre and are looking forward to a space they can call their own.
Celebrating the turning of the first sod at the building site in December, the Rev Steve Reimer is excited to see the start of a new chapter for Stanhope.
“It was a glorious day and pretty hot,” he says. “People are keen to see construction begin and see trucks on site. The land has been there since 2010, in such an ideal location, on a main road between Stanhope Village and the Anglicare Village, surrounded by thousands of homes.”
"It will make it easier to connect with families"
The difference will having their own building will make
Being in their own building will allow church members to pursue new ventures, such as providing more community services. It also means they will finally be able to celebrate Easter and Christmas on their respective holidays, which will hopefully provide an opportunity to connect with the community on the two most important days of the Christian calendar.
Mr Reimer adds that he is enthusiastic to “have a space where we can operate English classes and connect with the community. It will also make it easier to connect with families and provide things for children and youth”.
"I've been welcomed in"
However, one thing they will miss about the leisure centre is having a pool in the room next door. “We’ve baptised people in the pool, Mr Reimer says. “We do these baptisms amongst the public – they’re in the pool at the same time.”
Their group has grown by 90% of their original number
While the coming building will benefit them greatly, God has still been busy building his kingdom. The group of 15 that started at Stanhope has grown to more than 140 adults and children on a Sunday morning, with many coming to know Christ, or joining the church after moving to the area.
“I met Steve as they were singing carols at the Stanhope shopping centre,” says Carolann Dartnell, who joined the congregation three years ago. “I was quite happy that I finally found an Anglican congregation I could attend. It has been wonderful – I’ve been welcomed in.”
Mrs Dartnell says many church members have shown love in practical ways, motivated by the love of Jesus: “whether it’s in prayer or times where I’ve been sick and ladies have cooked meals for me. To me, it’s like being part of a family. We all watch out for each other.”
No matter where they gather, they hope to show people Jesus
Although they hope to open their doors by Easter 2020, Mr Reimer is praying that no matter where they gather, they will be a light to the thousands of neighbours living without Christ.
“Under God, we pray we will see hundreds of people find hope in Jesus,” he says. “There is so much to give thanks for. We’re praising God for the provision of the land, and for the Archbishop’s New Churches for New Communities and our supporters who have given to the project.
“We’re thankful to see everyone wanting to work together to build his church – the church being his people.”