8 December 2023

Welcome centre opens at Bellarine Gateway Parish

Op Shop volunteers Norma and Lois try out the new premises. Picture: Supplied

By Michael Dougall

15 April 2022 

The Bellarine Gateway Anglican Parish has entered a new season of revitalisation. On 10 April, Bishop Kate Proud officially opened the Welcome Centre and the relocated Pearly Gates Op Shop when she visited the parish to preside at the Palm Sunday Service. Bishop Kate performed the opening by cutting a length of bunting. After the opening, 60 parishioners and op shop volunteers enjoyed a sumptuous brunch and took the chance to check out the op shop, which enjoyed some excellent one-off Sunday trade! 

A little over a year ago, at the Parish Think Tank the seed was sown to move our Op Shop from a shopping strip to the Church Hall, a daunting project. High rent had become an issue but we had mixed emotions about leaving a shop, which had successfully operated for 27 years. Over the past couple of months, enthusiastic parishioners have transformed a tired hall into a functioning Op Shop and a welcoming area for people to sit, relax and talk  

The hall has been painted, walls removed to create sorting and storage space for the op shop and a new Vicar’s office configured. Volunteers have made display racks, shelving and screens for the op shop. Our Vicar, the Reverend Dr Elizabeth Breakey had a brilliant idea to brighten up the op shop with colourful bunting. Several working bees were held to cut, sew and join bunting pieces together, which was a fun way to involve all parishioners from both churches. Colourful bunting is now strung in the hall and on the boundary fence and promotes our new look Welcome Centre. 

Parishioners from both Worship Centres have energetically joined forces to create the Welcome Centre for the future growth of the Parish and its ministry outreach. 

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