20 July 2022
An Indian community focussed church plant has opened in a western suburbs’ Anglican church after outgrowing its location in its pastor’s house.
Masih Church Melbourne held its first weekly service at Melton Anglican last Sunday, after the growing number of worshippers who had been meeting at the Reverend Mohit Sampson’s home had forced them to find an alternative venue.
Mr Sampson said the gatherings had initially started at his Aintree home in 2018 with just his immediate family members, but had grown to around 60 participants.
He said the church which targets the north Indian community had also used a venue in Chadstone, but that that had stopped because the building was being renovated and he was uncertain of the church’s future there.
He had conceived the idea for the plant in 2017, and had initially believed that there would be a larger Hindu and Punjabi community around Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
But the COVID pandemic had pushed pause on those plans and during that time Mr Sampson realised there was a thriving Indian community to reach in the west.
“We are a young generation of Indian migrants, with children who have been born and brought up here and so we wanted to be a church that focussed on them as well,” he said.
He said when lockdowns finished the number of people attending the services escalated until there had been standing room only at his house.
He had gone in search of a suitable, alternative space in the Melton area but had been unable to find one, even with the Melton City Council’s help.
Mr Sampson said he had approached Archdeacon Glen Buijis and the Melton Anglican parish council about the viability of a partnership involving sharing the church venue, with a fruitful result.
He said Masih church’s first service in their new, shared home had been joyful for its large number of worshippers and that afterwards they had celebrated with traditional food.
“God blessed us on this side of the city with a lot of people, so we will be focussed here for now,” Mr Sampson said.