28 September 2023

Multi-denominational group seeks to build greater collaboration, rapport within Clayton

Charles Fletcher (left) and fellow ministers at a meeting for Together for Clayton and Beyond. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

30 September 2022

A group of ministers in Clayton in Melbourne’s southeast have created a forum to share ideas for best engaging and meeting the needs of those in the community.

Together for Clayton and Beyond was the brainchild of church ministers from four different denominations.

Ministers from several denominations in the area have come together to pray, partner and plant churches. Ministers include Reverend Charles Fletcher from All Saints Anglican Church, Chee Fah from Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship, Reverend Michael Jensen from St Andrews Presbyterian Church and Baptist minister Stephen Tan from Regeneration Church Monash, along with Bill Pontikis, a ministry worker who runs a Christian café ministry.

Read more: Clayton Census results reveal new engagement opportunities

Mr Fletcher said that more churches were interested in joining the initiative, which began a couple of years ago as informal meetings between the four pastors. He said this was born out of a pastors’ prayer meeting which had been running for more than 20 years.

“It’s an attempt to ask how as a bunch of local churches can we collaborate more together,” he said.

Mr Fletcher said the group was planning an annual prayer event for Christians in Clayton to pray together for the suburb. He said the soon-to-be-launched website for the initiative would also advertise outreach and community engagement opportunities happening in each of the churches and ministries.

Read more: Exhaustion, ‘erratic’ church attendance require ministers to lower expectations

“We see Clayton as a bit of a distinctive place. It’s a hub because of the university, hospital and industrial precincts in the area,” Mr Fletcher said. “It’s a very multicultural area.”

He said those involved in Together for Clayton and Beyond hoped that not only would the initiative assist them to better collaborate with each other but would also allow churches to partner with other stakeholders, such as the council.

“It may open up some opportunities over time,” he said.

“We want to help both start and strengthen churches and congregations.”

The official launch of Together for Clayton and Beyond will be held on Sunday 16 October at Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship.

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