26 April 2024

Partnership brings young people into church community

A partnership with a disability support service is reaping rewards for a Glenroy parish. Photo: iStock.

Maya Pilbrow

17 March 2023

A church in Glenroy has found a new way to reinvigorate its ministry while helping serve the community.

The Anglican Parish of St Matthew’s Glenroy with St Linus’ Merlynston has had an ongoing relationship with disability support service Onemda for over two years.

Onemda rents space from the parish. As part of the therapeutic and educational programmes they provide to people with disability, the organisation offers participants the chance to work in the St Matthew’s and St Linus’ foodbank.  

Read more: Food drive volunteers evoke community generosity

Parish priest Reverend Robert Koren said Onemda participants helped in a variety of ways, including packing and distribution of food bank items as well as cutting grass and tidying the church area.

Mr Koren said the Onemda partnership brought a younger generation into the parish community.

“We’re an ageing parish,” Mr Koren said. “[Onemda] gives me another group to work with.”

Read more: Refugee background drives priest’s passion for food security

Onemda lead campus coordinator Indy Singh said being able to take part in various programmes within the community was important for those with disability.

“There’s still a stigma that people with disability are separated for some reason, not considered as part of the community,” he said.

Mr Koren said the church had an obligation to provide opportunities to those in the community.

“As a church, part of our mission is we help those others might reject,” he said.

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