Local Programmes
Local Programmes
Uniting Church Logo

Wesley and St Aidan's Uniting Church

Canberra Central Parish

in Forrest and Narrabundah

Wesely Logo

SERVICE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE MISSION TEAM

“Turning good will from a spark to a flame!”

LOCAL PROGRAMMES


The Verandah Project

Wesley Uniting continues to be involved with The Verandah, a community outreach, which operates from the Stuart Flats in Griffith. Also involved are volunteers from St Paul's Anglican Church, Manuka and Kingston Baptist Church.

The Verandah is open on Sunday, Tuesday and Friday each week from 12 noon until 1.30 pm, and the aim is to provide a safe place where residents of the flats and other public housing in the area can meet socially. Light refreshments and coffee and tea making facilities are provided and emergency food parcels are also available.

The non perishable items for these parcels are provided by the three churches. In recent years OZ Harvest (now called The Yellow Van in Canberra) has provided a welcome supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, which have been donated by various retailers in Canberra including the Farmers' Market. Occasionally fresh meat and eggs are also available and cooked food donated by function centres. Fresh bread is donated by two bakeries in the area.

At the present time Wesley provides volunteers for the 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month and the 4th Friday and 3rd Sunday. We are also responsible for collecting and packing the bread on the 4th Saturday.

If anyone would like to become a volunteer or to learn more about the Verandah, please contact the current coordinator Elizabeth Chan through the Parish Office.

Contact: Elizabeth Chan or the Parish office.


top of page

The Solar Electricity Generation Project

A 30kW solar photovoltaic system on Canberra's Wesley Uniting Church Lancaster Hall is now feeding power into the grid. Since being switched on at lunchtime on Monday 2 August 2010, the system, which has 162 solar panels, has produced an average of about 70 KWH per day in Winter, 130 KWH per day in Summer, an average of about 100 KWH per day overall.  This is over 125,000 KWH up to October 2013.

As a practical demonstration of concern for global warming and its effects on millions of the most disadvantaged in our world, the solar project received overwhelming support from the Wesley congregation. The church met the project costs of almost $140,000 almost entirely through donations from members, many of whom are unable to install panels on their own homes or apartments. The solar system will also help the church’s finances – generating an annual income of over $18,000 from the ACT government's gross feed-in tariff. 

The solar system installation was a part of a bulk purchase for faith groups in the ACT organised by non-profit community sustainability group SEE-Change. 49 solar systems, totalling 153kW of capacity, were installed. The supplier was the Pambula-based Pyramid Power, which was selected in a rigorous process on the basis of considerations of product quality, customer service and price.

Chris Emery, a member of the Parish’s Service and Social Justice Mission Team, who spent many hours working on the project, said “The project is a particular achievement for the parish seeing we are making such a large contribution to the protection of the environment.”

Individual members of Canberra Central Parish have also taken advantage of the bulk buy and many other people are still having smaller solar systems installed on their own roofs. Other Uniting Churches and their members, including O'Connor Uniting Church and Kippax Uniting Church, have also participated in the solar panels bulk buy.

  <Photo courtesy Rev. David Thiem>

Contact: Chris Emery or the Parish office.


top of page

The Forrest Men’s Shed

The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was established in 2007 by the Australian independent community based Men's Sheds to represent, support and promote the Men’s Shed Movement and to act as a central hub for information exchange.  AMSA is funded by the Federal Government to provide initial and ongoing practical support for the development of all Men’s Sheds.

AMSA is a member based organisation founded on the principle of sharing information freely between Sheds and those communities and organisations wishing to establish a Shed.  Services are provided freely.  AMSA is a charitable not-for-profit association and is registered as a Deductible Gift Recipient. AMSA is the peak body representing Men’s Sheds in Australia providing free practical support and assistance. With over 1000 Men’s Sheds registered AMSA is now the largest Association in Australia focussed on male health and well-being.

The Forrest Men’s Shed is hosted by the Parish, but welcoming to the whole community.  Drop in without any obligation to join.  Meetings are held in the rooms above Wesley Lancaster Hall every Tuesday from 10am to 1pm - up one flight of stairs.

Contact us to join our periodic email newsletter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact: Keith Billingham or the Parish office.


top of page

Whippersnappers Playgroup

Whippersnappers is a free pre-school playgroup, held at 10am every Monday morning in the main Foyer.  Parents and carers enjoy having a coffee and chat with members of the Wesley family.

This is an important outreach programme in that it introduces members of the wider community to our church, and provides opportunities for infants and their parents to share this social experience with each other and their children.

Contact Rebecca through the Parish office.


top of page

Canberra Interfaith Forum

The Interfaith Forum of the ACT (IFFACT) was founded in 1993 following the Parliament of World Religions (PWR) in Chicago USA.

Following the 2009 Super Summit at the Parliament of World religions in Melbourne 2009, the IFFACT became the Canberra Interfaith Forum (CIF), affiliated with Canberra Multicultural Community Forum.

As a member of CIF, we participate in activities such as public forum meetings, Multicultural Festival, and the Environment, Meditation and Healing Garden.

We are always looking for volunteers to assist with development and maintenance of the garden, so your assistance would be most welcome

Contact: Vernon Bailey or the Parish office.


top of page

Christians for an Ethical Society

Christians for an Ethical Society (CES) are an ecumenical, mainstream organisation established in 2008. We aim to strengthen social justice and ethical structures in Australia; to promote social justice as a core Christian value; and to further public education on ethics, current social justice issues and the Christian perspective on them.

The CES conducts public forums to raise the level of knowledge and understanding of the community on key social justice issues and their Christian ethical basis. Social justice is not the monopoly of Christianity. It is also supported by the values of other religions and secular ethical systems. As Christians, we believe the dissemination of the truth is a primary calling of Christ. Injustice is easily perpetrated through ignorance or misunderstanding.

Remember ...

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

(Edmund Burke).

“We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil.”

(Martin Luther King, Jr).

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

(Alexander Solzhenitsyn)

The first four regular forums in this series have already been held, as has our Inaugural Dinner Forum, where Ted Evans, former Secretary to the Treasury, spoke on being a Christian in a secular society, and as a senior government advisor. See here for details of them and of previous years' forums.

Many of our parishioners participate in these forums, presented by deep thinkers and practitioners from wide-ranging walks of life.  We value the privilege of this opportunity, and are most pleased to assist and promote it.

See the website: http://www.ces.org.au/

Contact the Parish office.


top of page

Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

 The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (ACCC) is a national Christian ecumenical centre that encourages dialogue and cooperation amongst Christian churches and between Christianity and other faiths.   It aims to explore issues relating to reconciliation in Australia and the interface between Christian faith and Australian culture.  The Centre is affiliated with Charles Sturt University, United Theological College, Sydney and the adjacent Saint Mark's National Theological Centre.

The Parish is strongly engaged with the ACCC in hosting and promoting public forums and interfaith dialogues, exploiting the physical facilities and connections of the ACCC.

See the website: http://www.acc-c.org.au/

Contact the Parish office.


top of page

St. Mark’s National Theological Centre

Our Vision:

St Mark's vision is to be a scholarly Christian theological community. In pursuing this goal, St Mark's strives to provide a program of high quality university–based theological education, postgraduate studies and research to people throughout Australia and overseas.

St Mark's also aims to offer programs in Christian education, formation and leadership for people engaged in the full diversity of Christian ministry, regardless of denominational affiliation, while having a special focus on the formation and training of priests and deacons for the Anglican Church.

St Mark's maintains one of the best theological libraries in Australia. It caters for undergraduate and research needs.

St Mark's pursues an active program of public lectures and publications to address critical issues confronting Australian society and publishes St Mark's Review, a journal of Christian thought and opinion, twice a year.

Our Mission:

Anglican in foundation and ecumenical in ethos, St Mark’s pursues a mission which, in the words of its founder, Bishop Ernest Burgmann, is to engage the people of God with Australian society.

We believe that a mission statement describes what an organisation should be striving to practise in its own affairs and to promote in its dealings with the world. The Council of St Mark’s National Theological Centre has articulated its mission as:

Transforming lives and communities for Jesus Christ through excellence in public theology, theological education, vocational training and national and international scholarly engagement.

The St Mark’s mission embraces a fourfold commitment to public theology, theological education, vocational training and scholarly engagement. Its vision for the future is shaped by a striving for excellence in its core business so that the lives of individuals and communities are not just touched but invigorated for Christian ministry locally and nationally.

Members of our congregations are fortunate to have member privileges to the excellent library facilities, and are closely engaged with St Mark’s programmes.

See the website: http://www.stmarks.edu.au/

Contact the Parish office.


top of page

Prisoners Aid Society

A number of parishioners are actively engaged in supporting the work of the Prisoners Aid Society (PA).  The nature of this work has changed in recent years – previously focussed largely on providing financial support to assist families visiting inmates of interstate prisons.  Now we work with inmates of the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC - the ACT prison), their families, and others in contact with the justice system. 

This work includes:

  • Visiting inmates of the AMC who have no other visitors,
  • Support of families of inmates,
  • Operation of an office at the ACT Magistrates Court. 

PA work is financed by grants from the ACT Government and by donations from individuals and organisations.  We have paid staff, and much work by volunteers.

See the website at http://www.paact.org.au/

Contact the Parish office.


top of page