Sharing a church

September 14, 2017

The Seymour Baptist and Central Christian Church have chosen to co-tenant the mud-brick church at 82 Avenel Rd.

The Seymour Baptist and Central Christian Church have chosen to co-tenant the mud-brick church at 82 Avenel Rd.

Two local church groups have decided to partner-up and share their facilities at the Baptist Church on Avenel Rd, Seymour.

Seymour Baptist Church Pastor Geoff Leslie approached Pastor Peter Brown of the Central Christian Church about two years ago to float the idea.

‘‘We had this beautiful big building and it wasn’t being used enough,’’ Pastor Leslie said.

‘‘We heard there was another church group who were struggling to find somewhere to meet and we decided to reach out to them.

‘‘That was unusual because churches don’t often collaborate in that way, they can be quite competitive, but we didn’t feel that way.’’

Co-tenanting the building has been a blessing for both churches, who’ve so far been able to save on costs and share the load in maintenance and working bees.

The space is also used by Goulburn Options, which runs a music program at the facility two days a week, among other groups which hire the space for ongoing and one-off activities.

Pastor Leslie hopes to eventually employ a client of Goulburn Options to take over the role of cleaner at the facility.

The building contains an office for each pastor, a kitchen and foyer, and the groups share a PA, drums, and tea and coffee-making facilities.

The church itself was built by volunteers under the guidance of an experienced builder, Tim Simonis, in 1996.

‘‘It’s all recycled and the mud-bricks were all made by hand by people here,’’ Pastor Leslie said.

The carpet had a former life at Puckapunyal while the flooring and part of the roof was constructed from more than 300 wooden doors that were destined for the scrap heap.

‘‘We laid them down, took the handles off and there we go, that’s the flooring,’’ Pastor Leslie said.

At this stage Pastor Leslie and Pastor Brown are testing the waters with a six-month trial but hope to extend their agreement.

‘‘We have our service in the morning, it’s followed by a shared morning tea together, before they have their service afterwards,’’ Pastor Leslie said.

‘‘Some church goers have even ended up attending both services.’’

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