By Rev. Jude Benton as written in The Mallacoota Mouth 12th Nov 2020.

If you’ve been past St Peter’s Church and Opshop recently you may have noticed a new addition to the gardens: 4 wooden pews. They are situated to both take advantage of the amazing view over the bottom lake and entrance, as well as provide seating for personal reflection and outdoor services.

Several of the St Peter’s pews were damaged during the fire as they had been moved outside to make space for people sleeping inside the church. The combination of 50+ year old varnish, with smoke, ash and water from wetting down the surrounds of the church had caused significant staining on the surfaces.

When the Workways program advertised that community groups could have assistance with restoring bushfire damaged property, the parish applied for help. 

Although this project wasn’t what Workways had expected to be approached for help with, they agreed to the project. We were blessed to have the assistance of Simon Greany (Workways Supervisor) and his team, to sand back the pews, re-paint them with outdoor quality varnish, drill drainage holes in them and then set them onto sleepers in the garden.

It’s been lovely to see many members of the public using the pews with a view in the last few weeks, for personal reflection or private converstations as they enjoy the natural environment.

For the church itself they are also greatly beneficial during this period of Covid-19 restrictions on church gathering as they provide fixed outdoor seating. As we begin to plan Christmas Service, which most likely will need to be outside due to the limit of 20 inside, these pews will be well utilised.

A huge thank you from the Cooperating Parish of Croajingolong, to Workways, Simon, and his team for making this project happen.

In recent weeks we have also received a Parish Partnership Grant from Anglicare Victoria to continue to create safe spaces for reflection and conversation…keep watching as this space develops.