Mitcham Hills Churches

May 20, 2009

Beacon – emergency relief

Filed under: Community, MHICC — Mark @ 3:17 pm

On April 15th 2009, we officially launched Beacon with an open day and afternoon tea which was attended by the many people who support and help make Beacon possible.

It was our hope that we would get good media coverage for this opening to heighten awareness among our community that this facility was available. We thank The Hills & Valley Messenger and the Blackwood Times who ran stories in the following weeks and just this week The Messenger has mentioned Beacon again.

Here is some further information and photos to add to the coverage. Beacon is not an initiative of one church but the initiative of 15 churches in the Blackwood/Mitcham Hills region under the auspus of the Mitcham Hills Inter-Church council. This is a great celebration of the work of local churches from all denominations working together to serve the local community. It was an initiative that originated out of conversations between Rev Leanne Jenski (Blackwood Uniting), Rev Mark Riessen (Blackwood Church of Christ), Rev Ian Hunter (Belair Uniting), Fr. Warren Huffa (Holy Innocents Anglican) Fr. Stephen Clark (All Hallow’s/St John’s Anglican) and Nina Corlett-McDonald (CPSW Hawthorndene Primary).

Mark, Leanne and Nina became the driving force, think tank and developer of ideas co-opting the help of other members of the MHICC to form a steering committee to come up with a vehicle for addressing the needs we were experiencing from our interactions with the community. This was not a response to a recession, in fact when we first began talking about this John Howard was prime minister and when the program began to form the economy couldn’t have been stronger. However the needs of our community were constantly present just as much then as it is now.

When we came up with ‘Beacon’, we acknowledged that we needed a sub-committee of the MHICC which is now chaired by Rev. Mark Riessen and a co-ordinator of Beacon operations, Aileen Templeton.

April 15th was a great celebration of the coming together of many denominations on the hill as well as the many aid organization who have come together to help us make this facility possible. Our federal MP Ian Evans was gracious enough to official open Beacon with the cutting of the ribbon and stayed for the afternoon tea.

These photos are from the ‘actual’ opening of Beacon

The first photo represents our hard working volunteers who show up every week to sit with and assist anyone who comes seeking help. From the left: Aileen (Co-ordinator from Blackwood Church of Christ) Bridgid (St Paul of the Cross Catholic), Gloria (Blackwood Uniting), Lesiley and Sue (Coromandel Valley Uniting)

The photo with the 2 people standing either side of the Beacon sign represents our 2 business sponsors. On the left is Lisa from Curves Blackwood and on the left is Mark from Flight Centre Blackwood. We are very grateful for their support to help make this program available to the community possible.

The photo bottom middle from the left: Mark from Flight Centre Blackwood, Rev. Mark Riessen, MP Ian Evans, Aileen Templeton and Rev. Leanne Jenski. The last photo represents the many aid organizations that have helped us establish and continue to have a working relationship with us including Marion Life, Careworks, Salvation Army, Department of families, housing, community services and indigenous affairs.

What a great celebration of a fantastic initiative of the churches to address ongoing needs in our community.


Rev. Mark Riessen, Chair Beacon sub-committee


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