Residents and friends are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Chapel on Sunday 17 September 2023 at 2:00pm. All welcome.
Ron and Helen Brown volunteer to coordinate the weekly service which involves managing the collection, and the morning tea. Helen who has lived at Garden Village for 5 years said: “It’s nice to hear about the history of Garden Village and celebrate the milestone of the Chapel Anniversary. Everyone is welcome to attend the weekly service.”
The founders of Garden Village Mr. and Mrs. Westerweller had a strong Christian faith and were led to promote the Gospel message. Both had attachments to the Methodist Churches in Gunnedah and Tamworth. They also recognised the importance of meeting people’s religious and spiritual needs. In the early years of Garden Village, residents used to meet in each other’s apartments for prayer and bible study. It had always been a part of Mr. and Mrs. Westerweller’s plan, to have a chapel on site as part of the Village.
In 1992 Garden Village was over 10 years old and some of the residents were no longer able to drive to their chosen church or to walk up the hill to the Baptist Church which used to be located opposite the Koala Tree Motel. The Chapel was completed in August 1993. On the 13th September 1993, Reverend Charles Pass, who was a member of the Board of Directors, dedicated the Chapel. Reverend Pass arranged for the Minister’s Fraternal involvement in the services and for the metal cross situated on the front gable of the Chapel to be made.
The Chapel at Garden Village holds a special place in the hearts of residents and their loved ones. It serves as a farewell venue for residents leaving for their final resting place and allows friends to say their goodbyes here at Garden Village without having to travel to other places of worship. This accessibility ensures that all residents can participate in spiritual activities and ceremonies, fostering a sense of inclusivity and community. The Chapel has also been a place for the celebration of two weddings and a christening.
The Chapel at Garden Village offers weekly services to 12 – 25 regular attendees and promotes a sense of belonging, contributing to the wellbeing of the residents. Spiritual comfort, emotional support, and a sense of community is invaluable in the later stages of life.
Nigel and Daphne Morrison who moved into The Banksia ten months ago enjoy attending the weekly Chapel Service and also attend the Christian Fellowship Group which meets at the Chapel. They said having an onsite Chapel was appealing to them when considering moving to Garden Village.
The chapelgoers support a number of causes through donations collected at the service. This year donations have been made to the Fred Hollows Foundation, Royal Far West Children’s Charity, Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Youth for Christ and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The Chapel Service takes place every Sunday at 2:00pm for thirty minutes, all denominations are welcome to attend. The service is delivered by local Chaplain Tony Sullivan who fulfils this position with his quiet gentle being, his kindness, empathy and his Christian faith. Buggy transport is available for residents who wish to attend. Residents can book the Buggy through the Retirement Living Team.