Home for Christmas

• Pastor Binh Nyugen is pretty happy his church has a permanent home. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Pastor Binh Nyugen is pretty happy his church has a permanent home. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

FIVE months of hard yakka has transformed a rundown West Perth warehouse into a modern urban church.

The Lord helps those who help themselves, so the congregation of Sonlife Church dug deep and ran fundraisers to pull together $200,000 to fully refit the dusty old space in the old industrial district.

Contractors were brought in to do the plumbing and wiring, but six church members with trade skills and 100 enthusiastic labourer parishioners did the rest.

“There’s less than half-a-dozen guys who are handy,” Pastor Binh Nguyen chuckles. “We would have worked five hours a day after our normal work.”

The church has been around just a few years but has moved all over the place. “We’ve been quite nomadic,” Pastor Nguyen says. “We started in our living room.”

It then moved to a hall in Dalkeith, a UWA lecture theatre, and then to the Loftus recreation centre for eight months.

The shifting’s proved difficult at times: Pastor Nguyen once counselled his flock in the Loftus cafe, not the best surrounds for a church member needing pastoral advice.

Now with a five-year lease on the Cleaver Street place, this is the first time the church has been able to put up its own sign. And since all previous venues were closed for public holidays, this will also be the first year it’s able to conduct a service on Christmas day. “We’re very excited, we’re going to have a very simple one hour service at 10.30am,” Pastor Nguyen says.

“The congregation love it. They love that there’s a permanent home and we’re not moving from community centre to community centre.”

by DAVID BELL

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