St Nic’s Snapshot: Safe Church Workshop

We, at St Nic’s, are committed to ensuring we are a safe place for young and old.

Thank you to the many members of our church community and the Op Shop volunteers who joined us Saturday morning for morning tea, an informative chat and a spot of paperwork!

Special thanks to Lois our Safe Church Contact Person and Judy our Op Shop Coordinator who organised and helped cater for the day.

If you are yet to update or complete your paperwork, checks and training please contact Lois! You can find our more about our commitment to a Safe Church here.

December 15th – Save the Date!

We are going to celebrate the restoration of our historic church building with a service of dedication and thanksgiving including Carols on Saturday the 15th of December in the morning followed by a sausage sizzle and hospitality. Celebrations will continue with a fete around the Op shop with an afternoon tea and various other attractions! More details to follow.

This will replace our usual Carols and Cappuccinos this year.


Op Shop & Little Lambs an Expression of God's Love

In our Minster parish blessing one another and our community is the first part of our  framework for life together . One of the most obvious ways in which we do this is through our Op shop and Little Lambs ministries. I do not have the stats on numbers readily to hand however it is clear that each week we provide for several hundred people in one way or another. Talking with Judith Bryce I estimated that we shift close to a metric tonne of clothes to the seafarers and prison over a year! This does not include  all that is actually bought at our op shop.

These services to our community are  only possible through  dedicated teams of volunteers led by Judy Bletchynden ( Op shop)and Jennifer Monahan ( Little Lambs).  Through the Op shop and Little Lambs, we are seeking to first be good news to our community.

However, this is not the best we can offer our community. The best we can offer our community is an introduction to Jesus. Ultimately it is for each person to decide if they want to explore or pursue a relationship with Jesus. However, we are encouraged by Jesus himself to go and make the invitation and to show the kingdom of God in our lives, in our actions , and in signs, wonders, and words. We cannot do this if we ourselves are not engaged in that transformative relationship  secured increasingly in God’s love for us. Alpha has helped us with this. Serving in Op shop and Little Lambs is an expression of it.

So once again I want to record my thanks to all who are involved in these ministries.  May you be blessed as you have blessed others.



What the St Nicholas Op Shop means to me

As a child we didn’t have Op shops where we lived, so on holidays to Melbourne one highlight was to visit the local ‘Opportunity Shop’ where our hard earned spending money went so much further! For years I had my felt doll ‘Ipana’, named after her beautifully stitched teeth, and my sister had ‘Dollar Wednesday’- no explanation needed! I didn’t realise then, but I have now realised what a blessing these shops are to the community.

A few years ago I felt it was my season to be able to do some work for the church and our community. Monday is my day off from teaching so with the understanding of the Op shop staff I was put on sorting fortnightly.  As possibly the youngest staff member, this definitely brought some challenges. For example I’m aware of some different brands to our other helpers, so when I see a pair of Mossimo jeans (which usually retail for over $200 a pair) I think “Awesome, put these on the rack” not “Those jeans have a tear, bin them”

We are so fortunate and blessed that our community are so giving. There is always so much to be sorted, and as a result our shop is only stocked with quality goods.

Due to the excess items we are able to help even further than our immediate area with Seafarers Mission, Women’s Refuge, the Prison and to the needy overseas.

A personal bonus of working at the Op shop is that it has given me the chance to find things for my classrooms and to wear myself!! I have found that this has actually had a positive reaction at school. I’m never embarrassed to say where my clothes come from, and as a result, my students now know if they comment on my outfit, the response more often or not is “from my favourite shop”, to which they respond with “Oh, the Australind Op shop”. I believe this has actually helped take the stigma away for some families who don’t have a choice but to buy preloved clothes as my students have gone home and asked their parents to take them to our Op shop to have a look!!

The Op shop is not just a place to buy a bargain.

It can be a place where people come feeling a bit low, find someone prepared to listen to them, and leave feeling better.

I love volunteering in the shop and chatting with customers.  I love helping them to locate what they are hoping to find. I strongly urge anyone to volunteer their time to the Op shop (especially some younger people) as it is very rewarding.

Shani Kaitani

What does it mean to you?