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    (Printed 2005)


Building with the Community  By : Don Smith


Northam, WA, church is looking at an amazing change of face after Northam Town Council recently approved plans to replace the present building. Northam is a country town situated 100 km east of Perth, in the wheat belt region of Western Australia. Northam has a population of 6,500, and has significance as a regional centre.


The church is celebrating its centenary this year. However, as well as celebrating the past, church leaders have been encouraging members to be outward-focused to the future. Plans are well under way for a multi-purpose, community-friendly facility to be known as Bridgeley Community Centre, Home of Northam Church of Christ.


Pastor Bill Addison said the church wanted the new facilities to be available to the greater community, not just for church people.


“Our vision talks about being a growing, dynamic and caring community, committed to becoming more like Jesus, to reveal him to others. We want to put that into practice,” he said. “The present church building is dated and does not meet today’s needs. We want every person in our town to feel comfortable and welcome in our new building, which will be for the whole community to use.”


The building program, coordinated by Colin and Shirley Smyth, includes a 250-seat auditorium, a 90-seat training and seminar room, church offices, several smaller meeting rooms, a child-care area, and coffee lounge, and has full disabled access. Shirley said that when they were planning the building they went to the Town Council and asked what needs for facilities had been identified within the town. “We were told that there was a need for a conference room suitable for 30–90 people,” she said.  


“One of the most exciting outcomes has been the great interest that has been raised in the community by this process”, Shirley said. “Lotterywest officials encouraged us to undergo a consultation process to support our application for funding assistance. It’s been very exciting to see the response.” The proposed plans have been well publicised to the community through the local paper, a public briefing meeting and by establishing acommunity reference group. As a result, several government departments, community organisations and local business people have indicated strong interest in using the facilities along side the church programs. It is hoped building will start early in the new year.




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Last modified 15th April, 2011