A New Beginning in Austral

23 May 2024

By Anne Simpson

Pentecost Sunday seemed an appropriate day to celebrate a new beginning for a church community in our network, inviting the Spirit to bring a new season in its history to life.

Austral Church of Christ, in Sydney’s south-west, was established just over 90 years ago but was relaunched in May as a campus of Campbelltown Church of Christ. More than 100 people gathered to celebrate the milestone, which included the dedication of the newly refurbished church building and the appointment of elder Torna Nasato.

“At one point, we had dwindled down to a handful of people, so seeing the music and the kids running around was a beautiful sight. God has given us hope to share with this community. This area is growing, and we are hoping they will see the light in us, and it will bring them in,” says Torna.

The lead-up to this day was a journey of discernment for the leadership of both churches and an experience of God’s provision.

“There is a beautiful sense of the fullness of God’s activity in this,” says Campbelltown Senior Pastor Ryan Graham. “Particularly as Austral is the mother church of Campbelltown. So, it feels like an opportunity to give back to the church that envisioned and invested in us.”

The service also celebrated the support of the wider network of churches in resourcing the new season of ministry.

“The way that the other church of Christ churches have helped to make this possible is how we’re all together in this,” says John Chew, a member at Campbelltown and former board member, speaking of the donation of chairs from the old Penrith Church of Christ building and a sound desk from Living Hope, at Maitland.

“This really speaks of collaboration and the idea we are stronger because we are walking side-by-side together.”

Project-managed by Matt Young from the Network Resource Team, the eight-week renovation includes external and internal painting, carpet replacement and a fire safety upgrade.

However, the buzz among the group gathering on Pentecost morning was not about the building but how the good news of Jesus might capture the surrounding community.

As one of Sydney’s fast-growing regions, the Austral locals and the Campbelltown congregation members who joined to celebrate with them feel a sense of anticipation.

“It was the potential mission of this area that drew me to make Austral my church family,” says Owen, who has been a part of the church for the past four years. “We are looking forward to what God will do through us!”

Are you interested in joining the Austral Campus? They meet at Austral every Sunday for church, with a kids program at 10.30am, at 236 Edmondson Ave, Austral.

Read more stories from churches of Christ in NSW & ACT HERE