Grumpy Jesus and the Lifesavers   

Dear Inner Circle,  

On my first day as CEO of Wayside Chapel, a picture appeared on our Facebook page with the title, “Guess who it is?” Immediately someone posted a big love heart emoji and the words, “Easy! That’s my favourite cleaner at Wayside.” I must confess I was thrilled to be confused with someone who has such a practical role, but the poor person who made the error was more than a little embarrassed when she found out. But it was an understandable mistake, and sometimes we need to be reminded that we all make mistakes! Just last week I was called to meet someone who wanted to know more about Wayside. After our time together he kindly made a donation, and then asked to take a photo together. I agreed, thinking that he wanted one to show his family. Well, turns out, he is pretty darn famous! His grace and humility were a reminder that we are all made from the same stuff! Oh, and he was wonderful at the Opera House acting in Amadeus as Salieri.  

Thankfully, Wayside is the place that, no matter who you are, you are treated the same. A few days ago, someone wandered in and collapsed, the team leapt into action, and I am pretty sure his heart stopped beating at one point. Yet our amazing staff refused to give up and they kept working on him till the paramedics arrived and resuscitated him. He came to and whilst he was a little dazed, he was also very angry. He left in a blaze of what we affectionately call “the Wayside adjectives” – amazing that someone we have never seen, and may very well never see again, was able to have such a great handle on our language.  

So, someone walked into the chapel, died, rose again and then swore at us. We will call him “Grumpy Jesus”, patron saint of the resurrection. Perhaps he really was an angel, albeit a grumpy one, sent to remind us that all life is fragile, and that we should never give up on anyone. A special thanks to the amazing team who literally brought him back to life, managing all of this while another visitor was making “helpful suggestions” and another one was watching, chewing slowly, and refusing to move until he had finished off his lunch. There really is never a dull moment by the Wayside. I look forward to sharing them with you all this year.  

It is good to be back.

Thank you for being a part of our Inner Circle.


Rev. Jon Owen
CEO & Pastor
Wayside Chapel

P.S Love is in the air at Wayside! We’ve kicked off our Valentine’s Day campaign, and we’d be so grateful if you shared the love with our visitors who could really do with some extra TLC, by donating today. Your gift will help stock Wayside’s supply of undies, socks and toiletries for the whole year, and keep hearts beating. Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a clean pair of undies!   

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