Dear Inner Circle,

From the moment we opened our doors in 1964, Wayside Chapel has been on the frontline of providing unconditional love and support to the most marginalised people on and around Sydney’s streets. Every day of the year, our Community Service Centres in Kings Cross and Bondi Beach deliver essential services that bring dignity and support to anyone who is socially isolated.

From our humble beginnings, and throughout our history, many have toiled to ensure that our services can match the needs of those who walk through our doors. Today our entire community is facing unprecedented challenges including drought, bushfire, flood and coronavirus. These circumstances are creating fear across our community. Fear that is producing selfishness, greed and anxiety. Fear that is having the biggest impact on those that are already struggling with life, those who are most marginalised, isolated and at risk. 

In these times where we ‘self-isolate’ we are all going to experience difficulties. Wayside’s mission has always been to create community with no ‘us and them’, so where we disconnect from our community we will all struggle. It is through our social connections that we find our place in the world, a sense of efficacy and purpose. Let’s remember that there are those people for whom these social connections are also essential for survival.

For over 50 years Wayside has responded to this kind of social dislocation with its own unique brand of love. ‘Love over hate’ is our vision and we are convinced that love casts out fear. The antidote for coronavirus is still months or years away, but at Wayside we know that love binds us together as a community with chords of connection that cannot easily be broken.  

Every action we take is an expression of that which we value. Which is why, in the midst of this fear, Wayside will be keeping our doors open. With robust precautions in place, we will continue to do what we do best; love those who need us the most and support the most vulnerable in our community. This need will only grow as more people lose their jobs, as more agencies are closing in the next few months, and more people turn to Wayside for help.

We also know that facts also counter fear, so we will be monitoring and making adjustments to how we operate in the days ahead based on advice from reliable sources. Wayside Chapel will continue to monitor and follow the advice of the government, the Chief Medical Officer and Federal Department of Health’s advice on a daily basis, and remain agile in our response to ensure that we do everything we can to minimise risks for our visitors, staff and volunteers. 

Read Wayside Chapel's Coronavirus Response here
I will say that in a world where everything is changing on an hourly basis, please rest assured in the knowledge that we won’t be, because our love for our community will remain constant, and be at the forefront of everything we do.

We ask that you continue to stand with us. We thank you for being part of that community, our precious Inner Circle, 

Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel

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