A local story about Anglican Catholic and Uniting Church people sharing the same church building shows ecumenism at work in a small community.
In December 1991, the Uniting Church (Hervey Bay) purchased a second-hand timber church and had it transported to Burrum Heads. Being a small community, people of all religious denominations assisted in the transfer and named it the “Burrum Heads Christian Community Church” – solely owned by the Uniting Church but available on request for other denominational use.
The Notice Board has the logos and information relating to each of the churches using the building: Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches
For a few years Fr Harry Bliss (Maryborough) would celebrate a Christmas and Easter Mass for the local Catholics. No other Catholic Church service was available here.
Later in the 90’s Burrum Heads became part of Hervey Bay City Catholic Parish and Fr Bernie Nolan and Fr Dave Batey negotiated with Rev. Clive George (Uniting Church) for our local Catholic Community to have regular Mass celebrations in this community church.
Our congregation totalled about 20 and after discussion we were allocated a time slot for our Masses. We now have 2 Masses and 2 Liturgies of the Word with Holy Communion each month. From the very first Mass (we didn’t have an organist) the Uniting Church organist volunteered her services to us. Seven years on, this wonderful woman still plays for us at everyservice conducted by the Catholic Church. Ecumenism at its best.
Our Community was named “St Peter the Fisherman Community Burrum Heads by Archbishop J. Bathersby in August 2004. We could only name our Community as we don’t own the church.
No money changes hands for our use of the church. The Catholic commitment is to take our turn to clean the church and assist with the regular fundraising to maintain and improve the church building and surrounds.
Every two months the “Community Church Committee” (representatives and interested persons) of each denomination meet and we are continually being invited to participate In the executive committee.
We could not wish for a more Christian, friendly and welcoming community. We use their Church, their organist, we have our Patron Saint’s holy picture hanging near the altar and have our own section on the Community Church notice board (financed by the Uniting Church).
Many friendships have been formed and I pray the various religious celebrations will continue to unite this Community.