New Hammondville Sunday service rekindles 80-year chapel tradition

Archdeacon Bob Hammond at Hammondville with Pioneer Homes residents.
Archdeacon Bob Hammond at Hammondville with Pioneer Homes residents.

A new Hammondville Sunday service has rekindled an 80-year-old chapel tradition.

Earlier this month, the HammondGrove Community Church in the lounge area of the Village Centre was launched.

It's throwback to when Archdeacon Bob Hammond would make sure there would be a regular Sunday church worship in the local Brasnett Community Hall when he established his 1930s rent-buy homes scheme for battling families at Hammondville. Back then, volunteers from Hammond's St Barnabas Church, Broadway would travel each week to Hammondville to ensure services went ahead.

The new service, to be held fortnightly at 4pm, are intended to serve the residents of Hammondville's Independent Living Units. HammondCare Pastoral Care Co-ordinator Ian Wooley is overseeing the services.

"The service will not be run according to any specific denominational tradition and will include elements of church services we all know and enjoy - singing, praying, fellowshipping, Bible reading and preaching," Pastor Wooley said.

"Everyone will be made welcome. Many of the ILU residents are anxious about venturing too far at the moment due to the pandemic so this will suit their needs."

The new church replaces regular Sunday services which date back decades in the Bond House chapel due to COVID-19.

 Pastor Ian Wooley.

Pastor Ian Wooley.

John Hall, an ordained Uniting Church minister, attended and even ran some of the Bond House chapel Sunday services for more than 40 years. His wife Margaret played the organ.

He said he and his wife are looking forward to being part of the new HammondGrove Community Church.

HammondCare Head of Pastoral Care and Volunteer Services Reverend Andrew Nixon said: "There has been Sunday services in some shape or form dating back to the beginnings of Hammondville. It's great for us to be continuing that grand tradition."