Vinnies State Office in a new light at Lewisham

09/07/2010

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Vinnies Parramatta Diocesan Administration Manager Eric Ellem with Most Rev Terence Brady DD VG Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney.

"Here in the place new light is streaming.”

The significance of the opening line of the Gathering Hymn at last week's Blessing & Commissioning of St Vincent De Paul Society NSW’s new State Office in Lewisham wasn’t lost on Vinnies staff who had worked next door in the Society’s previous home of 20 years, the old Petersham Hospital building.

As it hadn’t been designed for office space, the Petersham site was made up of often dark and small rooms. The new State Office stands in stark contrast: despite being spread over four floors of considerable size, most staff work no further than five metres from the natural light and views provided by the building's external glass facade. This use of space was among the innovative features brought to the project by Paynter Dixon, which was contracted in early 2007 to design and build a budget, environmentally-friendly and open-plan building to meet the needs of Vinnies NSW for the next 50 years and beyond, in its support of its members, volunteers and the community.

The building became the new home of Vinnies State Office in April, and was blessed and commissioned by Most Rev Terence Brady DD VG Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney on Thursday 8 July.

"In His life, Our Lord Jesus Christ was known as the carpenter's son and willingly worked with the tools of His trade," Bishop Brady said. "Let us pray He will shower His blessings on all who will work in these offices dedicated to the work of the St Vincent De Paul Society."

Warmth and welcome

New State Office of the St Vincent De Paul Society NSW
Into the light...the new State Office of the St Vincent De Paul Society NSW.
Most Rev Terence Brady DD VG Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney
Most Rev Terence Brady DD VG Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney.

Bishop Brady urged those present to ensure that “in all we do, people can see Jesus in us.”

"When people come in the door here, they have to see Jesus in this place," Bishop Brady said. "They have to see the compassion, the love, the hospitality, the warmth, that welcome."

There are more than 500 Vinnies volunteer members and 70 employees in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. Vinnies operates four Vinnies Centres (Seven Hills, Springwood, Kingswood and Merrylands) in the Diocese, as well as youth and social services including the Cardinal Freeman Centre, Our Lady of the Way and the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Social Justice.

Parishioners attached to Vinnies Conferences conduct home visitations and other initiatives in 47 Parishes throughout the Diocese.

For more photos from the Blessing & Commissioning, see our Multimedia Gallery.


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