The Western Port Uniting Church Op Shop, which has been operating successfully for about 12 years, was rededicated during a parish service at Crib Point in late September.
Through the benevolence of the local Burley family, parish and parishioner contributions the Uniting Church has recently secured the freehold to the op shop property, which the service noted is an exceptional opportunity to advance the southern Victorian Western Port Parish’s missional activities.
Over the years an estimated $150,000 in donations and grants have been forwarded from op shop proceeds to numerous UC appeals and projects as well as many community groups addressing disadvantaged families or improving their facilities.
“The Op Shop is an integral component of the Western Port communities,” committee of management chair Shirley Nickels said.
“It has become a social focus for people to meet, greet and browse in a welcoming place.”
“The place hums along for three and a half days per week with endless tasks to perform to keep the shop neat and tidy, doing back room jobs, stocking shelves and arranging display windows.
“It is well supported by about 40 volunteers, provides social interaction, offers a vast range of excellent low-priced quality goods, enhances personal skills and satisfies community service requirements.
“We expect the Op Shop will continue to fulfil this essential community service well into the foreseeable future.”
The Op Shop was established in 2006 through the generosity of the Burley family, substantial parish support, extensive volunteer assistance aided by considerable community contributions.
The rededication service on 30 September was conducted by the Rev Wal Baker assisted by the inaugural chairperson of the committee, Isobel Anderson who cut the ribbon at the shop.
Isobel recalled the early days of fitting out the shop, recruiting staff, establishing procedures and building up the business.
She acknowledged the wonderful dedicated work of the many volunteers who had made the shop a resounding success.
Representatives of the three congregations, Balnarring, Crib Point and Hastings bought forward items to signify the services the Op shop offers.
At the conclusion of the service a light lunch was enjoyed by about 50 people.