Our church with the rest of the Rozelle community are very sadden at the loss of mother Bianka O'Brien and her baby Jude and Chris Noble in the tragic Rozelle explosion. Yesterday, I attended the daily community briefings held at the Hannaford Centre and saw how some local residents have been quite traumatised, particularly residents who live very close to where the explosion occured. Even seeing the empty block for myself sets in an unsettling feeling and sense of loss, since we are so used to seeing Darling St full of life and activity.
What has been heart warming is to see how Leichhardt Council, local businesses, community groups, local residents and churches have united together so quickly to help and comfort residents who have been affected and restore our community as a whole. We can thank God that Rozelle is a community that does look out for it's neighbours.
As a church, we have registered on the Rozelle Volunteer Register with Leichhardt Council to offer practical help of providing clothing, groceries, essential living items, counselling, prayer for those affected and volunteering for any community events.
Yesterday, I also went to visit Piccolo's Cafe on Darling St, which is one of our church's favourite cafe, to ask how our church could be supporting local businesses. I spoke to Andrew the owner and he expressed how lucky they are to not be significantly affected by the explosion and have been able to still open their business. Those businesses that are still closed due to the road closure and building demolition really need our support when they open again. Andrew has been collecting donations in their cafe and has even offered Penny Lane, a cafe opposite them that has been closed, their wait staff to volunteer and work in their cafe when they open. The road closure has detracted walking traffic and visitors to come and shop in Rozelle.
How to help and support?
Here are some ways you can help and support Rozelle:
Rozelle Volunteer Register
If you are wanting to find ways to provide practical help and volunteer your skills and services, you can register at the Rozelle Volunteer Register on the Leichhardt Council website.
Visit the markets, get a coffee, grab lunch, start on Christmas shopping
The best way to support local businesses in Rozelle at this point in time is let people know that there are businesses open and to come down to lend your support by shopping and uses their services. The Rozelle Markets are opening again this weekend and several cafes and shops continue to operate.
Rozelle Fire Appeal
You can provide financial support by donating to the Rozelle Fire Appeal. On Sunday 21st September, King George Park, 12-3pm, the Council is running a Fundraising Concert to help raise money for those affected by the Rozelle Fire tragedy - more details here.
How to pray?
- Give thanks for the wonderful Rozelle community with big hearts in how this community has rallied together with recent events.
- Pray for the victims and the family in their grief and loss and for continued healing for those injured.
- Pray that the businesses and residents affected will be cared for, speedy recovery of their property and essential services and for their needs to be met and losses recovered.
- Pray that counselling organisations and churches will be able to serve, care, counsel and comfort those affected, emotionally and spiritually.
Pastor Michael Nhieu