Community News

Church afloat on the Clarence

The official commissioning and blessing of a new ministry in the Clarence. Pic: Lynne Mowbray.
The official commissioning and blessing of a new ministry in the Clarence. Pic: Lynne Mowbray.

There has been a lot of interest over recent weeks as to the story behind a house boat which has been moored at the Yamba marina, with the words ‘Church on the Clarence’ written on it.
Rector of the Anglican Parish at Maclean (and owner of the boat) Reverend Lyn Bullard said that she had been thinking of ways to do “church” better (to make church more appealing to the community) and came up with the vision during a walk in Yamba.
“I was walking past Yamba Marina praying and I looked up and saw a houseboat,” she said.
“I believed it was a sign from God.
“Water is very therapeutic in itself and it seemed to be an obvious place to start and a less daunting place to meet particularly for people with specific needs eg depression, grief and loss and for people recovering from divorce and other problems associated with today’s generation,” said Rev Bullard.
On Saturday morning a special commissioning and blessing service was performed at the marina by the Right Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil.
The 17½ metres long ‘Church on the Clarence’ will be available for seminars and counselling in areas such as depression, grief and loss, divorce recovery, etc.
The boat which has been named “Resurrection” was all but destroyed after four drunken men stole it and took it for a joy ride into a storm, to see how it went. The hull was salvaged and the vessel resurrected.
Just as the boat has been given a second chance in life – it’s hoped that many who utilize it, will also have that chance.
“There are many people in our community suffering in silence who need to be heard, helped and healed,” said Rev. Lyn Bullard
“This boat is to host life and a second chance at life.
“Sometimes conventional church buildings are perceived as a ‘once a week’ place of worship, but a ‘fair dinkum church’, as described in the Bible is a daily, vibrant, hands-on centre for everybody.”
“Also, any Church I belong to has to be fun”, said Rev. Lyn, “so the ‘Church on the Clarence’ will be a place for fun occasions such as weddings, play groups and anniversaries. You name it, we celebrate it!
“At Christmas we plan to have ‘Carols on the Clarence’.
“This boat is for everybody”.
For more information: Phone Lyn on 0437 685 671 or 0412 966 458.