THE Anglican Bishop of Ballarat has praised the work of Warrnambool Anglicare volunteers and says it’s often harder to provide local support on the ground than give away money to international charities.
Bishop Garry Weatherill spoke at the Warrnambool Anglicare annual meeting on Thursday.
Bishop Weatherill said sometimes it was easier to give money to people in Tanzania but harder to support third generation welfare recipients or someone who had been released from jail for the fourth time. “I think that model of doing things small and local is something that the rest of social organisations in Australia sometimes need to recapture,” he said.
“Because often it’s in the small and the local that people feel they can really make a difference. They’re not just contributing to some huge organisation that gets millions of bucks from the government. We’re actually in our local communities making a difference by our local engagement with local people in need.”
Bishop Weatherill said one of the strengths of Anglicare was its continuation with parish partnerships.
“We have our own structures and our own life and lots of little local projects,” he said. “Like the things that happen here in Warrnambool and other parts of the south-west and other parts of the diocese as well.
“In lots of little places things happen that are small but make a significant difference because people are sharing what they have received in abundance with those who haven't got such abundance.”
Bishop Weatherill said Anglicare Victoria had a strong vision with a focus on young people and families. “If we’re to be whole we need to be able to look locally... deliver services locally and in as targeted way as possible, but we do need help keeping the bigger picture so we don’t just get caught up with pre occupations,” he said.
“Anglicare in this diocese is in a great position. We have the support and the backing of the big organisation but we also have the fantastic resource of the hundreds of volunteers. Ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary places to try and improve the lives around them.
“It’s about taking abundance we have in our own places… celebrating that and then sharing that abundance with people who are not as lucky as we are.”