In Murrurundi, where the drought is affecting everybody, Anglican churches are playing a vital role of support in the community. “We’ve been on level six water restrictions since July 2018, which means three-minute showers, clothes washing twice a week, and no watering,” says local Murrurundi Priest, Rev’d Barbara Morgan.
So many farmers have had to sell off their stock. Water has needed special delivery, and at one stage only bottled water was available for drinking.
Earlier this year a network of Anglican parishes in Newcastle got in touch to see what they could do, and together they raised almost $10,000. Murrurundi Parish used the funds to assist the start of a ‘Pop-Up Shop’. The local Lions Club organises large orders of groceries to be delivered into town, including food for lambs and calves, which are available for collection.
People come all the way from Merriwa to collect free toiletries and other items, Rev’d Barbara says. A couple of farming family members volunteer at the Pop-Up Shop with others. Some items also go to ‘The Red Door’, a weekly community lunch organized in shared ministry by the Uniting and Anglican churches in Muswellbrook.
Anglican churches have been alongside other organisations contributing in the community. The Upper Hunter & Muswellbrook Shire Councils have introduced “We live here” cards, which people use as gift cards. Service NSW at Singleton and Muswellbrook have bins to donate food. Rural Aid came to town, the army band played for all the schools and donated instruments, and volunteered. Parishioners from All Saint Nelson Bay have also visited twice to offer volunteer assistance.
There are many ways that people in our churches can help. Please contact Rev’d Barbara Morgan at Murrurundi Parish if you are interested in making a donation: https://www.newcastleanglican.org.au/your-church/murrurundi/