Moira Evers is the mother of all things community – literally.
The former novice nun turned Anglican priest is on a mission to help those less fortunate in the city’s west.
With the recent deconsecration of St Luke’s Church, Telarah, Mother Moira has a plan.
She has already established a vegetable patch at St Christopher’s, Rutherford designed to help feed struggling families but she wants to take her charity work to the next level.
Her plan now is to establish a permanent op-shop and cafe at St Luke’s to keep the parish’s bank balance healthy with future plans to build a bathroom facility and buy a washing machine and clothes dryer for the area’s homeless.
“We’ve been very lucky receiving grants of $27,000 which enabled us to get things started,” she said.
“We did up our kitchen to a semi-commercial status, improved the garden beds and installed water tanks,” she said.
“We now run an emergency food relief every Tuesday between 9am and midday working in partnership with the Samaritans.
“We received another grant to build a shed and fill it with non-perishable goods. I also hope to buy a washing machine and dryer.
“There is quite significant homelessness in this area and I know of five people at the moment who are living in cars, three are women with children so we want to be able to offer not only food but the provision for people who are homeless to wash and dry clothes and restore a bit of dignity,” she said.
Mother Moira said the church is receiving a lot of calls for assistance.
“I’d love to get the showering facilities in because there is no where around here where someone who is homeless can go to clean themselves up. Gyms certainly aren’t going to let them in,” she said.
At St Luke’s we have a pop-up op-shop happening at the moment in the hall on Saturday mornings but I’d like to see it become a permanent fixture.
“It was sad we had to deconcecrate the church but we had to do it to keep our heads above water financially,” Mother Moira said.
“We didn’t want to sell the whole site because we wanted to offer something to the community and there are no other op-shops around here.
“I realise we have to go through council but I would love to set up a coffee bar with real barista coffee and have that as an opportunity to train people in hospitality,” she said.
“The money would all go back into the parish and help with the emergency food relief.”