We are a missional church seeking to minister to a community that has been written off by many. As a church we are committed to be apart of God’s mission of transforming lives through being a friendly and safe community for people to get to know and follow Jesus. There are a number of ways that we try to engage with and be apart of the Berkeley community, including our op shop, Sunday gatherings, Adopt a Block, Celebrate Recovery, food pickup and just genuinely contributing to the community day to day. Under the leadership of Wayne Pickford, we are learning together how to be the people of God in a world and an area where life is often a struggle.
Rev. Wayne Pickford (Senior Pastor) has headed up Berkeley Life Centre since 2007. Wayne, a former prison guard and professional wrestler (yes … seriously ….!!) says he wouldn’t pick anywhere other than Berkeley to lead a church, despite the daily barriers that come with being a ‘parentless’ church plant in a welfare class area. Wayne interacts with locals daily, meeting them where they’re at, praying for them and connecting them with local services. He looks after a small team of volunteers who carryout Berkeley Life Centre’s Mission and Values.
Berkeley Life Centre currently comes under Evangelism and New Churches (ENC) which is part of Sydney Anglicans. Throughout the last century, Evangelism and New Churches (ENC) has been at the forefront of proclaiming the Gospel within Sydney and into the wider world. In 1914 the first Diocesan Missioner was appointed. In 1927 the Board of Diocesan Missions was established.
BLC relies heavily on outside support. It is a great honour to partner with Christians who support us with their wallets, their prayers and their love for the lost. We are blessed by the women and men from other churches who give financially and share the gifts God has given them with us in a number of different ways. In a time with emphasis on cross cultural ministry, we must not neglect our own backyard and the welfare class of Australia – the forgotten of Australia.
The most common issues in Berkeley are; high unemployment, where, in many families, we see second and third generation unemployment. There are many affected by addiction issues, whether it be with drugs, alcohol or gambling. Sadly, we regularly see young children under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both. A worrying number of people living in Berkeley suffer from depression, low self esteem or other mental health issues and they have plenty of free time to get into trouble. But what keeps me in Berkeley is the belief that Jesus Christ can not only transform lives but transform a community.
Just over half of the population in Berkely are not in the workforce.
62% of people over 15 in Berkeley have not completed education above year 10.
Approximately 1 in 4 houses in Berkeley are public housing.
The domestic violence rate in Berkeley is almost double Aust. average
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
James 1:22-25 ESV