The Cecil is an old guesthouse in Katoomba, NSW, with a chequered history. Built in 1920, it recently lay derelict until Anglicare bought it in 2015 and renovated the sprawling building into a 26-room bedsit for the over-60s at risk of homelessness.
Not only does this wonderful building provide a home for the disadvantaged, but also the partnership with the local Anglican Church, St Hilda’s, means the residents have an immediate affiliation with a believing community.
Resident Bob was one night away from sleeping on the streets when accommodation became available at the Cecil. He now marvels at the provision from the God he is not too sure about. ‘This must have been a God thing. How else could it have happened? I love it here.’
Alice had nowhere to live and was unsure of her future. She is delighted with the arrangement. ‘I can go to the lounge area when I want company or go into my unit and shut the door when I don’t.’ Many residents have wandered up to St Hilda’s for services, their monthly market morning and even some Christianity Explored courses.
St Hilda’s minister, Rev Ray Robinson, is excited about the opportunities to share the gospel with this community. Welcome packs have been made and plans are underway to celebrate Christmas together with some small gifts for each resident as a token of love from the church.
In partnership with Anglicare, St Hilda’s will continue to build connections and share the love of Jesus with this small vulnerable community on their doorstep.
Here are some before and after shots…