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Churches under one roof in Kalgoorlie-Boulder youth shed

Churches under one roof in Kalgoorlie-Boulder youth shed

Churches under one roof in Kalgoorlie-Boulder youth shed

27 August 2020

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Corps Youth Leader Cameron Mallory (right) with young people at the new Youth Shed, due to open in October.

By Lauren Martin

Cameron Mallory is a youth leader of a corps that has no youth group. Not that it worries him. The Kingdom of God has no denominational borders and neither does ministry to young people in the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in outback Western Australia.

“We don’t have many young people that come to our corps, so we don’t have a youth group,” Cameron says. “We have a few Salvo teenagers that go to Church of Christ [youth group.] So, every Friday that’s where I am – I’m a leader there.”

An old storage shed at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Corps has been transformed into a youth shed.

This type of collaboration doesn’t raise an eyebrow in a place like Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The practice of working together was the only way to survive in the early days of stagecoach travel and limited supplies in the region. Friendly bartering and sharing of resources were not just a kindness but a necessity. This culture is still alive and well amongst the churches, with a combined church service once a month and youth ministry regularly operating across denominations. “It’s just one church family,” says Cameron.

So, when Kalgoorlie-Boulder Corps decided to clean out the old shed on its property and turn it into a youth space, youth leaders from various churches and agencies put up their hands to help and be part of the outreach.

“Even though it’s going to be a Salvation Army-run project and overseen and governed by The Salvation Army, it’s going to be a collaborative effort; it’s everyone getting together to transform lives,” says Cameron.

The youth shed is just one of the many missional expressions of faith at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Corps that ministers to the entire Goldfields community of Western Australia, an area of approximately 95,000 square kilometres.

Various working bees have been held and hours spent getting the shed ready. There will be a Playstation gaming area, an air-hockey table, a craft room and a ‘chill-out’ space. According to Cameron, the aim is that young people will have somewhere they feel like they belong.

“The first objective is for youth to feel that they have that safe space that they can call their own. They know that they belong there; they know they feel safe, regardless of whether they’re Christians. They can be of any faith, they can be atheist, anything; they can come. It’s a non-judgmental space.”

Leaders and volunteers from other churches and community services have expressed an interest in training to become mentors within the Youth Shed space. A one-year-pilot project will begin in October, with the shed opening initially every Saturday afternoon from 3pm-9pm.

“The young people are pumped!” said Cameron. “It’s a space where if you’re that Christian kid who wants to invite your non-Christian friends to youth group then it’s that stepping-stone space that friends can use to bring their friends to Christ.”

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