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Maryborough builds on a legacy of play

Maryborough builds on a legacy of play

Maryborough builds on a legacy of play

16 April 2021

A new community playground on Salvation Army land in Maryborough, Victoria, has paved the way for greater connection with locals. And these kids think the new playground is ace!

By Jessica Morris

Ask any parent or carer what their kids needed most during the COVID-19 lockdown and the answer is unanimous – a public playground.

Creating faith pathways

And now, thanks to a generous legacy fund left to Maryborough Corps in Victoria, the community has an open play space for the kids to let off steam. And it’s right in front of the corps. Parents rejoice!

“Our building here is seven years old, and stage two [plans] included building a playground. Then, last year, we received a legacy [donation] to benefit the corps for purpose of the playground!” said Corps Officer Captain Ronald Stobie.

“It’s all completely open to allow the community to connect with us. And since doing that, we’re regularly seeing people engaging with us, which gives us the opportunity to connect with people who weren’t previously [interacting] with us.”

Despite the ups and downs of COVID restrictions, work on the playground began on 11 January and within three weeks kids were hitting the swings and sliding down the slippery dip.

Captains Ronald and Amy Stobie are excited about the potential for further community connection in Maryborough now that the playground has been built.

It’s fair to say no Victorian will ever take a public play space like this for granted again, and that’s even more true in Maryborough, central Victoria, where a patchy internet connection can make it nearly impossible to stream online content, or connect through technology.

“One of our hopes is that we can create a space so people can come and just be. In the near future, we want to make a barbeque area, so we can create a safe space for people in the community to connect with us,” shares Ronald.

“Yeah, we’ve got church services. But it’s about sharing the love of Jesus as we go ... like Jesus says in Matthew 28.”

Before COVID, Maryborough had a congregation of 60-80 people on Sundays, and kept busy facilitating programs like indoor bowls, youth group, the ‘mainly music’ program, and Friday Fellowship. They are still passionate about running these programs [albeit with social distancing], but they are excited to go beyond their church walls as they create disciples in 2021.

“It’s not just about running programs and expecting people to come. It’s about engaging with people already in the community, and using what we already have,” said Ronald.

“Nothing is more important than sitting alongside someone and sharing the love of Jesus, because they see it in your own life.”

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