Melbourne, Australia, 2009 – Plymouth Brethren Christian Church members rally to raise over $3 Million for Bushfire victims.

Melbourne, Australia, 2009 – Plymouth Brethren Christian Church members rally to raise over $3 Million for Bushfire victims.

Plymouth Brethren raise 3M on bushfire in Victoria Australia

On Saturday 7th February 2009, after a decade of severe drought conditions, a devastating Bushfire enveloped the rural communities in the hills on the northern and eastern outskirts of the Australian city of Melbourne, Victoria. The fires were of such speed and ferocity, that they formed a ‘Firestorm’ devouring 352,686 hectares of bush and farmland, including whole communities, with the tragic loss of 173 lives and over 2000 houses.

It rates as the worst bushfire and natural disaster in Australian history.

Fire in Victoria in 2009

Survivors had lost everything, including family, friends and homes. The Victorian Government announced a Bushfire Appeal, to be administered by the Australian Red Cross, to provide funding and support for the victims and communities.

Whilst none of their members were directly affected, the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church in Australia immediately rallied to support this Appeal and organised its own Fund Raising from amongst its members in Australia and internationally.

As a result 3,645 Church members made generous donations, including 37 from Church members in the UK, resulting in AU$ 3,052,214 being handed over to the Australian Red Cross by members of the local Plymouth Brethren Christian Church – Diamond Creek, Vic. congregation.

These funds have been used in the ongoing support and rebuilding of shattered lives and communities, and have helped alleviate the suffering and hardship endured by so many.

Plymouth Brethren gift 3 million dollars to red cross in Victoria Bush Fire 2009

25 thoughts on “Melbourne, Australia, 2009 – Plymouth Brethren Christian Church members rally to raise over $3 Million for Bushfire victims.”

  1. Wolf Hagelmeyer says:

    John, these people are being persecuted like the Jews. They are being forced to advertise. If you have a problem – speak to God and find out what he has to say. I have and you can. These people havent done any harm nor did Christ when he was here on earth. How much trouble he got into for doing good. Proverbs will tell you what God thinks of contentious people. Let it be you are not among them.

    1. John Peters says:

      I have to say that I am bemused that in light of ‘admins’ comment below ( “No further comments relating to this particular discussion will be added.” ), there have been 2 further comments yet an earlier reply I sent was not included. I’m happy to respond (if allowed!).



    2. Admin says:

      John Peters,

      Thanks for pointing this out, we had a technical issue that we have resolved.

      Trust you will agree that sometimes conversations get to a point where they lose value.

  2. Admin says:

    John Peters and Others,
    We think this discussion between you has been given a fair hearing on both sides.
    No further comments relating to this particular discussion will be added.
    Other comments about the post are welcome.
    Thanks, Admin.

    1. rose says:

      Thanks Admin, grateful for that.

      What I see is not a case of the Brethren trying to blow their own trumpet at all, but because of the charity commission in England’s rather horrifying approach, threatening them with non-charitable status, they are being ‘forced’ to ‘advertise’ their good works – not because they want to at all. They have always done these good works for as long as I’ve known them (many years), and knowing a bit about them, I am sure they always will, because it is part of their Christian character.

      Keep up the good work, Brethren – it’s often an unnoticed and sometimes thankless task, but probably more noticed than you think. You are wonderful people, and I greatly admire your generosity, among many other things in the lives that you live – truly CHRISTIAN. THANK YOU.

  3. Romp says:

    This month Brethren in eastern australia have been responding to the firestorms providing relief to firefighters in the way of drinking water and soft drinks as well as water cartage for fighting the fires.

  4. David says:

    John Peters, the publicising of gifts is Biblical.
    1) In Matt 5, v15-16 the Lord spoke of putting a lamp on a lampstand, to let our light shine before men that they may see the Christian’s good works & thus glorify the Father.
    2) John 8 v13 the Jews accused the Lord of witnessing concerning Himself, He said ‘Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is true’.
    3) St Paul bore record to himself several times including his boasting in 2 Corinthians 11 v16-33. He boasted to defend himself against criticism, so also the PBCC. Totally Biblical, John.

    1. John Peters says:

      Hi David, I’m don’t feel you are quoting those verses in context, as they do not relate to the giving of monetary gifts. The passage I quoted below directly does relate to it, and talks about it being done in secret. If the reward you seek for your giving is the acclaim of man then you will receive this by your publicity, if it is done to honour God then you do not need to publicise.

  5. John North says:

    Get a life and try to see the “positives” John Peters…the Plymouth Brethren are generous givers which is their own personal choice.
    I have witnessed their generosity to non church employees of PB businesses and they “go the extra .mile” to help and bless others.
    With all the negative news on tv / radio and in papers It is Good to Read about positive contributions to the communities in which we all live.
    God values a cheerful giver and “looks at the heart” – not the amount!

    1. John Peters says:

      “Get a life”? That’s a pretty poor response in all honesty. Giving is a personal choice – absolutely. I am not questioning the giving but the publicity and the focus on this. The exclusive brethren are a Church and as such are directed by God, through His word. In Matthews gospel we read that “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    2. E James says:

      You are quoting scripture John, which is true of course. I think the difficulty is in the interpretation.
      The articles about the charitable acts are not written by an individual writer about him/herself. They are written about members of the faith as a whole, emphasizing the fact that it is Christianity as God would have it that is a benefit to mankind. Many 1000’s of Christians donated to the bushfire cause including myself. I did not (and did not expect) to receive any recognition or publicity about it. In fact no one else did either! I certainly didn’t announce it in the streets or tell even my closest friends.
      The fact is that there are certain men and organisations who are trying to discredit Christianity and Christians like the Plymouth Brethren by claiming that they give no public benefit. The purpose of these articles are therefore necessary to defend Christianity and the charitable status of the Plymouth Brethren alike. Don’t you agree this is important?

  6. Michael says:

    Can’t win! One minute you get accused for being secretive. The minute you tell us about your activities you get in trouble. Whingers will be whingers.

    1. John Peters says:

      This was not a whinge, but simply an observation on much of the content on this blog. I am really sorry you took such offence to my comment it as this was never my intention. You may be comfortable with the advertising of the charity giving but I am not and am struggling to see how this publicising of the gifts is Biblical. You may be able to help?

    2. Ali says:

      Virtually any charity you care to name advertises the ‘good works’ that they do – not least so that donaters can see what their money is being used for. After all, they depend on that money coming in! I can’t see that the Plymouth Brethren are any different?

  7. Laura says:

    I am from England and I gave money for this cause. Once again – as much as we could righteously afford because as most people know…. ‘righteousness is our leader’

    1. John Peters says:

      It is commendable to support these worthy causes, my concern was the apparent need to publicise this so clearly, as if you seek the approval of man rather than God seeing what you do in private? I may be mistaken but God knows all, and blesses generosity undertaken in secret. Charity also is on a small scale and is equally important – this reflects relationships with family and neighbours that are not plymouth brethren. How does that work within the plymouth brethren? Would you have your neighbours around for a meal?

    2. Admin says:

      Fully agree, much of our charity work is done unseen both on a small and a larger scale. As has been rightly pointed out, this has been done for many years, but only more recently has the website and blog been available. We trust that this will inspire others to also get involved. We have had many positive comments from the general public thrilled to be made aware of positive stories amongst the daily news.

  8. John Peters says:

    Why is there so much on your website about the donations that you are making to organisations. Surely God will see what you do in private and bless this if you are doing it for the right reasons.

    1. Tom says:

      Although, as you say, there is a selection of articles on the website about the charitable works the church regularly undertakes , brethren members would often make private donations to many and varied organisations which mostly would never be known.

  9. Eleanor says:

    If the Plymouth Brethren are giving so much away to charity when they are already a charity is it really fair to make them pay so much to preserve their charitable status when they are obviously doing so much good, not only around the country but around the world

    1. deb says:

      No of course it is not fair AT ALL… it’s rotten and mean, the way I see it.

  10. BMUS says:

    This is a very large amount of money and extremely generous.
    The benefit to the public is quite outstanding BUT how did you get this amount of money together?
    A question though, was it all just gifts from the members or was it a fund raising drive you did or fund raising ventures or was it a combination of these sources?

    1. Admin says:

      This was an extremely traumatic event in the history of Australia and it drew out the sympathy and generous donations from Church members. All the money donated was from Church members!

    2. Longblack says:

      Sure was traumatic! I saw what happened first hand. Seems like these tragedies often bring out the best in people. This is a classic example of the true Christian spirit

    3. BUBO says:

      I am from Europe and was in Victoria at the time of the fires.

      We simply all put together and donated as much as we could righteously afford.

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