New Burnie Meeting Hall an Asset of The Town
In March of this year, the Burnie Plymouth Brethren church invited members from all over the world for a special meeting. When they arrived, the visitors were introduced to a new meeting hall.
Burnie is a small community in northwest Tasmania where Plymouth Brethren have lived for many years. Townspeople are familiar with the sound of the gospel preached on their streets. Brethren business owners provide a substantial proportion of the town’s jobs. Many of these employers have been supported by Burnie council’s encouragement over the years and when more families belonging to the PBCC moved into Burnie they were warmly welcomed.
The church’s membership has grown over the years until it became apparent that a larger meeting hall was needed.
In 2008 the Burnie PBCC purchased 3.85 ha of land and gained approval for an 8 row hall in a similar style to many other PBC Churches around the globe.
Construction works began in mid-2009 with contractors completing the initial stages of earthworks in good time. In November of that year a team of trustees on the Burnie PBCC Building Committee set a target for completion of November 2010.
A large band of workers, managed by the Burnie brethren committed to a year of intense effort. Skilled volunteers from the church, both local and interstate, carried out much of the construction. Local tradespeople were also enthusiastic and willing to help out with supplying equipment, and the council of Burnie was supportive throughout.
Week after week, people worked tirelessly, sustained by meals provided by the community. The effort was a great success – the project was completed a month ahead of schedule.
On October 26 2010, the Burnie PBCC commenced using this meeting room – every member who attended knew that they had in one way or another, contributed to the new hall they were enjoying.
Mayor of Burnie, Alvwyn Boyd, voiced his admiration when he and other Councillors inspected the hall. “This building would have to be one of the best buildings in Burnie. We are hoping that more of you people will move here and bring your businesses now it is finished.” he commented during the walk-through of the premises. Another councillor, Paul Arnold, told the Plymouth Brethren “This project is a credit to you and we are impressed with how smoothly the building went with no issues with the people around.”
Burnie’s Plymouth Brethren could certainly never have had such success without the Council’s support, or that of the citizens of the town.
Perhaps most telling are the comments from non-Brethren residents who work and live near hall. The head of the local fire department, John Streets, told the Burnie Brethren after completion “you are a deterrent in the area and the numerous break-ins we were having have stopped since you moved in. We will avoid having our training sessions on Sunday when you are having services.”, and a resident of the same street as the hall voiced their support, stating, “we are pleased to have you people over the road, you never worry us.”
It was a pleasure to welcome Brethren from around the world to the new Burnie hall at the start of the year, and many other localities where Plymouth Brethren are building halls are looking forward to such success with their projects.
The Burnie meeting room is now in regular use and well-disposed visitors in the area are welcome to come and hear the gospel.