Carinity aids Southport church in serving disadvantaged

A Gold Coast church is set to greatly increase its capacity to support local individuals and families facing disadvantage.

CrossLife Baptist Church in Southport is expanding its community outreach ministries with the support of Carinity.

Pastor Jimmy Hill said CrossLife Southport is embarking on developing its Compassion Centre, which will help “address significant needs within our community”.

Volunteers of the food pantry ministry at CrossLife Baptist Church in Southport
Volunteers of the food pantry ministry at CrossLife Baptist Church in Southport. The church is expanding its capacity to support Gold Coast families facing disadvantage.

“The Compassion Centre will eventually include a community courtyard, playground, barbeque, café, op shop, relocation of our food pantry, and rooms for counselling services which is a vital part of working through hardship and trauma,” Jimmy said.

“We believe these initiatives will greatly assist those who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness, recovering from addiction, facing unemployment, suffering financial hardship, experiencing mental illness, or affected by family violence.

“Through relationships, we want to help build resilience in people.”

The Compassion Centre is supported by Carinity’s Collaborative Community Projects scheme. Funded outreach programs help promote connectivity for vulnerable people, relieve and mitigate disadvantage, and increase the strength of local neighbourhoods across Queensland.

Through a partnership with the Australian Anti Ice Campaign, a key part of the project entails a café that provides barista training to those coming out of drug rehabilitation.

The Compassion Centre project will also include a new community op shop that will provide clothes to those in need, as well as a courtyard where community meals will take place.

CrossLife Baptist Church pastor Jimmy Hill
Jimmy Hill and Brenda Newland at the site of CrossLife Baptist Church’s new Compassion Centre, which is supported by Carinity Collaborative Community Projects funding.

“We plan on providing free clothes for those affected by hardship, whether they be homeless, recovering from addiction, unemployed, or affected by family violence,” Jimmy said.

Jimmy said the Compassion Centre project will include the relocation and expansion of the church’s existing food pantry, which “helps to provide dignity to those who need assistance”.

“Set up like a farmers’ market, our food pantry offers a broad range of food – all of which is free – bringing significant relief to individuals and households. Alongside bread, fruit and vegetables, those in need are able to request non-perishables which would most benefit them,” he said.

“In addition, the church is hoping to launch an empowered faith community; a space where the disadvantaged can explore and grow in faith in Jesus.

“We are really excited about the possibilities this project will bring in helping us extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need.”

CrossLife Southport is one of 26 Baptist churches and organisations around Queensland which have been supported by the Carinity Collaborative Community Projects, which were initiated in 2021.

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