Come along to Tom's Shed, community makers! Work on a project in the workshop and enjoy morning tea with our community.
Tom's Shed is open to men and women of all ages and abilities.
St Hilary’s was founded in 1888. It has a long history of service to the wider community. Youth work has always been a strong part of its ministry through a tennis club, Scouts, Guides, and youth groups. When the teenage ‘Baby Boomers’ hit the society in the 60’s and 70’s St Hill’s responded with creative and innovative youthwork, and it expanded significantly. We developed an adventure camping program called “Earth Club”, and we were one of the first churches to embrace youth worship services with contemporary music. Some of our current Shed members were part of that creative music scene and went on to start folk groups and folk/rock bands. The joy of creativity has also been expressed through our annual Art exhibition for St Hilary’s visual artists, and now through Toms Shed. So, these traditions have continued.
The expanding youth ministry of the 70’s led us into other ministries like emergency accommodation for young people and a counselling centre.
We have always had a strong link with overseas missions and aid and development projects through agencies like Tear Fund and World Vision, and also work with refugees. For some time, we hosted Iranian refugees and later West Papuan refugees. At present we are raising funds for displaced people from Afghanistan.
We support the work of Nungalinya College in the NT, the indigenous leadership training institute, through funds and occasional work parties. Some of our shedders have been involved in these. The first Principal of the college was a minister from St Hilary’s.
Currently we are responsible for managing the annual Hope Food Drive which is a Boroondara wide inter - Church campaign to collect non-perishable food for relief agencies like Camcare, Anglicare, etc., who distribute this assistance to those in need. This raised around $40,000 worth of food last year despite the limitations of the pandemic lock downs on the appeal.
Why do we do this? We try to take seriously Jesus’ command to “Love God with all your heart.... and your neighbour as you love yourself.” (Luke 10:25-37) We believe that at the most fundamental level our local church as a Christian fellowship and community is only as strong and authentic as our commitment to love one another. We also believe that this principle is also fundamental to our wider community, our city, our state, and our nation. In a very basic sense, all our politics and governance structures should boil down to this underlying duty to our neighbour. Our democratic freedoms and structures for justice, welfare, and civil government can only work well if we accept that our freedoms are a shared freedom and require obligations to others. Just as we ourselves would wish to receive – to be treated with love and respect. Our freedoms are both a freedom for this principle as well as a freedom from all that undermines it such as a selfish individualism. A democratic society can only survive as a healthy and free one if we accept that we have reciprocal and collective responsibilities.
As Christians we believe that we share a common humanity because we are all created by, and in the image of, God. Our respect for every human person is grounded in this conviction.
Toms Shed began in 2015 as an initiative of a small group of friends at St Hilary’s; Nic Corney, Peter Elliot, Russell Downie, Geoff Buchanan, Peter Corney, Graeme Greaves, Roy Hamer and Brian Pollock. It was named after the late Tom Lloyd who was a greatly loved, and a very creative and practical member of St Hil's staff for many years who could fix just about anything! We also didn’t want it to be called a ‘Men’s’ shed as we wanted it to be inclusive of both men and women. The Shed is open to all and does not require people to be members of St Hilary’s.