Friends, special guests and church family gathered at Paynesville Uniting Church earlier this month to celebrate 20 years of operation for the PUC Friendship Shed.

A Service of Thanksgiving was held at Paynesville Uniting Church Faith Community on the 11th February to commemorate 20 years since the Friendship Shed opened in January 2004.  Rev. Rosalie Rayment-Hewitt officiated at the service, followed by a speech given by the Friendship Shed Convenor, Marilyn Cassidy.  

The prime aim of the Friendship Shed was initially to be part of the Community by operating an Opportunity Shop selling second hand goods, donated by the community, at a reasonable cost then giving back to the community money raised in the way of donations.

In June last year, this community outreach expanded to include the operation of the Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre Foodbank. 

Twenty-Two years ago, the idea of a Friendship Shed was raised at a church council meeting and after a lot of hard work and investigating various options, a new shed was erected on the Uniting Church land. 

The Friendship Shed was officially opened on 24th January 2004. Rev. Trevor Bassett was Master of Ceremonies at the opening ceremony, and Rev. Ann Key cut the ribbon.  Jenny Preston organized the La Viva Voce choir to entertain the crowd when the guests all retired to the hall for afternoon tea. Jenny was one of the original committee members, and made the trip from Traralgon for the 20th Anniversary.  She enjoyed catching up with many of the past volunteers.  

The anniversary service was followed by a delicious catered lunch, after which past volunteers and members were invited to a walkthrough of the Friendship Shed to bring them up to date with the growth and layout of the facility. 

Paynesville Uniting Church Friendship Shed has donated many thousands of dollars to the local and wider community, and overseas charities over the past 20 years, including Bairnsdale Hospital, Royal Flying Doctor Service, Angel Flight, CFA, Coast Guard and many, many more.  Marilyn stated that the church members and volunteers are to be congratulated for their caring, diligence, and their preparedness to serve the community.

In closing, Marilyn pointed out that the Friendship Shed also assists in the support of the Paynesville Foodbank held within the Church Hall, which draws many people each week in need of food & services.  

Donations for the Friendship Shed and/or Furniture Shed are welcomed on their trading days which are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings at 43-45 Langford Parade, Paynesville.


Paynesville 11 November 2023

On Saturday 11th November, Remembrance Day, some members of the Paynesville UC Faith Community along with some 300 local community members gathered to commemorate this sacred day. 

Long serving member of Paynesville UC, Mona Tucker, joined with her daughter Jo-anne Mee, popular local identity, to place a wreath on behalf of the Church, while Lauren Sweetman together with Helen Gwynn laid a wreath on behalf of the Op Shop.

Leader of the Paynesville UC, Marilyn Cassidy, was Service Padre, and at conclusion of the Ode and the Rouse, RSL President, Jack Peterson, invited Marilyn to pray on behalf of the community, lamenting the loss of so many men and women.  

Armistice Day acknowledgement was further supported by the arrival of the 13th Gippsland Light Horse Ceremonial Troop, which behaved superbly under 30 degree, strong winds and a good deal of traffic activity.  

The service was followed by morning tea in the RSL rooms and plenty of fellowship. 

Paynesville 22nd October 2023

The Communion cloth at Paynesville required washing and Marilyn Cassidy quietly commented to Sue Harrison that it may not last through a machine wash due to several previous repairs and darns and that we had better start thinking about a new Communion cloth.  Lo and behold, 2 weeks later, a recent new member to the Church, Mrs. Sue White, asked if we would like a tablecloth which was given to her grandmother upon her wedding day – and rarely been used.  Sue & Marilyn immediately saw this as a gesture from the Holy Spirit, and part of the ongoing reinvigoration of our Faith Community. 

Further, as members of the Presbytery property Committee, Marilyn and Resource Minister Deb Bye were visiting Toora. The congregation recently closed and the building is being prepared for its next adventure. Marilyn noticed the beautiful communion table and so inquires were made as to its future and if the congregation at Paynesville could be its caretaker in the future. And so it was with a great deal of excitement and pleasure that we dedicated the cloth, together with the altar table, during our service of commemoration of All Saints, acknowledging the members of the former congregation of Toora, as well as a grandmother, loved legacies which will live on, and which are so very much appreciated.   Thanks to Rev. Rosalie Rayment-Hewitt for leading the service.

Johnsonville 15th October 2023

On Sunday 15th October 2023, folk gathered from Melbourne, Bairnsdale, Paynesville and Traralgon to acknowledge 131 years of uninterrupted worship at Johnsonville Uniting Church. Service commenced at 2pm to enable visitors to travel, and the virtual service was conducted by Rev. Neil Peters of Glen Waverley Uniting Church, congregation of which applauded when Rev. Neil announced their longevity and achievement. During a break in the service, Chairperson, Peter Flahive, lit a candle in appreciation of the many past members, for their Christian legacy which they have passed on for our safe keeping and continuance. The congregation continues to worship on the first and third Sundays of the month, and will continue to use the Glen Waverley website for their worship. The service concluded with a photo opportunity, followed by a delicious afternoon tea catered by locals, which everyone enjoyed. Deb Bye, Presbytery Secretary, was an apology due to conducting the service at Stratford that day, but passed along her congratulations on behalf of Presbytery.

Mallacoota 8th October 2023

A big week end further east with St Peter’s (the CoOperating Parish of Croajinoglong) celebrating 50 years. Here’s an article from The Sun in 1973 (from St Peter’s Facebook page) and some pics taken today – View from the front of the church at 8.45 this morning; the cabinet made from the last of the pews out of the church, blessed by Bishop Richard Treloar. Cabinet was made by Mallacoota local, Bob Stevens; and the beautiful cake was made and decorated by local Church member, Kate Cowden.

Paynesville 8th October 2023

Paynesville Uniting Church special guest this morning was Pam Cracknell from the Bairnsdale UC congregation. Pam told us about Birthing Kits used overseas in some third world countries, along with the work of Wendy Flahive, leader at the Johnsonville UC Congregation, who has travelled to Kiribati, Indonesia numerous times, explaining women’s health and safety. This project also ties in with the Days for Girls project. Pam also mentioned that 2023 United Nations Wednesday, October 11th is International Day of the Girl Child.
We shared a wonderful lunch afterward the service.
for more information o n these projects

below – Pam explains the contents of the birthing kits

Paynesville – 4th July 2023

Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre staff and volunteers have been busy over the past few weeks preparing for the move of their Foodbank and Cooking programs to the new location – Uniting Church – Cnr KingSt and Langford Parade, Paynesville.

Foodbank customers and community members we invited to join in the cooking program – Cooking starts at 9.30am and Foodbank will be open from 10am-2pm!

*Please note – then Foodbank will only be operating one day per week (Tuesdays) at this stage.

If you, or anyone you know in the community is in need of food relief and is unable to attend on Tuesdays, please contact PNC on 5156 0214 and they will organise a hamper to be collected from PNC.

The Paynesville congregation is very excited to be able to assist this local community and vital organisation.

16th October 2022

Johnsonville Uniting Church Faith Community celebrated 130 years of Christian worship and witness at the little weatherboard church on the road to Lakes Entrance today.
Marilyn Cassidy from Standing Committee attended the service and congratulated them on behalf of Gippsland Presbytery, acknowledging that it has been tough over the past few years, but that they have weathered the challenges and continue to worship twice each month.
Glen Waverley Uniting Church, from which they draw their services online, also recognised this achievement and acknowledged it in prayer.
The service was followed by lunch, after a congregation selfie to mark the occasion.

20th March 2022 – Paynesville

The message was from Ezekiel- dry bones.  Despite us being small, and struggling to exist, struggling with health issues etc. God said yes.

20th March 2022 – Bairnsdale

 On Sunday March 20th, Bairnsdale Uniting Church held its monthly Messy Church. This month the activities were all focused on A-cross the world, where the activities were making our own cross from another country. It was a wonderful afternoon of activity followed by a wonderful meal of Zucchini Slice, Rissotto, and freshly baked hot Cross Buns from Stratford Bakery. Come along after the Easter School holidays on May 15th at 4.30pm. Everyone welcome. 

 A-Cross the World 

Over the Lenten period until Easter 2022, the Bairnsdale Uniting Church, (9 Lanes Road, Lucknow) has a display of crosses from different countries in the world, some of which you can read about, and some are available for you to make for yourself. We invite you to come along on any Wednesday, Thursday Friday or Saturday when the church is open, or join us for worship at 9.30 am on Sunday mornings, or 5.00 pm on Sunday 10th April. 

20th March 2022 – Fig Tree Project 3rd Anniversary

Lyn Goff from the Lakes Entrance team sent in a pic from their service this morning and says:

Although we are small in number, we spent time during worship thinking about what sort of manure/fertiliser in the firm of words and actions to help us feel ‘the best we can be’; which then helps us in our day to day discipleship to others.Our ‘fig tree’ was enhanced words written on leaves which we personally thought were important and helpful in spurning us on.

2nd March 2022


The site of the former Glenaladale Presbyterian Church once housed an old weatherboard building which had been used as a Presbyterian Church in Lucknow, originally built in 1891. 

Inside what was previously the Glenaladale Presbyterian Church, being made ready for a wedding.

The building was moved to the Glenaladale site in 1960, but was later moved about 1990 to its present site in Ligar Street, where it is used as an Art Workshop.

The Bairnsdale Uniting Church has a strong reputation of community support, and so it seemed a very natural development to donate the land to the CFA, for the cost of transfer of title and conveyancing, for the purpose of complementing the present CFA building at the adjacent site.

The idea to transfer the land took hold back in April 2015.  The block is situated on the Fernbank/Glenaladale Road and is 6500sqft – 607sqm, and has rural zoning.

By the time we made submissions to Presbytery, Synod, and then the CFA, solicitors in Melbourne became involved, and it was July 2016 before titles were finally transferred and the exchange was announced in a press release. 

Bairnsdale Uniting Church have continued to support the Glenaladale CFA with donations: first to add equipment to their fire truck, secondly for the purchase of an air conditioning unit for the CFA shed – a welcome addition for the people who are waiting to keep us safe from fires on those 40o days. 

On 2nd March 2022, Rev. Rosalie Rayment-Hewitt, husband John and Marilyn Cassidy, met with the brigade at their presentation night, where awards were given to various CFA members, demonstrating an aggregation of nearly 400 years of service within the CFA.  Among the most auspicious presentations for the evening were 4 National medals which are awarded by the Governor General, General David Hurley, who unfortunately was not on hand to present these awards for diligence, among other aspects.

Rev. Rosalie presented the CFA with a donation of $500 on behalf of the Bairnsdale Uniting Church, which they are keen to use to purchase a much needed winch for their fire truck.  

We all appreciate the sacrifices which the group make during our fire season, and it is always a pleasure to meet, chat and share a delicious supper with them all.

                                                                                                Written by Marilyn C. Cassidy.

SWIFTS CREEK – Sunday 6th March 2022

Big afternoon – we had a Service of Induction for Rev. Deacon Marian Bisset as Bush Chaplain in the Swifts Creek & Frontier Services High Country Remote Area Ministry – Uniting Church Presbytery of Gippsland at Swifts Creek Uniting Church & online!Here’s a few screen shots – more pics as they come in.

Presbytery Chairperson Ron Gowland welcomes Marian to Gippsland

Rev Deacon Marian Bisset
Gippsland’s Frontier services Bush Chaplains – Rev Deacon Peter Harvey, Rev Deacon Marian Bisset and Rev Veronica Bradley

ORBOST – 27th January 2022

We had an outdoor service this morning, down at Marlo, on the banks of the Snowy River.  Janette Osborne led the service and I played the music on my concertina.  A card table was used as an altar.  The theme was ‘boats’.  The reading was from Luke 5: 1-11, Jesus calls the first disciples.  The reflection was about choices, then we divided into 2 groups to make a paper boat.  The songs included ‘Peter James and John in a sailboat’.  At the end of the service we launched the boats in the Snowy for a race.  Unfortunately ‘Holy Rollers’ beat ‘Hope’–Hope actually disintegrated!  (‘Hope’ was my team’s purple boat).  There were 11 there, which is about the number we would have had in church.  We finished with lunch after the boat race–the weather was kind, not too hot and no rain.