Bedes Bazaar

Opening Address - Thursday 26 October

It is a real pleasure to be here today for this opening of Bede’s Bazaar at Semaphore Road Part of my role as Anglicare Chaplain is to encourage development of parish community outreach projects. It was a pleasure to meet with volunteer leaders to prepare for this move some weeks back. Congratulations to the Parish of Semaphore for taking this important step. Congratulations to the Work for the Dole Crew and Jobs Statewide for making the move possible and for helping to prepare this place for the opening today.

This event is a tribute to the dedication and commitment of the volunteers of St Bede’s Bazaar which has operated in the Crypt of St Bede’s Church for 35 years. The crypt will continue to be used as a base for sorting and storage. But now it’s time to come out of the closet, or should I say the crypt, and get onto the streets of Semaphore. It was Richard Hooker, a famous Anglican Theologian from the 16th Century, who came up with the concept of “the visible church”. This move is about making the people of the parish community more visible and available to the people of the wider Semaphore community.

I have a great affection for Op Shops, especially ones with original names such as Bede’s Bazaar. As a child, I went op shopping with my mother and sister during school holidays. As a Uni. Student most of my clothing, household items and furniture came from op shops. I know a bargain when I see one. In my work, I have learnt a great deal from op shop volunteers about ideas to build up the coffers as well as build community. For several years, I coordinated a network of Anglican op shops in Melbourne I have had the pleasure of establishing an op shop. The Magdalene Bargain Centre in central Adelaide If I can offer any encouragement to you today, it is to say loud and clear that places like Bede’s Bazaar are not just about buying and selling; they are also about offering hospitality and building human community. Places like this are about many things. Invitation; Friendship; Compassion; Inclusion; Information Exchange; Networking;  Storytelling; Faith Sharing; Goodwill and Generosity; Volunteer Opportunity; Creativity; Recycling; Enterprise; Safety; Loss and Grief; Celebration and Renewal. I encourage you to take hold of the unique opportunity you have from today to make a vital and visible contribution to the life of the community of Semaphore. The best way you can do this is simply to be open. To keep our door open so people can come in and out. To keep our window open to the light so people can see in and out. To keep our ears and eyes, our hearts and minds open to the opportunity to be a good neighbour in this place. Never underestimate the simple and gentle power of places like this and people such as yourselves. It is with great pleasure that I declare Bede’s Bazaar at Semaphore Road open and unveil the gorgeous window display.

Peter Burke Coordinator of Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work, Anglicare SA.