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A Lick of Paint – City Heart Church of Christ

A lick of paint can transform a worn and tired building into a luminous beacon in the community – that and a lot of determination and hard work. This recently happened with City Heart Church of Christ, Stawell.

In 2012 the interior of the Church was extensively renovated and given new life. The exterior remained untouched, but not forgotten. Early in 2023 Terry Dunn, Pastor (& retired qualified painter), galvanized the congregation with the need to attend to this unfinished business. About 40 years had gone by since the exterior had had a complete makeover.

Initially the idea was to engage the services of a qualified painter. Quotes were requested with only one response. $50,000.00 was the quote. Way beyond our budget. However, City Heart is blessed with a ‘not so secret weapon’, a Pastor who is not only a skilled tradesman but is generous in using those skills for Kingdom work. Terry offered to do the work for nothing, with the Church paying the cost of materials.  

A plan was made to get this important work done when Terry and Dianne returned from an extended, well-earned break later in the year. 

November saw the successful completion of this enterprise, over a period of 4 weeks. Terry, having lived in Stawell all his life and being highly respected and regarded in the community, had no shortage of people wanting to help in any way they could. Scaffolding for one was a necessity. An expensive item. A local firm, Carey Covers, who values and had a family connection to the Church, had the required equipment, but had recently sold it to an Ararat builder, Scott Jackson. The two businesses agreed to donate use of the scaffolding free of charge, an exceedingly generous gift for which we are all most grateful. It took 3 builders to erect the scaffolding. As City Heart is a building of local interest with a heritage overlay, the paint colours used had to comply with Heritage Victoria requirements. Terry had previously formed a good relationship with a representative from that organization, Wendy Jacobs, when the interior of the Church was renovated.

A huge amount of preparation was needed before the actual painting commenced. 87 tubes of water-based filler were used to cover 90% of the lime-based mortar. Two men from the congregation, Kevin Chaffey who was there throughout, and Peter Wallis, who was there several days, worked tirelessly. A local painter, Darren Tumney, who had been apprenticed to Terry years before, came to give expert help. A huge amount of shrubbery and a side fence had to be removed to gain access to the walls. A general working bee was held one Saturday. The arrival of Daryl Mair’s mulcher was a great help. 

The result is a triumph of dedication, determination, and hard work. Thanks to Terry, generous local businesses, and willing workers the Church is resplendent in its new garb, attracting appreciative remarks from the local community. There was a welcome response from the congregation who contributed generously towards the costs.

The biggest thanks go to our painter Pastor, Terry, for his hard work and dedication in organising and seeing this work through to a satisfying and worthwhile conclusion.

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