Minister Sue Pickering

Minister Sue Pickering at Northey Street Farm last year

The Uniting Church on Vulture St (just East of Boundary) has sported a huge We’re Open banner most mornings for the last week. Music wafts from the open door of the church and a lit candle within provides a warm welcome.

This is the work of the new community minister, Minsiter Sue Pickering, whose induction was held at the church last month.

“I just want to provide a safe, welcoming environment for people to sit,” she said. “I will not be ramming Jesus down anybody’s throat, I see the role of the church as taking its place in the centre of the community and providing a centre for reflection and growth.”

Minister Pickering’s background is in community service. She did not jointhe church until her mid-twenties and her calling to become a Minister came later. She has served the community in Wilston for the last three years and with her husband Tim has just moved across to West End to take up the role serving the congregation here.

She has been out an about on the streets, introducing herself to local business owners. WIth her ready smile, Yorkshire accent and stunning tattoos she has left an indelible impression on many in the community.

Local real-estate agent and president of the West End Traders Association (WETA) said that he assumed she was a local goth who had adopted the priest’s garb as a fashion statement.

Minister Pickering addressed both the West End Traders and West End Community Associations at their respective meetings on the opposite side of Boundary Street last night.

Westender also managed to get to both meetings and can faithfully report that she managed to be in both places on the same evening without divine intervention, managing the feat by simply walking across the road half way through the meeting.