Welcome to our new web site

sunshine harvester signWelcome to our new web site.  And a word about the logo you see on our home page, and also if you happen past the church site in the near future we are planning on putting a large version up on the bell tower.

Anyone familiar with the story behind the suburb of Sunshine will see what we are trying to do with our logo.  It clearly references, but is a contemporary take, on the Sunshine Harvester sign.  click here for link.  The Sunshine Harvester agricultural factory had by the 1920’s become the largest plant of its type in Australia.  It was owned by H.V. McKay who moved his fledgling company from Ballarat in 1906 to what was then known as Braybrook Junction. 

McKay was a Christian businessman, full of drive and vision, and his plan encompassed far more than just a factory.  He provided not just work for his employees, but housing for their families, gardens for their leisure, churches for their worship, and social amenities for recreation.  His intention was to build something like the model village.  He donated the land and money to build the Presbyterian church (still in use) and the gardens that surround it.

The factory was sold in the 1950’s to Massey Ferguson and in 1992 most of it was demolished, although some features of this foundational chapter in the story of Sunshine remain.  You can still see parts of the former bulk store, and in Devonshire Rd near the railway line the factory gates, clock tower, and the former head office still remain.  You can still cross the railway line on the pedestrian footbridge in modified form.  These sites are listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Strolling down the Hampshire Rd which is the main shopping street you sense very strongly that something is again astir in Sunshine.  Major buildings are going up, younger families are again moving into the area, the railway station has had a major upgrade, the Business Association is active.  Sunshine’s star is rising, or to mix the astronomical metaphors, the sun is again shining upon Sunshine.  People are proud of their suburb again and believe this is a good area to live and raise their kids.

So with all of this in mind we thought as a church that is also proudly Sunshine we could do no better than take a classic Sunshine icon and give it a fresh makeover.  This is more than a design decision but arises out of our conviction that the Christian gospel is also a message that is ever fresh.  The Christian church has a very long tradition in which we stand as part of the Uniting Church in Australia, but our faith tells us also that the Spirit seeks to renew God’s people in every age.  So at Sunshine Uniting we actively seek to “contemporize the tradition” and invite you to drop in some time and worship with us.