Partners in Christian Mission

October/November 2020

October/November 2020

Latrobe Baptist Men's Shed

missional initiative:

Community Project with Built-in Opportunities

By Laurie Rowston

The Latrobe Men's Shed is a community project of the Latrobe Baptist Church. The basic premise of the shed is to provide an informal place, where men can spend a couple of hours meeting new friends whilst engaging in manual activity or for simply just to chat over cuppa.

The erection of the shed, at the rear of the Church property, was made possible through an arrangement and the generous support of the Latrobe City Council; a grant of $40,000 from the Tasmanian Community Fund; grants from local businesses; and the financial support of the Latrobe Baptist Church itself.

Prior to the erection of the new shed in 2013, the old shed had to be demolished and its contents relocated. The demolition and rebuild took 1163 manhours, much of the time given voluntarily.

Latrobe men's shed

Left: New work bench

Right: Some of the crew


The nuts and bolts

The men meet at the shed on Fridays from 9am to 1pm, with a tool-box meeting at 10am and a barbecue at noon. Members are encouraged to spend one third of their time on charity and community projects, one third of their time on Shed maintenance and one third of their time on their own projects.

Participants can at all times find someone to have a talk to, including the Pastor of the Latrobe Church, the Rev. Ralph Terry who is always in attendance.

The Shed takes in projects from the local community. The first project was the refurbishment of Kinder furniture for the Sassafras Primary School.

Apart from getting to know each other, the men learn how to use equipment and how to make useful items. To facilitate this there are, at times, skilled tradesmen in attendance who teach skills such as wood turning. Pursuits include general woodwork, mechanical repairs, jewellery, and antique restorations.

Latrobe men's shedLatrobe men's shed

Left: Men work on the lathes

Right: New picnic table for delivery.
Clockwise from left - Rev. Ralph Terry, Donald Spurr, Garry Walker, Allan Henry


For all creatures, great and small

In all, the shed has completed 360 projects including the already mentioned Primary School furnishings, small cars for Operation Christmas Child, widow's gardens, 30 Billy-carts, garden seats, gymnasium boxes, bird feeders, wood turning projects, two kitchen renovations, letter boxes, a pig pen and rabbit hutches.

The shed is run by a committee of five, and 57 men have joined since its beginning. There are those who have taken on the tasks of Property Officers, Auditor of the financial records, and general helpers.

Naturally, the work came to an abrupt end earlier this year with the onset of the Corona virus, but it reopened again on 20 June, after a three-month break.

Let's remember to pray for Rev. Ralph Terry, and others at Latrobe Baptist, as they provide friendship, support and encouragement for men in their community.

Left: Tools down!
Time to fire up the barbie for lunch


Laurie Rowston
Tas Baptists' Historian and
occasional writer


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