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Our Story

20 Years in the making...

Our humble St Elias Melkite Catholic Church, Guildford has been in existence since 7 May 1992. The original structure was a dainty old church, full of character and housed dedicated worshippers for many decades. Unfortunately, time caught up with the building which became dilapidated and in desperate need of rejuvenation. And so, the decision was made in September 1996 by then Bishop Issam John Darwich with a group of parishioners to commence planning for the redevelopment of a new church which will cater for and accommodate a growing urban population yearning for a more contemporary offering.

The building issues

On Sunday 17 November 2002 the first stone was laid by the Patriarch, his Beatitude Gregory Laham III for what was to be an amazing place of worship. As with most building projects, there were numerous problems and obstacles that eventuated over the many years that followed including approval and builder delays, funding limitations and changes in project management that resulted in the project to stall, half completed. In 2014, the construction was recommenced and the existing church was demolished. It was only after this that major structural issues were identified with the footings of the already built portion of the new church. The result sadly leaves us with an empty block of land for the past four years and no spiritual home for our disillusioned parishioners to pray.

Hope springs eternal

It is often said that “things happen for a reason”. In a strange way, our problems represented a blessing in disguise because it meant that we could go back to the drawing board and re-design a new church with new and improved features and safety measures which we hope will serve our community well into the next century. Driven by Father Joshua El Khoury, Father Melhem Haikal and championed by His Grace Bishop Robert Rabbat, the new St Elias Melkite Catholic Church, Guildford will represent triumph over adversity. It will be a place for worship, prayer, celebration and uniting a whole community. It will be a magnificent community centre that our future generations will be proud of.

BUT it won’t be possible without the generosity and contributions of YOU, the community.

Enter, the 400 CLUB.

The 400 CLUB is the brain child of His Grace, Bishop Rabbat. This initiative was designed to accelerate the funding required to finally get the building project off the ground, through to completion. The 400 CLUB aims to raise $1 Million in 1 year through the collective efforts and generosity of our community members and corporate donors. 400 Members will, through the grace and blessing of God, contribute $50 per week for one year (or $2500 lump sum). This money will then be used as leverage to finance a further $3 Million required to complete the building of St Elias Melkite Catholic Church, Guildford. We currently have $1 Million in our bank account. A total of $5 Million will complete the project in 18 months.

How do I join the 400 Club?

Be part of history and help to make our dream a reality

Remember, every single dollar helps. If you can’t join the 400 CLUB, that’s ok. You can still help by contributing as little or as much as you like simply by clicking the button below.

We humbly thank you in advance for your generosity and ask that you keep this project in your prayers.

Through the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit and the goodwill of the people, Together We Can build this great church.

God bless,