Inner Circle


Thursday, 18 February 2016

Dear Inner Circle,

“Torrid” is one way of explaining life here just lately. We had a fellow attempt to take his own life with a rope although he fell into the capable and compassionate hands of Una before he came close to doing himself damage. Another dear lady, under the influence of ICE, suddenly produced a knife and threatened two of our staff. The saddest part of this situation was that she was threatening the person who loves her in this world the most. I’m thankful for highly trained and disciplined staff members who handled this according to long-practiced policy. The person was soon enough contained behind a locked door. Police responded quickly and soon enough the lady was in custody and on her way to psychiatric help. To top off a busy few days, on Sunday while our little church was on, a lady at our front door suddenly produced a knife and cut her own arm open causing a dramatic, spurting bleed. If that was me, I would have fainted, but this lady ran, fast. Our staff who were concerned that excessive blood loss could be fatal, also ran, fast. The outcome was a quick resolution where medical care and psychiatric care were put in place. Fabulous work on the part of all our people but you’ll understand that while they look pretty relaxed, they are on their toes all the time.

Quite often, members of our inner circle write back to me with stories that resonate with something I’ve written. I have to share this one with you (with permission) because it made me laugh out loud.

Dear Graham,
I always love reading your "Inner Circle" letters. When I read your comments on rules in the latest one, "wisdom is a tricky business", I thought you might enjoy this little story. I went to mass yesterday for Ash Wednesday and because it's a day on which Catholics come out of the woodwork to go to church, the church itself filled up quickly and the overflow was directed to a hall underneath. We were sitting on chairs waiting for the priest when a nicely dressed man standing towards the back (a church warden apparently?) said in a booming voice, "Please turn your phones off. It's rude to have them on." far so good... "And if you don't like our rules, you can f*** off." Well, that's telling it like it is! (A few more interjections made it clear he probably had some kind of mental health issue. To state the obvious, one hopes that those outraged by the breaking of rules about appropriate language in a church could look past that.)
Best wishes

Do you want to be part of Wayside history? Over the past few months we’ve been working with renowned photographer, Gary Heery, and creative director, Andrew Henderson, on a follow up book to Stories from the Wayside. Our last two shoot days for the book will be next week so it is your last chance to be included in what will be a stunning book, celebrating the sometimes raw, sometimes confronting but always awesome and beautiful community. We extend to you, our inner circle readers, neighbours, volunteers, supporters and visitors, a warm invitation. Final shoot days are Wednesday 24 February from 11am to 2pm at Wayside, 29 Hughes St, Potts Point and Saturday, 27 February from 10am to 3pm at the Kings Cross Markets, El Alamein Fountain. We’d just love to include you what will be an important snap shot of our history.

We’re on the hunt for a Direct Marketing Manager to develop and drive direct marketing programs across multiple channels. Applications close this Friday so if you or someone you know is interested, find out more information here.

Walking in the front door this morning a lovely, gentle Aboriginal man stepped over to me to shake my hand. A rather lovely woman that we only see once every few months also walked over and gave me a hug. A group of four men interrupted their conversation long enough to each shake my hand. As I passed them and was near the door, one of them yelled, “So are you busy today, Rev?” “Well,” I responded, “that is the impression I’m trying to give”. One of them came back with, “You mean ‘that’s the illusion you want to create’”. I walked through the door with all four of them doubled over with laughter.

We shed more tears here than in your average community. Often tears of laughter and sometimes they express unspeakable sadness. It’s what we do. We stand with those who are discarded or irrelevant. We stand with those who just couldn’t cope in this high tech, low human world, in order that no one will be alone. This is not an act of charity on our part but rather is an acknowledgement that our deepest need is to belong to one another. We not only stand with the ‘down and outs’ but we stand with the ‘up and outs’ for every act of racism, every act of snobbery, every act of blindness gives the illusion of 'them and us' but the deepest, truest, highest thing we know is that there is just 'us' and when one is hurt or devalued, all are hurt and devalued.

Thanks for being part of our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

Want to receive the Inner Circle directly into your inbox every Thursday? Sign up here.


Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor

Previous Inner Circles


11 February: Wisdom is a tricky business

4 February: A wave from The Wayside Chapel

28 January: Some long distance loving

21 January: No time for judgement


17 December: Last note for 2015

10 December: Sanity Clause if coming to town

3 December: It's all about the presence

26 November: The joy of not knowing

19 November: The curse of perfectionism

12 November: To speak is to act

5 November: My cup runneth over

29 October: Prophet and loss

22 October: Finding yourself in a magical team

15 October: A silly question

8 October: Surprised by the joy

1 October: Being dead right

24 September: A day by the Wayside

17 September: It's a gold rush

10 September: The psychology of onions

3 September: Life comes from without

27 August: Surprised by the beautiful

20 August: Light shining through the cracks

13 August: A matter of balance

6 August: Recognising a gift

30 July: Your weakly note

23 July: 'A thing' from the Wayside

16 July: The future is calling

9 July: In love with some Dame

2 July: Better days ahead

25 June: Something funny, something beautiful

18 June: Seeing what's there

11 June: Amazing mates

4 June: There's a time and a place

28 May: The weight and the joy of being a neighbour

21 May: You're invited

14 May: Laughing, lying and loving

7 May: The awesome in the ordinary

30 April: Wayside light

23 April: Priceless gifts, freely given

16 April: Good news from the Wayside is great news

9 April: Awesome

2 April: Easter by the Wayside

26 March: Thankful for little things

19 March: A few minutes in the cross

12 March: Seeing what isn't there

5 March : A tour like no other

26 February: Tough love

19 February: Puffing or building

12 February: The two shall become two

5 February: Chest pains

29 January: Shear joy

22 January 2015: Fully alive

15 January 2015: Blessed interruptions

8 January 2015: A glimpse of glory


18 December 2014: Christmas hat in hand

11 December 2014: A little season of goodwill

4 December 2014: There was nothing silent about that night

27 November 2014: It's not about feeling better

20 November 2014: Gathering Moss

13 November 2014: Love the land, love the people

6 November 2014: The power of presence

30 October 2014: Paralysed by presence

23 October 2014: The joy of sight

16 October 2014: The best medicine

9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?

2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist

21 August: Saving souls

14 August: Squeaking out

7 August: A time for turning

31 July: You're okay

24 July: Happy tears

17 July: Let's aim higher

10 July: Gristle and good

3 July: The joy of not knowing

26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?

12 June: Longing for riches

5 June: When you least expect it

22 May: Finding home

15 May: Flying

8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues

1 May: Skuse the French

24 April: Lifting the curtain

17 April: Collective love

10 April: Cardiac arrest

3 April: Awe struck

27 March: You're invited to something special

20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss

13 March: It's all happening at the wayside

6 March: Love makes all the difference

27 February: What goes around

20 February: The joy of being empty handed

13 February: Loving the growth spurts

6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside

23 January: Some criminals have class

16 January: Wonderful surprises

9 January: Ready, set


19 December: Thanks for an awesome year

12 December: Mission and wishin'

5 December: The ups and downs and all is well

28 November: Kissed by the community

21 November: Our cup runneth over

14 November: A revelation from wayside

7 November: When excrement happens

31 October: I am therefore I think

24 October: We are surrounded by heroes

17 October: When you least suspect

26 September: A wayside wobbly

19 September: Knowing a gift

12 September: Advancing at the retreat

5 September: A little dose of good

29 August: Fighting with a feather

22 August: The boom is just beginning

15 August: True riches

8 August: Small is beautiful

1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views

25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside

18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage

27 June: Holy ground

20 June: You cannot take what can only be given



Get Involved