During the early part of the 1990s it became apparent that the Bulleen Uniting Church in Kenneth Street was struggling, both financially and in limited active personnel within our membership. It was apparent that our Church, which had been so active during the formative years of the Bulleen district was unlikely to continue in its present form. With heavy hearts we engaged in conversations with Doncaster Uniting Church with the aim of instituting a merger of our two congregations,
To our delight, Doncaster Uniting Church was most accommodating to our desires and over a relatively short time we had resolved to amalgamate with Doncaster and relocate to their Church. We were most fortunate to have available the considerable management skills of Rev Alan Thompson, the ongoing enthusiasm and commitment of the office bearers at each Church and the loving welcome offered to the Bulleen congregation by the Doncaster congregation.
Our property at Bulleen was sold to the Coptic Church and we were glad that the site would continue as a place of worship. Again, the office bearers of the Coptic Church were most co-operative and agreeable.
Our closing church service at Bulleen was on Pentecost Sunday in 1994. It was a short, final dedication service conducted by Rev John Hudson. The doors of our Church were closed for the last time and our hearts were heavy at this most emotional time. Then, as pre-planned, the ex-Bulleen congregation proceeded, in convoy, to Doncaster. As we turned into Westfield Drive the sun came out to brighten a cloudy day and there, waiting for us on the footpath and road outside the Doncaster Church was the other half of our new congregation. This generous gesture, the welcoming service and meal which followed meant so much to the ex-members of Bulleen and moved many to tears.
Although our new name of Pilgrim Uniting Church, Doncaster did not emerge for several months, there is little doubt in the minds of all those involved that our beloved Pilgrim Church was born on Pentecost Sunday, 1994. We have spent over 18 very happy years as members of ‘Pilgrim’ but, always, Pentecost Sunday in 1994 will remain as one of my most treasured memories.