Nancy’s happy as Aboriginal chapel opens

AN Aboriginal chapel opened at St Matthew’s Church in Albury yesterday and Wiradjuri elder Nancy Rooke said it was like “coming home”.

Services, baptisms, weddings and gatherings for indigenous people can take place there.

Ms Rooke said indigenous services were held at the Albury Indigenous Church in Lavington before it closed early this year.

Yesterday the chapel’s altar was draped in the Aboriginal flag, the 1957 photograph called The Black Madonna atop it, the face of an Aboriginal mother and her child flickering in the candlelight.

“It feels like coming home and a lot of people will use it now it’s here,” Ms Rooke said.

“It’s a sense of belonging.”

Archdeacon Father Peter Mac-Leod-Miller said the chapel — opposite another side chapel dedicated to the 2/23rd (Albury’s Own) Battalion recently— was a step by the Anglican church towards reconciliation.

“This is Wiradjuri land, to be quite frank, but this is opening the door and we’ve been welcomed so many times by Aunty Nancy,” Father MacLeod-Miller said.

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