Supporters of the L’Arche community in Adelaide first met in January 2013. We were drawn together by a common vision of seeing a faith-based L’Arche community home for adults with intellectual disability established in South Australia.
After this first meeting, the group continued to gather regularly – to share stories, pray, eat together, celebrate, and begin an ongoing journey towards understanding what it means to be a L’Arche community in SA.
In January 2015 we held our first community weekend at the Highgate Park chapel in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs. Approximately 24 people attended, including people from interstate L’Arche communities, gathering for community building, envisioning, fun and worship.
In mid 2015 L’Arche Adelaide officially became an incorporated body under the banner of L’Arche Australia. In November 2015 L’Arche International accorded our group project status.
In January 2016, we appointed our first permanent board. We have a mandate to guide us as we continue to build our community.
In May 2017 we ventured into community care, offering a week of ‘Welcome and Hospitality’ to one of our core members. We have continued to offer this care.
In January 2019 we appointed our first Community Life Coordinator (CLC) who has worked with skill and energy to begin the preparation for opening our first community home. The CLC also provided much needed assistance with fundraising and networking in the wider community. We are currently looking for a new CLC to continue our preparations.
In February 2019, following an invitation from St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church at Clarence Gardens our community began meeting regularly on their church premises. Every quarter we share in their Sunday morning worship service, followed by a joint luncheon. We are grateful for the hospitality of this congregation.
In late 2019 we appointed Ass. Prof. Lorna Hallahan to the position of L’Arche Adelaide Ambassador. She has held many senior advocacy roles within Federal and State Governments and is a strong supporter of L’Arche and its ethos. Lorna will serve as a spokesperson for L’Arche Adelaide across her many community networks.
L’Arche Adelaide is working presently towards opening our first community house in 2021. In conjunction with the St Francis congregation we have reached a Memorandum of Agreement and have mutually agreed to an initial three-year rental contract for their rectory. We are looking at a home that accommodates two core members and live-in assistants. The discernment process for our first two core members has been completed and we are delighted they have both accepted their invitation to be part of the house. We are also planning to have one day a week where people with intellectual disability from the wider community are invited to the church to participate in activities. In the future we plan to offer Welcome & Hospitality / respite opportunities.