Richmond is well known and a tourist centre for three reasons. The first is its 1823 convict constructed bridge, the second is St John's the oldest Catholic church in Tasmania 1836 (in magnificent stone Cathedral style) and the third, are the heritage crafts and arts in the town's shopping precinct.
The convict bridge would inevitably be one of the most photographed bridges in Australia, moreover the heritage shopping is highly prized by visitors and this old stone church is open to the public.
Tourism Ministry has been a vital part of our Well-Being Australia ministry since 1982. When we relocated from Sydney to Moruya on the New South Wales south coast in 1992 to establish the athletes respite ministry at Basil Sellers House, we found ourselves on a 10 acre allotment inundated with bell miners (bellbirds).
We developed the mini-theme park Australia's Bush Orchestra in 1996, a bush walk under the canopy of this Ironbark forest where tourists were able to read the stories of great Christian leaders as they walked along allotted paths, or just enjoy the birdsong along with the sights and sounds of the bush.
This was later supplemented with a one hour Moruya Historic Bus Tour which ran whenever tourists requested it. Both these tourist ministry activities were given national television airing on the religious program, Compass, in 1996.
When we relocated to Tweed Heads on the north coast to establish another athlete respite facility at the end of 2005, the Research and Development aspect of our new ministry, Well-Being Australia, focussed on tourism. We were now on the southern part of the famous tourism strip, the Gold Coast.
This fresh Tourism Ministry is now associated with a wide range of activities associated with our Mission: the Art Ministry, Country Town Tours (in which high-profile sports people mentor the youth in remote areas), and the varied International Ministry assignments. He now look at tourism with very different eyes.
We're constantly on the lookout for items of interest for Tourism Ministry and when we visited this old church in Richmond, on the welcoming table was this prayer for tourists.