Continuing the legacy of our founders
Neil Starkie | General Manager – Strategic Partnerships and Growth
St Bart’s relationship with the Anglican community is one that began at our inception. St Bartholomew’s House was established in 1963 in East Perth as a small homeless shelter for men following a collaboration between a local doctor, James Watson, and the newly installed Archbishop of Perth, George Appleton.
In the book, The Heart of St Bart’s 1963-2012, it notes that Archbishop Appleton was a man of the people and one of the few at the time who could cross racial, social and religious barriers. This helped establish his standing as a peacemaker and pastor to all. Upon his arrival in Perth in August 1963, Archbishop Appleton formalised the work begun by another inspirational character, Dorothy Genders, and, together with Dr Watson, founded the organisation that we now know as St Bart’s in October 1963.
The St Bart’s of today has evolved from its humble origins into a larger organisation that provides progressive, person-centred and trauma-informed recovery support to people in need, regardless of background, age, gender or ethnicity who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, mental health challenges, trauma and hardship. We are committed to empowering people to rebuild their lives, nurture positive and meaningful connections with their community and achieve their goals through supported accommodation and services.
Through the early works of Archbishop Appleton and Dr Watson in establishing St Bartholomew’s House nearly 60 years ago, we see a clear example of the Church being called to serve and be a beacon of hope when hope seems to be in short supply.
The hope that we find in Easter leads us to the empowerment of Pentecost, with the Holy Spirit equipping the disciples for Christian living and mission. In Pentecost, we have a sense of the constant mission of the Church beginning with the coming of the Holy Spirit, a mission that has remained true to this day and will continue to do so, empowering us to do what God has called us to do.
St Bart’s is proud to continue the legacy of Archbishop Appleton and Dr Watson through our values of empowerment, commitment, innovation and collaboration to provide opportunities, pathways and care to vulnerable people who find themselves without a home.