RELIGION often goes hand in hand with charity work and Minister Martin Beckett knows this better than anyone else.
“Christianity, religion, and charity, it all works together and it is all about love,” Minister Beckett said. “For me you can’t have Christianity and charity without love, so naturally they both go together to create a better community.”
Minister Beckett is a man with a big heart and a big career. He is the founder of the Rock Church, one of Penrith’s most popular local churches, and the CEO of Christ Mission Possible, an all encompassing charity based in western Sydney.
“My main vocation is a minister of a local church, but that is just an introduction into everything else that I do here,” Minister Beckett said. “A few years ago I looked at what we’re doing as a church and thought, who is this impacting, how are we helping the community and what impact do we have on it?”
Not being your typical Minister, Martin Beckett runs the The Rock as a fairly nontraditional church. Inside the church is a fully functioning cafe run by volunteers and disadvantaged people, there is a music hall with light and sound equipment good enough to put on a rock concert and his charity, Christ Mission Possible is run out the back of the premises.
“Traditionally when a church is set up they do churchy things and they often don’t commit and get involved in the community. So we thought if a church packs up and leaves town does the community really miss it?” Minister Beckett said. “We want to help impact the community so that if The Rock leaves town tomorrow people will miss it.”
Working with his ‘charity man hat’ on Minister Beckett has been able to build Christ Mission Possible into a charity that positively affects tens of thousands of households across the state.
“We took on Christ Mission Possible a few years ago and began feeding about 100 people a week,” he said.
“We’ve been able to build that up and right now we’re feeding around 15 to 20 thousand households a week.”
Minister Beckett said homelessness is a massive issue across western Sydney and he wants to curb the problem any way he can.
“We run a number of programs to help in as many ways as we can. We run debt help, we have job clubs to help people get into employment, we’ve got around 100 people across the west in emergency housing and we’re even helping with drug and alcohol rehabilitation,” he said.
To help him totally understand homelessness, Minister Beckett left his job and worked without income for 18 months to set up Christ Mission Possible. He said it inspired his charity work further.
“I left my job and went on Centrelink, within that time I received three payments, I had to go look for work like everyone else but my wife and I went for 18 months without making money so we could set up Christ Mission Possible and what it is today,” he said.
It has to be said that Christ Mission Possible wouldn’t be the charity it is today without the selfless and thankless efforts of Minister Beckett.
They’ll be hosting a Christmas dinner for the disadvantaged at The Rock with more details announced soon via their facebook page.