Inner Circle


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Dear Inner Circle,


Normally bright and positive, I saw a young fellow lying flat on our café floor yesterday. Several times our staff or volunteers asked him to get up and sit at a table, as they should. In the afternoon I saw him sitting alone, his facial expression was deeply distressed. He explained to me that a few days ago, he had several ribs broken while he was, “assisting police with their enquiries”. It’s not hard to imagine him being cheeky with police. This young man was in dreadful pain. He’s sleeping rough and there is nowhere for him to straighten out to rest. He’s had a couple of nights sleeping in a friend’s car but its been impossible to be comfortable. Years ago I came off a motorbike and broke all my ribs down one side. The memory of that agony revisited me. I remember living in fear that I would cough or worse, sneeze. I remember trying to turn in bed and I had a comfortable bed. I had Robyn to help me move and feed me. I invited the man to the fourth floor where one of our meeting rooms has a large lounge. I worked from that room for an hour and a half to give him some rest. He went out like a light and I felt dreadful waking him when I had to go to my next appointment. As I lowered myself to bed last night, my poor brother was on my mind and in my heart.

Most of life’s precious moments come as an interruption in our effort to achieve something else. I admit to almost running through our café at times in the hope I can move from A to B. Ducking and weaving toward my office a giant of a man called, “Rev”. Almost reluctantly I turned to look up into the face of this big bruiser who only wanted to hug me. I embraced him and he said to his mates, “I can’t believe the Rev gave me a hug”. A woman just 6 feet away and not with this group of men stepped over and said, “Can you hug me too Father?” As I put my arms around her, she said, “I’ve been diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.” She put her head on my shoulder and brought a hand up to support her head. We hugged for perhaps 30 seconds. Without further words we parted but she was mopping up her face as she walked away. I can’t remember now what so important that I nearly missed these precious moments.

Four years ago we published Stories from the Wayside - a beautiful hard-backed book which celebrated a moment of pivotal change and crisis; a moment between the decline and destruction of the old Wayside and the transformed and new place that it is today. We believe that now the time has come for another book that captures our reach into the community and explores the theme of Wayside operating at the intersection of love and hate. The creative minds behind the book are some of Sydney’s finest - Andrew Henderson is creator and designer and acclaimed photographer Gary Heery will bring the book to life with stunning images. The focus of the book is community, and we’d like to tell this story through a series of group shots around media, design, law, the arts, business and health. And, most importantly, on Monday, 14 December at 10am we’re organising a group shot of you – our dear Inner Circle readers, particularly those readers who have been on the journey from the very beginning or whose lives have been changed in some way through the Inner Circle. I’m asking for your help in nominating yourself or someone you know for one of the industry group shots or the Inner Circle group shot. You can find out more here or email your nomination to

In a year where bad news has been unrelenting, consider coming in for our massive group photo. I’d love to see your face in our next book that will be a vote in favour of ‘peace on earth’ and “goodwill to all people”.


Thanks for being part of our inner circle,



Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

Want to receive the Inner Circle directly into your inbox every Thursday? Sign up here.


Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor

Previous Inner Circles


26 November: The joy of not knowing

19 November: The curse of perfectionism

12 November: To speak is to act

5 November: My cup runneth over

29 October: Prophet and loss

22 October: Finding yourself in a magical team

15 October: A silly question

8 October: Surprised by the joy

1 October: Being dead right

24 September: A day by the Wayside

17 September: It's a gold rush

10 September: The psychology of onions

3 September: Life comes from without

27 August: Surprised by the beautiful

20 August: Light shining through the cracks

13 August: A matter of balance

6 August: Recognising a gift

30 July: Your weakly note

23 July: 'A thing' from the Wayside

16 July: The future is calling

9 July: In love with some Dame

2 July: Better days ahead

25 June: Something funny, something beautiful

18 June: Seeing what's there

11 June: Amazing mates

4 June: There's a time and a place

28 May: The weight and the joy of being a neighbour

21 May: You're invited

14 May: Laughing, lying and loving

7 May: The awesome in the ordinary

30 April: Wayside light

23 April: Priceless gifts, freely given

16 April: Good news from the Wayside is great news

9 April: Awesome

2 April: Easter by the Wayside

26 March: Thankful for little things

19 March: A few minutes in the cross

12 March: Seeing what isn't there

5 March : A tour like no other

26 February: Tough love

19 February: Puffing or building

12 February: The two shall become two

5 February: Chest pains

29 January: Shear joy

22 January 2015: Fully alive

15 January 2015: Blessed interruptions

8 January 2015: A glimpse of glory


18 December 2014: Christmas hat in hand

11 December 2014: A little season of goodwill

4 December 2014: There was nothing silent about that night

27 November 2014: It's not about feeling better

20 November 2014: Gathering Moss

13 November 2014: Love the land, love the people

6 November 2014: The power of presence

30 October 2014: Paralysed by presence

23 October 2014: The joy of sight

16 October 2014: The best medicine

9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?

2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist

21 August: Saving souls

14 August: Squeaking out

7 August: A time for turning

31 July: You're okay

24 July: Happy tears

17 July: Let's aim higher

10 July: Gristle and good

3 July: The joy of not knowing

26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?

12 June: Longing for riches

5 June: When you least expect it

22 May: Finding home

15 May: Flying

8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues

1 May: Skuse the French

24 April: Lifting the curtain

17 April: Collective love

10 April: Cardiac arrest

3 April: Awe struck

27 March: You're invited to something special

20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss

13 March: It's all happening at the wayside

6 March: Love makes all the difference

27 February: What goes around

20 February: The joy of being empty handed

13 February: Loving the growth spurts

6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside

23 January: Some criminals have class

16 January: Wonderful surprises

9 January: Ready, set


19 December: Thanks for an awesome year

12 December: Mission and wishin'

5 December: The ups and downs and all is well

28 November: Kissed by the community

21 November: Our cup runneth over

14 November: A revelation from wayside

7 November: When excrement happens

31 October: I am therefore I think

24 October: We are surrounded by heroes

17 October: When you least suspect

26 September: A wayside wobbly

19 September: Knowing a gift

12 September: Advancing at the retreat

5 September: A little dose of good

29 August: Fighting with a feather

22 August: The boom is just beginning

15 August: True riches

8 August: Small is beautiful

1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views

25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside

18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage

27 June: Holy ground

20 June: You cannot take what can only be given



Get Involved