Church Stores is a family business that has been serving Christians and their churches for over 115 years.
General Manager, Tim Wallace proudly continues the tradition while simultaneously bringing this “very specialised, quite unusual” store into the digital online shopping age.
Half of this large store is filled with an incredible range of hard to find gifts for baptism, confirmation and communion and other special events. Such a range is rare, with Tim estimating a dozen stores like this across Australia.
The rest of the store showcases church supplies including candles, wafers, incense, clergy shirts, vestments and brass and silverware. “Then out the back,” Tim says, “we have a workroom for made to measure vestments and special commissions such as the bishop’s mitre. Many people wouldn’t realise that we produce such things here.”
With his strong Christian background and education, Tim brings a great wealth of knowledge and care to his profession. He is entrusted with making beautiful and correct garments with skilled workmanship and quality fabrics that ensure decades of wear. Red, gold, purple and green are colours designated specifically for each season, however the shade of colour and choice of fabric or embellishment are each a matter of personal taste. “My favourite part is helping with the design, because I understand the artistic traditions,” Tim says.
He is also very proud of their brassware and silverware – beautiful chalices and candlesticks made by local silversmiths in the traditional way.
It’s this hand made, artisanal approach that is so characteristic of The Dymocks traders, as well as the building itself, which Tim loves. “It’s a fabulous building, the flooring is amazing, every level has its own design and terrazzo patterns and you see these lovely lead lights above each shop front. It’s not like a lot of modern buildings where the floors seem cloned,” says Tim.
Tim joined Church Stores nine years ago for what he thought would be short stint between completing his degree in Arts and Theology and starting his teaching studies. But, he says, “I fitted in like a hand in a glove.I started in dispatch but I picked up helping customers. It’s lots of fun, solving people’s problems, I really enjoy coming to work.”