History of CHN
The beginnings of CHN go back to 1888.
The Community of the Holy Name was founded in 1888 by Sister Esther. While a novice of the Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage, England, she suffered an accident which led her to come to Australia to recuperate. In Melbourne she was asked to help establish the Anglican welfare mission known as the Diocesan Mission to the Streets and Lanes. Sister Esther realized that, within this mission, God was calling her to form a new Community.
THE OLD BAKERY
The Sisters worked with the women and children of the backstreets of the inner City. At first they lived in an old bakery in Little Lonsdale Street. Later, the Sisters moved to their Mission House in Spring Street. They ministered by providing both material and spiritual help. There were Sunday services, including one in the evening for derelict people. They ran Sunday schools for children and small day schools. There were soup kitchens, youth clubs and mothers' clubs.
HOUSE OF MERCY
They founded children's homes, a babies' home and hospitals. Their work in the courts and prisons led to the founding of a reformatory for girls, the House of Mercy, at Cheltenham. This later became the Retreat House which was operated by the Sisters until 2000.
Later, we moved into ministries such as hospital chaplaincy, prison chaplaincy and retreat work. Nowadays, our main ministry is that of hospitality,