Respiratory Clinic opens at Athelstone Uniting Church

Posted in Culture

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic a new partnership between Athelstone Uniting Church and Medical HQ has sprung up with the well-being of their local community in mind.

A section of Athelstone UC’s facilities has been made available as a Federal Government-funded, GP-led Respiratory Clinic for COVID-19 testing.

“As a church community we have a heart for connecting with God, our community, our world and each other,” the Church Council wrote in an announcement. “Connection in these strange times has become even more important. We now want to share with you a new way in which we have been called to connect with our community.”

Medical HQ, a medical practice located in the Athelstone Shopping Centre, approached the congregation with the idea. This is part of the Federal Government’s call to medical centres throughout Australia to play a part in the strategy to ‘flatten the curve.’ 

According to Athelstone UC’s Church Council Chair Jeff Dry, “The Church Council spent considerable time prayerfully considering this request, taking into account the significant implications for our church community and a sense that God is calling us to give sacrificially at this unprecedented time in history. At a time when we are not able to use our church building for worship services or activities, we see this as an opportunity to offer it for the wellbeing of the community we are called to serve.”

The Respiratory Clinic opened its doors on Monday 11 May and will initially operate from Monday to Thursday in the afternoons only.

Medical HQ now has exclusive access to the ‘top hall’ and a section of the car park adjacent the hall and shed. The top hall, which does not form part of the main church building, has been fitted out with appropriate consulting rooms and hand hygiene facilities.

Medical HQ’s Dr Nathan Lam says that Athelstone UC had been chosen because it is isolated from main public areas. In a letter to the surrounding community and congregation members, he assured them that the operation of the Clinic should not place any household at increased risk of COVID-19 as it can only be spread by close face-to-face contact with infected individuals.

“The objective of the Clinic is to diagnose patients with COVID-19. Many patients coming to the clinic do not have COVID-19; they are attending in order to be tested and have COVID-19 excluded. It is not a treatment facility and patients will not be staying there overnight for ongoing care,” he says.

Nathan is expecting a very busy first week with several appointments already made even before the official opening of the Clinic.

“Please convey my enormous thanks to all the wonderful staff involved from Athelstone Uniting Church. I also want to pass on my deep gratitude to your congregation who have graciously supported this community effort to defeat COVID-19,” he continued.

Jeff says the Church Council has signed off for an initial three month period with a right of extension by negotiation. “The most significant aspect for our church community is that the remainder of our property will not be impacted. Therefore, once the restrictions are lifted, we can resume our normal church activities, apart from the need to restrict access to the designated areas being used by Medical HQ.”

For more information please contact Jeff Dry, Chairperson of Athelstone Uniting Church Council, on 0408 254 489 or



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Comments (3)

  1. Leigh Duffett 12 may 2020, 17:35 Link
    Well done Athelstone :) Looking upwards and outwards.
    1. Sue Ellis 12 may 2020, 17:40 Link
      I commend this initiative of the Athelstone Church Council. In past pandemics, Christians were known by their selfless servanthood in response to the Gospel they wished to share. May all who enter in anxiety and stress, discover comfort and hope from this witness of love.