'We're not much like a church, which might suit you if you're not much like a Christian.'
With these words the Reverend Graham Long of The Wayside Chapel, Kings Cross describes the place that many street people call home. This beautifully illustrated book, the concept of Sydney art director Andrew Henderson, celebrates the place, the people who work within its walls and the visitors from whom the Wayside is a welcome support system.
Four leading Australian photographers – Gary Heery, Grant Matthews, Hugh Stewart and Paul Westlake – have captured the mood of the Wayside during the chapel's last two months, before it was demolished to make way for a new building. The four also mentored three of the Wayside's visitors in the art of photography. The result is a collection of often-surprising images revealing both the emotional and physical territory of the landscape around the Wayside. Every picture tells a different story.
Accompanying the superb photography is a collection of emails sent by Graham Long to members of the Inner circle, his name for a loyal group of supporters. The emails, written over a period of five years, reveal both the light and dark aspects of life on the streets and at the chapel. Humour, joy, pain and drama unfold with every email as the reader learns about the people who present themselves every day for a dose of love by the Wayside.
The renovation will change more than the bricks and mortar. The chapel's renewal is a symbol of hope in the Kings Cross community for a brighter future in the decades to come. This book aims to reinforce that change by showcasing the wonderful human face of those who have fallen by the Wayside.