The Light That Keeps Shining
Singapore Anglican Community Services Celebrates its Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving & the Official Opening of Anglican Care Centre (Farrer Park)
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
– Mark 12:30-31
50 years ago, an act of kindness by a school teacher’s wife sparked generations of compassionate services to the needy and disadvantaged. In dressing the wounds of a poor villager, Mrs Eng Neo Catharine Thomas, a trained nurse and the wife of St Andrew’s school teacher Mr Francis Thomas, embodied the Commandment to love her neighbour as herself. This led to the opening of a free clinic for the poor villagers of Potong Pasir.
Singapore Anglican Community Services (SACS) is a work produced by faith, a labour prompted by love, and an endurance nurtured by hope. This labour of love continued to grow, as the generations persevered in tending to the needy and the mentally and physically infirmed, and to whose hearts are broken and spirits crushed.
13 October 2017 was a day of double celebrations for SACS. To Commemorate its 50 years of service to the community and mark a new milestone in its integrated care journey for persons with mental health issues (PMHIs), SACS' Golden Jubilee Thanksgiving and Official Opening Ceremony of the Anglican Care Centre at Farrer Park was held onsite. The event was graced by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health.
Anglican Care Centre at Farrer Park is the only sheltered home for persons in mental health recovery in Singapore. The home, an expansion of SACS Psychiatric Services’ continuum of care, provides support for 60 adults and 20 youths in mental health recovery who require temporary accommodation and are ready to return to independent living in the community.
Rehabilitation counsellors actively work with the residents to prepare them for reintegration into the community. Programmes such as counselling, psycho-education, personal effectiveness skills, family engagement and support, vocational and skills support, as well as social and recreational activities, are available in the shelter home to help these individuals acquire skills they need to live independently in the community.
To commemorate SACS' Golden Jubilee and to pass on its legacy, a commemorative book and monument, both sharing the same title “Into The Light” were launched at the event. The book chronicled the 50-year journey of care – from a humble beginning of a Welfare Centre Building in St Margaret’s School in 1967 to what it is today, an organisation with 14 service centres and the largest psychiatric rehabilitation service provider in Singapore. The monument was inspired by SACS’ former services’ logo and symbolised the organisation mission to bring people who are mired in darkness and despair into the light of hope, faith and love.
While services have evolved in response to changing needs in changing times, the heart of SACS has not wavered, and has abided with where the needs are greatest, faithfully following the path God leads and bearing the light and comfort of Christ’s unceasing love into the shadows of pain and despair. SACS continues to strive to be a shining light in the road ahead as it steps into the unknown, holding steadfastly to its legacy of compassion and service.