Markets reopening reminds us of Rev. Holden's legacy

14 Sep 2020 by Ashley Donnelly in: Latest News

As Spring emerges and the sun shines down on the inner-Sydney’s Paddington, the suburb’s iconic markets are ready to welcome back the community – from a safe social distance.

The Paddington markets return from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 26 September as the hottest hyperlocal destination, where what was once old becomes new again.

Starting in 1973, the markets were the brainchild of the late Rev. Peter Holden – a visionary young minister who had just returned to Sydney after helping to organise the legendary Woodstock music festival.

For Rev. Holden the markets were a way to capitalise on the creativity Paddington had on offer as it developed a new bohemian identity from the recent migration of artists to the area.

He was fascinated by the “global village” concept and honed his focus on the link between the community and the church.

Paddington Uniting Church’s minister, Rev. Danielle Hemsworth-Smith echoes similar sentiments today and said the markets are a key point of connection and community.

“We are all very much looking forward to the opening of a new chapter in the market’s history,” Rev. Hemsworth-Smith said.

“It is a weekly destination for all, not only to shop, but also to meet friends, to learn, to create and ultimately to be challenged to be an active part of the community and world we share.”

“It is our vision each market day will include a range of different initiatives that showcase faith, inclusiveness, creativity and justice.”

Fresh food, produce and all things bazaar

“These are the core values of Paddington Uniting Church and we want them to be the core vision of the market because we believe these values are the key to vibrant and flourishing community.”

A stunning mural donated by artist, Stephen Ormandy, harks back to the early 70s, and the inception of the Saturday market ritual.

He says the mural is his way of giving back to the markets and the community that helped provide a launching pad for his career.

“Dinosaur Designs launched at the Paddington Markets, so we will always feel a great sense of connection. It was a real gathering place for artists and artisans back then,” he said.

“My mural pays tribute to the creativity and community that sits at the heart of the markets, and celebrates their almost fifty-year history as well as their future”. 

Locals and guests can do their produce shop at the brand new grower’s market bursting with the highest-quality seasonal fruit and vegetables – plus consciously curated gourmet delicacies, artisanal bread and cheese, sustainably sourced meats, and seafood, original gifts, fresh flowers and plants.

All the wonderful unique things locals expect to find at Paddington Markets from designers and artists, including vintage, will still be there.

Paddington markets return from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 26 September.

Ashley Donnelly