GCC Blog

A Labour of Love by Peter and Gayle Dean


At the end of March this year, we arrived home from a 10-day South Coast holiday break, to find that the world had shifted. Coronavirus had taken hold, and we were being told that anyone aged over 70 was to stay at home. Peter is 73; thus, he found himself in a vulnerable age-group for coronavirus. So ended Peter's amazing, fun, exhausting, exciting, rewarding, heart-wrenching years as manager of Grace City Care's Foodcare Shop. He could no longer be present, and at the end of May, he formally resigned his position.


After a long working life - 40 years as an engineering manager, 8 years managing a Christian conference centre, and 6 years leading Foodcare, retirement had arrived for him at last! He had always had a heart for people in need and was so grateful to God for giving him those years spent serving the community.


After almost a year of preparation and training, our church's Foodcare shop in Dee Why opened for business back in November 2013. Working closely with assistant managers David Schmidt and Mark Bennett, it has been an honour for us, over those years, to meet the needs of thousands of clients. Our volunteer team built up to 40 selfless helpers, who truly became our friends. Foodcare's reputation in the local community grew way beyond our expectations.

But most importantly, Foodcare for us was never just about the food. The shop's extended work – the Monday Café, Christianity Explained courses, English classes, singing group, community barbecues, volunteer training days, legendary Christmas events, and individual pastoral care – brought the reality of Jesus' love into many lives.


We thank the leadership of Grace City church for the opportunity to be part of an outreach that is deeply blessed and amazingly fruitful. We are thankful to God for constantly providing His energy, His encouragement, and the power of His Spirit to be with us in all that we did.



Dear Peter,
We would like to thank you for managing and developing Community Foodcare over these years. This has been a hugely successful ministry that has impacted many peoples lives, not just practically with food, but it has profoundly brought the gospel of Jesus Christ to many. Your leadership has made Community Foodcare a well respected organisation in our community and we want to thank you so much for all your hard work, time and effort that you have poured into this ministry and the people who volunteer and shop there. You will be sorely missed by all but we also look forward to seeing what God has for you next. Remember theres always a free cuppa ready for you, anytime you want to pop in.

Much love, all of Grace City Church