Hillsong raises over $1m in response to Australian bushfire disaster

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the fires(Photo: Sky News)

Hillsong Church has raised over $1m towards relief efforts after months of devastating bushfires in Australia. 

At least 28 people have been killed during the unprecedented wildfire season, while thousands have lost their homes and livelihoods.

"The outpouring of love, care and concern and generosity from people from all walks of life both here and overseas, has been staggering and humbling," Hillsong Church said. 

"As a church community we have come together over the past few weeks and extended generosity to those suffering and the emergency service workers who are giving up their holidays to work tirelessly to protect homes, land and families in the path of the fires."

Hillsong is working in partnership with other ministries to support aid and relief teams, as well as volunteer fire brigades. It has also given funds to The Salvation Army, which has deployed teams of volunteers to provide food and water to fire crews and evacuees, as well as practical and emotional support at evacuation centres.

"We are providing Salvation Army grants from our public appeal to people who have lost their homes, as well as offering a listening ear, support and hope," said Major Sue Hopper, Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management Specialist.

"What we're doing is immediate help and gives people a bit of hope – something to move forward with one step at a time.

"We want to connect with people as soon as possible to get this help to them because they are already relocating to be accommodated with family and friends. We can connect with them later but want to help as many as we can as quickly as we can."

In its update, Hillsong asked for prayer as the fires continue to burn. 

"Please continue to pray for our nation, our leaders, firefighters and communities affected and for rain that will end the drought in our scorched land," the church said.

Over 10 million hectares of land have been burned in the fires, with New South Wales and Victoria the worst affected states. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has faced strong criticism over his handling of the crisis and been heckled while making visits to affected areas in recent weeks. 

On Sunday, he admitted that there were "things I could have handled on the ground much better".