Page 1


Issue 101 June / July 2014

Soon we’ll be ‘Bendigo Inc’!


he Anglican Diocese of Bendigo is incorporating as an entity for its future. A Bill to enable this was the major outcome of the 2014 synod, successfully seen through by Ian Dallas, Diocesan Chancellor. Introducing the Bill, Ian thanked Diocesan Advocate John Henry for his detailed work in preparing it, and acknowledged assistance from lawyers in other dioceses – but Bendigo is the first Victorian diocese undertaking this step – “a momentous and significant one”. Ian ‘began at the beginning’ by explaining that we are currently an unincorporated association, with some Trust powers to enable the diocese to hold property. But it cannot be held legally responsible for the actions of our clergy or others – a major criticism made of churches by the Victorian Parliamentary Enquiry and national Royal Commission into abuse. “It has now become apparent that unless we act, we will be acted upon, and told what to do. What we are doing is right but may also be inevitable - we want to set up a structure which meets this new situation but is workable for us.

“A second issue is the status of clergy. In the past they have been regarded as officeholders, independent of diocesan control, with little accountability. A recent case in Gippsland has shown that for Workcover purposes clergy are effectively employed and by the bishop personally. “There needs to be a body which can be the ‘deemed employer’ of clergy – another reason for moving towards incorporation. It is better to come under Workcover on terms which work well for the diocese. The Victorian Workcover Authority, which is aware of

I wasn’t ready to make the step, but life is better now.

continued on page 3

Synod members in St Mary’s Kangaroo Flat, as Bishop Andrew commissions the new Rural Deans and Canons (see further on page 11).

Inside this issue: • Full Synod coverage - with lots of pictures! • ‘A Trentham Tale’ from 1891 • Farewells for Ken Parker and Andrew Plant • CMS Autumn Weekend • Two Swan Hill ordinations and all your favourite regulars!

Making the step into aged care can be daunting. But there are services that can make life better for you and your family. Benetas is a not for profit aged care provider. We offer a range of services including residential care, in-home care, day and overnight respite and independent living. We have been making sense of aged care for older Victorians for over 65 years.

Call our Customer Centre for free confidential aged care advice today.

1300 23 63 82


Bishop Andrew’s Presidential Address


ishop Andrew delivered an open and honest Presidential Address / Charge, informing Synod representatives of the many challenges facing both the diocese and the wider Anglican Church. “Synods are like the parliament of the church,” he said, reminding us that synod began in the Anglican Communion in Melbourne in 1854, expressing Bishop Perry’s strong sense of call to see lay people and clergy join the bishop in taking responsibility for the work of the Church. “Synod is an opportunity for representatives from all parts of the diocese to hear what we have been doing over the past year. Synods are a sign of democracy of our church and should never be taken for granted or underestimated.”

Professional Standards


peaking to the tragic findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Abuse, Bishop Andrew said that, “sadly, there have been many instances where the clergy have not behaved appropriately and this has become an issue of national importance”. “One of the most harrowing experiences I have had as a bishop is to listen to the experiences of people who have been abused by clergy, their hurt, anger, deep sense of betrayal and total disillusionment with the Church”. Main issues identified by the Royal Commission include the need for churches to have clear procedures and rules where children are involved, effective discipline of those found guilty of wrong doing, clearer policies in place about the process by which compensation is offered. All these are hampered when an institution is not incorporated. Bishop Andrew outlined key recommendations from an independent audit of the diocese, which would be implemented to meet the level of compliance required. These recommendations centred around the adoption of Professional Standards protocols in Synod legislation; police, working with children and safe ministry checks for all active and retired clergy and authorised lay ministers; and increased ‘Safe Church’ training.

2  The Spirit June / July 2014

“Whether we like it or not, the church has been deeply affected by sexual abuse, and this is not going to dissipate quickly,” he said. “The recommendations regarding our current protocols require significant changes”.

Diocesan viability and structure


eneral Synod in July will have before it a 30,000 word report into the viability and structure of Australia’s Anglican dioceses – a report he wrote. Bishop Andrew hopes that it will “become a landmark report for the future of our church”. Key criteria outlined include a diocese’s capacity for mission, demographic factors, geography, resources, governance, leadership, goals and strategy, capacity to solve persistent problems, new models of being church, and the distribution, number and age of clergy.

Diocesan Strategic Plan


iving a thorough update on the progress of the Diocesan Strategic Plan 2013-2017, Bishop Andrew noted that “nearly two thirds of the strategies have either been implemented or are in the process of being brought to implementation”. These include • review of the diocese’s legal structure, and bringing legislation for the incorporation of the diocese to Synod • review of the structure and viability of the DDF • building up the Bishopric Endowment Fund from property sales: it now sits at $1.5 million, with a goal of $3.5 million by 2015 • further development of the Ordained Local Ministry programme • clergy recruitment seeing the gender balance and average age improving from 2003 to 2014 • reviews of chaplaincy, the Board of Ministry, Registry and The Spirit have been completed and changes are being implemented. As regards chaplaincy, Bishop Andrew noted that the Health Act requires hospitals to provide for the spiritual welfare of patients. In former times this meant

that chaplains were supported by hospitals, but this is now being interpreted as just allowing clergy in to visit, but no resources are provided. The new Bendigo Hospital will be Austraia’s largest off-the-coast facility after Canberra, he noted, and St John of God is expanding as well. “To meet this sitution we have just three part-time chaplains available, each of whom is stretched.”

St Luke’s Anglicare


eminding Synod that St Luke’s Anglicare and Anglicare Victoria will merge from 1 July 2014, Bishop Andrew noted that St Luke’s name will continue to be used, with a large regional office being based in Bendigo (see further page 4). Two St Luke’s Board members will be on the Anglicare Victoria Board, and the diocese will maintain a strong relationship with the new agency.

State and Federal Budgets


ishop Andrew noted that just 4% of the State budget is in rural Victoria. “I am disappointed with the commitment to rural Victoria and the lack of what seems to be a clear and comprehensive social policy for our state,” he said. On the Federal Budget, he noted with concern its impact on many people in our society, especially young adults. “As Christians we are called to see that the commonwealth is for the common good. I’m not convinced that the 2014 Federal Budget achieves that purpose”.

And in closing ...


eflecting on his eleven years as Bishop of Bendigo, he acknowledged the strengths of the diocese, but highlighted the issues still to be faced. “I believe our diocese has a very strong future, but it also will continue to face significant challenges,” he said. “There is much to be done and I urge you to pray daily for the diocese to be faithful to the call of God and the mission of the Church.” q Sarah Crutch

Soon we’ll be ‘Bendigo Inc’! continued from front cover the situation, has set an effective deadline of March 2015: there are heavy penalties for not making appropriate provision.


iscussion continued on Saturday morning, when Ian Dallas moved the Bill, seconded by John Henry. “Are we becoming too like a business rather than a ministry?” asked Sue Allen (OPM) – a question Ian said he had been expecting.

“This incorporation proposal changes diocesan structures as little as possible. “The change is not The Council of the Diocese will become the This Bill is all about making about who we are as us ABLE to be sued ... a church,” he replied, Board of Directors, “but enabling our operating as at present. business dealings – pay, property, leave etc. It which cannot make decisions without – to be effective in a changed context.” the permission of the bishop. We will not be a company with shares, but one ‘limited by guarantee’ to a maximum of $100 for each member of the Trusts Corporation. Registry’s work will fit well into The diocesan Advocate, John Henry, engages with Bishop Andrew, this structure.” Bishop Ron Stone, Sarah Crutch and Andrew Apostolou.

Questions and discussion


fter a brief explanation of the Bill’s clauses, time was given for questions – some of which began to become speeches about the Bill! Responding to questions from the floor, the Chancellor and Advocate outlined that the Corporation would be responsible if civil action is taken against the diocese, whilst Workcover matters would be covered by the insurer. Possible conflict between Trustees and Directors is taken care of in the corporation’s Constitution. Only Directors – i.e. the Council of the Diocese – can make decisions for the corporation. The Trusts Corporation is “a relatively inert body”, John Henry stated, “there to hold property on trust”. Ian Dallas noted that incorporation will come into effect only after working through ASIC procedures – the Synod Bill is the first step. Bishop Andrew emphasised that every effort has been made to ensure continuity. But each member of the diocesan Council will become a director, and need to meet the requirements of directors. Training will be provided to equip them.

“This Bill is all about making us able to be sued, vulnerable,” said Peta Sherlock (Woodend), after concerns had been expressed that incorporation might open the diocese to legal proceedings. “We are refusing to use the Ellis defence against abuse” (a response greeted by applause). Charles Sherlock noted that becoming incorporated is a good reminder of who we are, as ‘members’ - not of a parish club, but the ‘body of Christ’. In the late 19th century only people existed in law – incorporation (‘embodiment’) was invented to enable institutions to become ‘people’. “Now we are coming full circle, changing from being a voluntary association to be structured like a ‘body’ – a structure which not only allows us to deal more effectively on the business front, but act like who we really are, the body of Christ.” The Advocate listed a number of ‘tidying up’ amendments, which were passed without debate. The amended Bill was then put, and passed unanimously in both Houses (Laity and Clergy) – an announcement met with extended applause. q Charles Sherlock

Friday - Synod opens


eople came from far and wide to Flora Hill on Friday afternoon, 30 May for the first session of the 39th synod of the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo. Efficient Registry staff registered arrivals and gave them a copy of the Bishop’s Charge. They had already set each parish’s place-name on the pews of Holy Trinity church. As representatives found their place they chatted with those around – over the hour or so before dinner many moved around to catch up with friends.

Eaglehawk representatives John McIntosh and Jenny Rainsford.

Dinner was terrific, and well organised as usual by Holy Trinity folk: over 100 diners were soon seated and enjoying a two-course hot meal. Then it was time for Bishop Andrew to deliver his ‘Charge’ – the Presidential Address (see page 2). He ended by acknowledging Bishop Ron Stone, who “continues to have a passion and vitality for God’s church after 50 years of ordination”. Dean John Roundhill, on behalf of the Synod, thanked Bishop Andrew for his Address. “You have shown a broad, deep vision, delivered honestly in facing some complex issues,” the Dean said. “I have heard you say that a bishop’s job is like standing under a waterfall. Thank you for not being overwhelmed by the stresses and strains, but maintaining your sense of well-being, humour, and vision of hope.” With procedural preliminaries cleared, the Chancellor, Ian Dallas, introduced a Bill to set up the Bendigo Anglican Diocesan Corporation, i.e incorporate the diocese (see adjacent story). The evening concluded with a moving ‘Service of Prayer, Confession and Reconciliation’, led by Archdeacon Greg Harris (see page 5). q Charles Sherlock June / July 2014 The Spirit  3

‘Who is my neighbour?’ ABM photo exhibition

St Luke’s Anglicare: a year of change


he past year was one of significant change. CEO Dave Pugh left in May 2013, and in November the Shergold report on Service Sector Reform was released. Funding will now be distributed by tender, favouring strong agencies.


ho is my neighbour?, ABM’s photographic exhibition, tells the stories of people living on the edge of poverty. It is travelling around some 45 parishes across Australia over the next year. Dean John Roundhill introduced the Revd Jasmine Dow, ABM representative in Victoria, to introduce the exhibition.

So St Luke’s Board, which Bishop Andrew chairs, resolved to explore an alliance with Anglicare Victoria: they will merge from 1 July 2014. The precise relationship between the new body and the diocese is being worked on.

This motion, moved by Bishop Ron Stone and seconded by Archdeacon Michael Hopkins, was passed unanimously: This Synod a) Offers thanksgiving to God for the work of St Luke’s Family Care and St Luke’s Anglicare Inc from the time of founding in 1979 as a diocesan caring agency, and for the lives that have been changed and people empowered; b) Expresses its desire for the merging of St Luke’s Anglicare Inc with Anglicare Victoria to succeed, and for strong links with the diocese to develop; c) Acknowledges the vision and work of those who founded the agency, served on its Boards and Committees, and the dedicated service of its staff over the years; and d) Respectfully requests the Bishop to convey to the present staff Synod’s appreciation of them, their professionalism, dedication and work, and to express our concern for any staff having difficulty coming to terms with any changes. q

Charles Sherlock 4  The Spirit June / July 2014


an and Ruth also moved a motion raising questions about ‘levels of unfairness’ in aspects of the recent Commonwealth budget: the removal of income support for long-term unemployed young people, ending Family Tax Benefit B, cutting education and health spending, and requiring up-front payments for medical attention. “This is like the gospel story, in which the rich gave out of their abundance, but the poor widow gave all she had,” said Ian. “The Commonwealth should exist for the common good.” Ruth, seconding the motion, said the government seems to have forgotten the little ones for whom God cares.

Pam Mason (Heathcote) asked about St Luke’s losing tenders for most of its mental health services. It had only kept the services around Mildura, Bishop Andrew confirmed: St Luke’s mental health staff will reduce from 40 to 4. He hopes that many will be taken up by other agencies. Funding for ‘Youth Innovation’ in Bendigo has also been lost, Bishop Andrew noted. “What shocked us is that the Commonwealth Government has cut funding for this programme from the beginning of July, which will impact on the young people involved, who are mostly in Years 9 and 10.”

Response to the Commonwealth budget

“ABM this year has also brought out Bible studies from Professor Dorothy Lee, a smartphone app linking users to mission resources, and regular prayer material,” Jasmine noted, encouraging all parishes to make use of these in promoting the mission of God.

‘Love of the neighbour’ to shape refugee policy


he Revd Ian Howarth moved and Ruth Murphy (Kyneton) seconded a motion, grounded in Christian commitment to love of the neighbour, asking that the Commonwealth government base their policy on refugees and asylum seekers on five international covenants and conventions to which Australia is a signatory. “Most of us here are boat people, or descended from them,” he said. “We want this nation to treat all people as neighbours, especially the most vulnerable, refugees seeking a place to live in safety. That is what the United Nations agreements seek to do.” Ruth, seconding the motion, recalling a cartoon that depicted Aboriginals on the shore of Port Jackson shouting, “Turn back the boats”! (laughter).

The Revd Kath Tointon, former Centrelink social worker, did not support the motion. Unemployment measures taken by all governments have their down side: initial policies are often hard, but are adjusted. Large funds were thrown at health and education – she did not agree with the Gonski funding proposals, for example – and people’s dignity was supported when they paid for their medical care. Rowan Sweeney (Castlemaine) proposed an additional clause: “We oppose cuts to foreign aid and emphasise that they not be used for political purposes.” It was accepted by the movers. The amended resolution passed by a strong majority on a show of hands. q Charles Sherlock

Three endings


ills were brought to repeal the Diocesan Missionary Agencies Committee (DMAC), St Laurence Court and Bishop James Centre Acts. DMAC chair, Archdeacon Michael Hopkins, explained that it endorsed official mission agencies only, though parishes now support a wider range. DMAC came to believe that each agency is better left to engage directly with parishes. As Ian Dallas noted, St Laurence Court is now part of Benetas, and the Bishop James Centre has been sold, Ian Dallas explained, so their Acts are redundant. All three Bills were passed unanimously in both Houses. q

Responding to sexual abuse in and by the churches


buse in and by churches was a major topic in Bishop Andrew’s charge, and was one reason for Synod considering the incorporation of the diocese.

Service of Prayer, Confession and Reconciliation acing the reality of the churches’ culpability and need to respond threaded throughout the Synod. It was focussed in the closing service on Friday evening. Archdeacon Greg Harris read from the Victorian Parliamentary Enquiry report, and Synod watched a telling ABC news report, setting the scene for intercessions, readings, confession and ‘act of light’ led by several Synod members. Candles were lit one by one and taken to the doors, font, lectern, holy table, and the centre of the congregation, accompanying prayers to ‘Let Christ’s light shine’. The service closed with the gentle singing of ‘Make me a channel of your peace’.


Acknowledging survivors’ suffering


n Saturday afternoon the Revd Roger Rich (Maiden Gully) moved that “Synod acknowledge the present day suffering among survivors of sexual abuse by former clergy of Bendigo diocese, and that compassion and understanding toward past or future claimants be a priority”. Roger recalled the diverse responses of the men in the good Samaritan parable, from indifference to practical help. “How have churches become so disengaged from scriptural perspectives, as to be blind to the immorality of their actions, focussing on their own survival above all? The wider community ‘gets it’ - we don’t seem to. We need to seek leaders who are not only well qualified, but characterised by compassion and concern for the good of the neighbour.” Seconding the motion, the Revd Simon Robinson (Gannawarra Cluster) told of taking the funeral of Barry Wilson, a man abused by the Christian Brothers. “A national advocate for victims of the Christian Brothers was present. I was able to tell her that our church has protocols in place, and that it is the will of the people of God that we listen to people who are hurt.”

Clergy abuse in Bendigo diocese


he Revd Dr Peta Sherlock (Woodend) made a telling speech about her experience since taking over the parish as a locum rector in September 2013. “I asked around, and the matriarch of the parish and others said they agreed that something was wrong. One day it was so bad I wanted to sit down in front of the altar and cry. When I came home that day my husband said I was traumatised. “There were stories of a priest who in the 80s killed himself in the rectory garage – ‘a lovely man’, older parishioners told me. ‘He used to bring home young men from the Malmsbury Youth Training Centre.’ Hang on, I thought ... “Bishop Andrew told me that this man was one of the worst abuse offenders in the diocese – the authorities were just about to catch up with him. Newspaper clippings of the man’s funeral had headlines from the bishop’s sermon about the wonderful work he had done with the youth from Malmsbury. I cringed. “I tried to talk about this with a few former priests. Some said I was telling lies and gay-bashing. Some would only say ‘poor old Woodend’. Why did no one do anything about it before? Answer: it is too hard and painful, and people will think you are mad. “I spoke of this offender on Holy Innocents’ Day, and Bishop Andrew came down in March for the Healing Service noted in his Charge. Ever since, the place has felt a lot freer – it is to do with naming the wrong, and praying for the victims. “The building itself bore the pain of this abuse, as well as the youth. Jesus tells us the truth will set us free. I am hoping that is true with St Mary’s Woodend in its 150th year as a place of worship. But there are many obstacles to telling the truth: It happened 34 years ago, Peta - let sleeping dogs lie ... You’ve gone crazy in your old age, I don’t feel anything bad in this church building ... Peta, if you bring it up and make a fuss there may well be more claims for compensation at $25000 a pop!’ “Neither my churchwarden Derek Shepherd, nor Bishop Andrew ever said anything like this.

“I want to honour the pioneering work done by Bishop Andrew when he was Registrar of Melbourne diocese in creating a Director of Professional Standards and keeping these matters at arms’ lengths from the bishops.” Rod Steer (Mooroopna), a psychologist in private practice, said that 80% of his clients have been sexually abused. “Most come with everyday problems – and in passing say they have been abused. It has become so common that it is almost taken for granted. Sin abounds when we do nothing – the problem is silence.” Clearly moved as he did so, Rod cited Psalm 32: “when I kept silent my bones wasted away with my daily complaining.”

Looking to the future ude Benton (Tatura) stated that at her previous synod, in New Zealand, she brought forward ideas from her ministry as a children’s and youth worker. A high percentage of men and women in New Zealand, and probably here, had experienced abuse –“so it is a present, not just a past issue.” Her proposal that these words be added was accepted by the mover: “We the members of the Diocese of Bendigo also resolve to take all steps to ensure that we recognise and act on all current situations of sexual and other abuse in the churches and communities in which we live”. The amended resolution was passed unanimously – “a momentous one,” said Bishop Andrew, thanking synod for the way the discussion had been carried out. St Luke’s Toddlers’ Home



ishop Andrew was later asked whether any claims related to abuse at St Luke’s Toddlers’ Home had been made. “During my time as bishop, only one complaint has been received, and has been resolved,” he said. “Many charges have been laid in other states, but no major claims have been made on Victorian institutions overseen by the Anglican Church, since the 1850s. This may change next week – but it is a remarkable tribute to those who sought to care for children, even if not according to practices we would favour today.” q Charles Sherlock June / July 2014 The Spirit  5

The concrete realities – property and finances: Registrar’s Report ABC rural radio gets strong backing


he ABC gives a voice to rural areas,” said Canon Dale Barclay, moving a motion in support of its work in rural areas. A netball team at Murrayville was situated in Victoria, but played in South Australia. “It was thus ineligible for funding, without which their courts could not be upgraded and they would be shut out of the league. It was the ABC which stepped in and gave them a voice.” And “the ABC sustains an independent voice”. Discussing a proposal for a brothel and casino was denied by local newspapers: the local ABC gave both sides. Thirdly, “the ABC keeps alive the stories of people which would otherwise not be told:” Dale listed soldier settlers, families living with autism, the ice drug epidemic as examples. And the ABC gives publicity to local events, including church affairs – such as their recent Port Adelaide poster! Bishop Ron Stone – himself a long-time ABC sports broadcaster – seconded the motion, drawing attention to remote areas. Showing a pocket-sized ABC directory, he pointed out that most of the names are places we have never heard of. “Outback people depend on ABC as their only radio,” he said, “whether for emergencies, local news or crop stories in which the syndicated networks have no interest. All these are at risk in the budget cuts – a cut of $10 million may not be much, but when it becomes $100 million towns will be affected, then remote areas. Please support this motion for the sake of the ‘little ones’ in the remote areas of Australia who have no political power.” The Revd Rob Imberger (South East Bendigo) said these speeches had made him, as a city person, see a side of the ABC he had not considered before, beyond the usual left-wing bias of things like Q&A. He was now glad to support the motion, passed to strong applause. q Charles Sherlock 6  The Spirit June / July 2014


nne Baker, the Registrar, speaking to the Trusts Corporation’s Report, noted that two of four major property projects were completed in 2013. The Bishop James Centre was sold (for $235,000 nett), the balance going to the Bishop’s endowment fund. Eddington Cottage was rebuilt and will soon be open for use. The diocese also partnered with Benetas to have the kitchens and laundries refurbished at their Eaglehawk and Kangaroo Flat facilities. The two major ongoing projects are the cathedral restoration, and sale of the Forest Street old cathedral site: one lot has been sold (for $1 million); the All Saints’ site remains on the market. Renovations to ensure that assets meet their purposes took place in 2013 at South East Bendigo (children’s room); Maldon (church roof); Eaglehawk (church and hall); Tatura (rectory); and property at Daylesford and Heathcote. Property reviews, working towards sales and fund redistribution, took place at Inglewood, Hepburn Springs, Serpentine, Laanecoorie, Yandoit and Baringhup, and the Donald hall was demolished. The Registrar and Bishop Andrew both expressed thanks to Greg McKerlie, Diocesan Property Manager, for his careful, persistent work, which had seen neglected areas of diocesan responsibility cleared up.

Money matters


nne thanked Andrew Apostolou for his work on the finances, which had both made the reports more understandable, and also meant that the diocese is close to meeting the standards necessary for incorporation. “Andrew’s work gained a commendation from the auditors for dealing with issues from earlier years.” Anne also expressed her thanks to the Registry staff – Jackie, Sarah, Bernadette and Greg – “all of whom seek to work co-operatively with the parishes”. Both the Trusts Corporation and DDF had quite good performances in 2013, the Registrar reported, though Professional Standards costs are starting to have an impact on the Operating Account. This is affecting the level of the Parish Share, which had reached 13.1% – an issue of which Registry staff are well aware.

The DDF deficit has been reduced to around $300k, and is expected to be neutral by the end of 2014. The way forward for the DDF is being examined closely: a recommendation will come to the Council of the Diocese later in the year. The diocese’s investment strategy is under review by the Finance Committee, with the end of the current three-year plan nearing. “The diocese continues to invest ethically,” she assured Synod. “It is a pleasure to work with Bishop Andrew. The diversity of areas covered each day is like being under a shower raining cats and dogs! “We are in a much stronger position than five years ago, when I started in Registry – a turnaround in finances, establishment of a Senior Leadership Team, incorporation of New Horizons and Bencourt welfare services, stronger relationships with St Luke’s Anglicare – and more.” “What I find most encouraging is the strong sense of collegiality and togetherness we have across this diocese – a lot of this is due to our bishop.” Bishop Andrew brought discussion to a close by noting that all the figures at the end of each section are in the black – “a remarkable outcome”. He commended the Registry for the standard and quality of the Reports – a compliment echoed by warm applause from the Synod. q Charles Sherlock

Synod comes to a close


ishop Ron Stone moved a motion giving thanks for the life and ministry of three past Synod members - Margaret Ruxton (Kyneton), Jim Willsmore (Central Mallee) and John Smith (Red Cliffs). Bishop Andrew noted that the Revd Fiona Goy was moving to Red Hill, in Melbourne diocese, and wished her well. He expressed particular thanks to Sarah Crutch for her work in preparing for Synod – thanks supported by applause. Bishop Ron had the last word, thanking Bishop Andrew for the lead he gave in his presidential address and his friendly and effective chairing of the synod. Bishop Andrew gave the blessing, and all dispersed to their homes. q

Learning and forming for ministry – the Bendigo way


n important work of learning and forming is going on behind the busyness of diocesan life in the Ministry Formation Groups. These began back in 2005 under Bishop Ron Stone, with the first four people in the Ordained Local Ministry stream at Kerang.

In 2009 the Revd Dr Charles Sherlock, who already had responsibilities for Training in Ministry, working with clergy in the early years of their ministry, joined Bishop Ron. The Trinity Certificate in Theology & Ministry, from Trinity College Theological School, which Charles had played an important part in writing, was adopted as the basis of the formation programme. Pastoral units were developed in Bendigo and introduced into an expanded programme. Seven more people were prepared for Ordained Local Ministry.

Above - members of the Year 1 and 2 Ministry Formation Groups. Left to right – Ian Fisher (Quambatook), Neil Fitzgerald (Woodend), Robyn Hosking (Quambatook), Sharon Phillips (staff), Christine King (Castlemaine), Janice Dear (Inglewood), Deborah Rothacker (Inglewood), Louise Ross (Lockington), Susan Turner (Heathcote), Bishop Ron (staff), Fay and Andrew Guyatt (Mooroopna). Below - members of the senior Ministry Formation Group. Left to right – Pam Lawry (Lockington), Terry Templer (Kangaroo Flat), Angela Lorrigan (Bendigo North), Ross Craven (Elmore), Denis Gell (Swan Hill), Bishop Ron and Sharon Phillips (staff).

Each MFG session is not a lecture, but rather sees participants working together in sharing work they have spent some hours preparing beforehand. “This adult approach to learning sees a level of formation for ministry and mutual trust reached which I would be delighted to see achieved at theological college,” says Charles Sherlock. “The challenge for OLM clergy is to have enough time and resources to get to grips with the scriptures and Christian tradition in the depth needed to sustain long-term ministry.” The Revd Sharon Phillips joined the tutoring staff in 2011, replacing Charles Sherlock after he moved away from Bendigo. Currently Sharon and Bishop Ron undertake two full days of teaching each month, with 18 people spread over three groups, studying nine different units. Charles continues to facilitate the Training in Ministry programme. These programmes are playing an important part in ministry development in this small regional diocese – they represent a quite remarkable achievement. q Bishop Ron Stone

Trinity Certificates awarded at Synod


he Revd Cecilia Francis, from Trinity College Theological School, was welcomed to Synod to present Certificates to two graduands – Canon Sandra Field and the Revd Denis Gell – who had completed its six units. “The Certificate has played a very important part in forming people for ministry,” Bishop Ron Stone told the Synod. “It can play an even more important part in educating Christians in our parishes.” Cecilia explained that the programme is designed primarily for use in parishes – though it has been adapted at Lindisfarne College for Year 10-11 students. Each unit is led by a facilitator, with participants learning through sharing their work, in order to deepen their Christian faith. “The joy of doing the learning with others is the joy of struggling with other perspectives and points of view. “Several clergy have told me that this is

Cecilia Francis presents Trinity Certificates to Denis Gell and Sandra Field

a fantastic way of building up people in the parish, and equipping them for leadership,” she noted. “The Trinity Certificate is a great way of coming to explore the creeds, get to know the Old and New Testaments and engage with living out our faith.” Interested? Contact Bishop Ron, or email q Charles Sherlock June / July 2014 The Spirit  7

The joy of MU’s rugs ministry

What’s coming up 7 - 8 June 150th celebrations for St Augustine’s Inglewood 25 June MU Winter Gathering, St Mary’s Kangaroo Flat 30 June General Synod (Adelaide): - 4 July Bishop Andrew; Greg Harris, John Roundhill (clergy); Ian Dallas, Anne Baker (laity) 15 July Diocesan Council 21 - 25 July MU National Conference (Brisbane) 26 - 31 July MU Wave of Prayer 26 August MU retreat day 6 - 9 October Clergy retreat, Rutherford Park 12 October 150th celebration for St John’s Newbridge 12 October Emergency Services annual service, St Mary’s Kangaroo Flat Want a significant event included? Please send dates and place to thespirit@ q

The Spirit Monthly newsmagazine (except January) of the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo. Address: The Spirit, PO Box 2, Bendigo 3552 Member, Australasian Religious Press Association Editor: The Revd Dr Charles Sherlock Manager: Sarah Crutch (Registry) Committee Chair: The Revd Bryn Jones email: The Spirit is published in the first week of the month (excluding January). Advertising: rates are available from the Editor. All advertisements are accepted at the Editor’s discretion; acceptance does not imply endorsement of the product or service. Contributions are welcome, and will be edited: email submission is preferred. Anonymous articles will not be considered for publication. Photographs should be in digital form, full size: please send the ‘raw’ photo. Physical photographs are normally not returned. The Anglican Diocese of Bendigo and the Editor are not responsible for opinions expressed by contributors, nor do these necessarily reflect the policy of the diocese. Next contributions deadline: July 23

8  The Spirit June / July 2014


his ministry was initiated by Judy Binion and friends. It followed a visit to Bendigo several years ago, by the Revd Bevil Lunsden who spoke about his work at the homeless centre in Melbourne, The Lazarus Centre. From that visit, members of MU and friends began to knit squares - generally about 10” squares. Members at Kyabram undertook the task of collecting the squares from around the diocese and then joining them together, generally using 16 squares, to make a warm hand knitted rug for a homeless person. From this beginning has grown MU’s rugs ministry, with rugs being despatched around the diocese through St Luke’s, to various centres in Melbourne, particularly the Lazarus Centre, the Mission to Seafarers and Sudanese people in Footscray. So far, over 2,000 rugs have been distributed, and people are still knitting. Often the rugs are accompanied by beanies, scarves, comfort teddies etc. But more particularly, each rug comes with a small message of love (pictured at right). Judy recognises it is time to step back from co-ordinating this ministry and to hand over the reins. Two MU branches, Eaglehawk and Maryborough, will pick up those reins and work together to ensure the continuance of the rug making - bags of squares continue to arrive. With guidance from Judy, we are certain this labour of love will continue, but we must recognise the initiative, drive and sense of purpose with which it all began. We pay tribute to that visionary lady, Judy, and thank God for her and all the friends of this ministry in Kyabram.

Comfort teddies for General Synod members


U members across Australia are responding to the call to supply comfort teddies for General Synod members in Adelaide. The Revd Libbie Crossman, Australian MU President, and Jan Misiurka, Promotion and Development MU / Caritas Australia, will promote the work of MU in Australia and across the world. A pack for each member of the Synod will contain, among other resources, a comfort teddy, knitted with love.

Looking ahead


he MU / Caritas Winter Gathering and Council will be held at St Mary’s Kangaroo Flat on Wednesday 25 June. Christian cards, pens, notebooks, children’s books, gifts and MU supplies are always available from Lois Morrisey and Gwen Nener (Holy Trinity Flora Hill). MU / Caritas is making plans to bring Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs AO to Bendigo later in the year. Professor Briggs is a long-time researcher in sociology, child protection and family studies at the University of South Australia.

Pictured above are some of the teddies knitted by MU members in Bendigo diocese, and which will hopefully arrive safely in Adelaide to be a comfort to someone attending synod. They look so cheery! We wish them bon voyage, and thank our faithful knitters who create such lovely teddies, which usually are distributed around the diocese through various agencies. q Ronda Gault


‘God’s own heart’ disclosed at CMS weekend

od’s own heart’ was the theme of four inspiring talks given by Andrew Grills at the 33rd annual CMS Autumn Weekend at Holy Trinity Flora Hill, 2325 May. Once again it was a wonderful time of worship, fellowship and learning. Andrew comes from the ‘City on a hill’ church in Geelong. His experience as an ex-army chaplain shone through his stories of conflict in 1 & 2 Samuel, reinforcing our need to have a right relationship with God. A surprising element was that only two dealt with David - his ‘high’ in worship in a procession and his ‘low’ of adultery with Bathsheba. The other two talks featured the faithfulness of Jonathan, and the role of the Ark of the Covenant.

Melbourne prior to serving in East Asia. They will be partnering with an international church in order to reach students in a ‘gospel-poor’ area. The children’s program was run by Rob Edwards (Holy Trinity) and Steve Weickhardt (Strathfieldsaye). One activity, with help from parents and friends, was for the children to cover a large map of Japan with five cent pieces: this is where CMS link missionaries Brad and Michelle Jackson are serving. An innovation from Jill and Tim Buttle was a second hand bookstall, which raised $100 for CMS. (The usual Word

bookstall sold $600 worth of new books on commission.) The weekend was enhanced through the efficient organisation of the parish staff, the excellent meals served by the catering team and the warm hospitality of those providing billets. A review will consider ways of improving the weekend’s format. Andrew’s talks are available on a CD for $5 plus $2 postage from the parish office - 5443 3482. Alternatively, they can be downloaded without cost from q Barry Rainsford

Three missionary couples returning to the field were a great encouragement for us to keep supporting overseas missions as well as our local endeavours. They were able to visit and engage with local churches’ Sunday morning services. Ken and Ally Thompson have been serving as agriculturalists in north east Cambodia among the rural Bunong people of Mondulkiri Province. Over the past ten years they have been able to show local farmers improved farming practices, lead people to faith and help erect a large church complex. David and Prue Boyd are returning to the Democratic Republic of Congo (previously Zaire), where they served 20 years ago during the time of the neighbouring Rwandan genocide. With their children grown up they can return to Bukavua, to undertake urgently needed Bible teaching and caring for acutely deaf children. A third missionary couple, who cannot be named for security reasons, have been preparing at St Andrew’s Hall,

Above: Ally and Ken Thompson, David and Sue Boyd, Andrew and Danna Grills. June / July 2014 The Spirit  9

Saturday morning Synod Eucharist


earty singing, thoughtful prayers, a challenging sermon, much lay participation and a very comfortable space were the order of the day for the Synod eucharist celebrated in the new St Mary’s Kangaroo Flat on Saturday morning, day two of the 2014 meeting. What a joy it is to worship with a large crowd of people gathered together in community, being fed and sent out as the body of Christ!

The legal engine-room of Synod: The Diocesan Advocate, John Henry, Registrar Anne Baker and Chancellor Ian Dallas. Photo: Charles Sherlock

Bishop Andrew’s Synod sermon:

‘called to be the Church God wants us to be’


t being the feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, Bishop Andrew gathered us by saying how exciting it was to be in the new church, and how appropriate that we were ‘visiting’ a church dedicated to Mary.

Bishop Andrew preaching

The readings and collect were for the Visitation of Elizabeth to Mary (May 31). The service used was based on material from Common Worship (Church of England 2002), authorised by the Bishop for use in the diocese. It was a familiar service but with some helpful alternatives, notably the creed and eucharistic prayer. The words were projected on screen, and while easily read, care needs to be taken that they match what is actually being spoken. Singing was led by the Revd Bryn Jones’ voice and guitar, supported by the keyboard. Some would have liked to also sing the communion setting – even the ubiquitous ‘Dudman’ gives the Gloria a greater sense of praise and joy.

Bishop Andrew spoke of the privilege and responsibility of attending Synod, reminding us of its origins with Bishop Perry in the 1854 Church of England Act of the then-new Victorian Legislative Council. This Act saw the adoption of a synodical approach to church government that is still with us today. ‘Perry’s principle’ was two laity to one clergy – an Anglican distinctive which reminds us of the important vocation of lay people in the life of the Church. The Bishop proceeded to reflect on the ‘calling’ of the boy Samuel and of Mary the mother of our Lord: their responses changed the course of history”.

Equally, he remarked, Bishop Perry felt ‘called’ to establish the Anglican Church throughout the colony of Victoria. “Our experience may not be as extraordinary as it was for Samuel and Mary or even Bishop Perry. But make no mistake, we are called and I hope our ears may tingle with that sense of call. If we don’t feel called we will never be the Church God intends us to be. “May we all feel the call of God to be the Church that God wills!” q

‘Thank you’ from St Paul’s


an Smith (Cathedral) moved a motion to place on record the appreciation of the cathedral parish “for the ongoing financial, practical and spiritual support of the Cathedral restoration project from the Bishop, Registry staff and parishes of the diocese”.

“St Mary’s set a new benchmark for church buildings in the diocese,” said Bishop Andrew. He noted that the parish had recovered from the fire five years ago to erect the new facility with a debt of just $250,000 – “a wonderful testimony to the grace of God and the hard work of many”. It was a fitting start to a day of listening, debating and decision making. q Diana Smith 10  The Spirit June / July 2014

Synod is great! That’s how Campaspe cluster representatives see it: Janice Brown & Denise Hodder (Rochester), Stuart Winn (cluster priest), Louise Ross & Allison Mitchell (Lockington).

Reconciliation Week


ynod took place during the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation, which was marked in a number of ways.


he diocese’s newly-appointed Rural Deans, and three new St Paul’s Cathedral Canons, were commissioned by Bishop Andrew on Saturday afternoon.

New Rural Deans (pictured above) are the Revds Roger Rich (Bendigo West), Simon Robinson (Loddon), Glenda Templer (Bendigo East), Ian Howarth (Mount Alexander), David Willsher

(Campaspe) and Dale Barclay (Mallee, who was standing with the Canons). Below, Bishop Andrew commissions Canons Dale Barclay (MacCullagh canonry), Sandra Field (Moorhouse canory) and Heather Blackman (Christ Church Old Cathedral St Arnaud canon). q

The Revd Robyn Davis presented Aboriginal flags to the parishes of Kangaroo Flat (above) and Northern Mallee (below) – both greeted with warm applause.

Sarah Crutch Photos on this page: Andrew Eaton

Robyn concluded the presentation by leading Synod in the Reconciliation Prayer from APBA, written by Bishop Arthur Malcolm. Julia Nutting later spoke in support of her ministry.


pplause greeted Bishop Andrew’s announcement that the Revd Sue Allen (Ordained Pioneer Minister – pictured at left) is the new National Spiritual Director for Cursillo Australia.

“Robyn is not only a ministry pioneer in our diocese, but endlessly, on a very tight budget, facing challenges quite different from the difficulties that other clergy and lay people have. Her ministry embodies what we ask of God in the Reconciliation Prayer.” The collection at the synod eucharist was put towards Robyn’s Walkabout Ministries – and raised $1400! q Charles Sherlock

June / July 2014 The Spirit  11

Newly ordained priests Robyn Davis and Denis Gell on either side of Bishop Andrew, with Archdeacon Michael Hopkins.

Above: Imparja Pettit plays the didgeridoo as part of the Welcome to Country. Below: Denis Gell with Jim Mitchell.

Swan Hill celebrates ordinations in style


“My ordination as a priest was a wonderful day of celebration,” echoed Robyn.

The ‘Welcome to Country’ was extended, then came the haunting notes of the didgeridoo. Before the ordination itself, it was special to hear the choir of voices singing the ‘Venite Spiritus Sanctus’ (Come Holy Spirit) to the solo voice of the oboe.

Robyn works at the Swan Hill Aboriginal Health Service one day a month with the Maternal Health Unit, and is on call to the community for other ministry as needed. She also has Permission to Officiate in Riverina diocese in regard to pastoral care and to carry out her Walkabout Ministry in the Indigenous community.

here was standing room only when Denis Gell and Robyn Davis were ordained priest by Bishop Andrew on SS Philip and James’ feast day, Saturday 2 May. All the beauty of praise and worship began with the procession of white-robed visiting clergy, many of them women, and three bishops. Many clerical collars were also noted among the congregation.

Above: Robyn Davis with two cousins, Elaine Jackson and John Jackson. Below: Robyn and Denis blessing one of the rooms of the rectory.

The procession exited in reverse order, with Bishop Andrew leading the hand-clapping chorus of celebration and thanksgiving. At the lunch afterwards it was wonderful to catch up with former clergy and parishioners. Many stayed for the Sunday service, when Denis presided over his first eucharist – a great moment after a journey of forty years, but not in the wilderness by any means! “It was a tremendous experience, especially with the ordination being in Swan Hill, said Denis Gell. “This is what OLM is all about, having the presence and support of my own church family with me, as well as clergy, family and friends from afar, including my daughter and grandson from England. My ordination was the culmination of over 40 years of seeking God’s will and what an occasion it was!”

12  The Spirit June / July 2014

“I am so pleased that it happened on my own traditional country in Swan Hill. I look forward to new and exciting challenges as I develop relationships with the people of Swan Hill and support our rector, Jan Harper, two days a week.”

The most distant travellers were from Great Britain - Denis and Helen Gell’s daughter Megan, with baby Edward. Among former parishioners were Alan and Maree Pegg, Jenny and Jim Mitchell and Neil Buller. Some Swan Hill ‘famous faces’ in the crowd were the Revds Wendy Pullin, Heather Blackman, Gary Fordham, Ron White, and Mike Vercoe. Many visiting clergy were wonderful men and women who had served our parish as locums over the two years of vacancy until we were blessed with our new rector, Jan Harper. Later, Robyn and Denis blessed each room in the Rectory in a truly meaningful service - it can be found (with lots of photos) at au/?p=360. Joan Mellahn

Castlemaine’s retirement extravaganza for Fr Ken Parker


he Easter season has been a feast of endings and beginnings in Castlemaine parish as we celebrated 45 years of ordained ministry - eleven in Castlemaine - by Canon Ken Parker, and his retirement from parish ministry.

Change a life. Donate now.

It began with juggling, fire twirling, music, and unicycles, with exuberance, joy, and abundant creativity of life. We came to the place where the church comes to play and our children gave gifts of their talents and playfulness. Saying goodbye to Ken also meant saying goodbye to James O’Donnell: at St John’s Chewton we celebrated the gifts of music with which Jim has enriched our worship. It was a rich and passionate offering in an intimate space. The Concert for Ken was as intimate as an over-filled church can be. Carried through on a sedan chair, Fr Ken was fêted with gifts of poetry and music by over 30 performers. At Evensong on Ken’s last Sunday, Susan Bassett (on behalf of the parish) and Bronwen Manchin (on behalf of the Castlemaine community), offered reflections on the influence Ken has had on so many lives through his ministry. Ken was presented with The Book of Blessings, a festschrift of poetry, photography, embroidery – anything that fits on a page – containing works by over 100 contributors; and the ‘Loving Cup,’

Canon Ken with Bronwen Manchin, speaker at his retirement Evensong

a specially commissioned work of silver, gold and glass marking the parishes in which Ken has served, with the centrepiece a pair of hands cupped together in both offering and receiving. On Ascension Day, Thursday 29 May, Ken formally laid down parish ministry. Rather, he handed over parish ministry, using symbols of the ministry alive and continuing in the folk of this parish.

St Luke’s is there to work with people and give them a renewed sense of dignity Andrew Curnow AM and worth.– StBishop Luke’s Board President Donate to St Luke’s Anglicare Donate by phone 03 5440 8140 or email Direct deposit via Bendigo Bank: BSB 633 000 ACC 130329535 Albury • Bendigo • Castlemaine Deniliquin • Echuca • Kyneton Maryborough • Swan Hill

The Reverend Canon Ken Parker: parish priest, rural dean, cathedral canon, friend, mentor, jester and gadfly: having called so many to be a ‘new thing’, Fr Ken is now himself becoming a ‘new thing’ as he learns to be a priest in retirement, entering this new phase of ministry with blessings, tears, laughter and love. q Graeme Castleman

Eaglehawk parish farewells Andrew Plant


he Revd Andrew and Kim Plant were farewelled at a packed service on Sunday 1 June 2014 at St Peter’s Eaglehawk. The three Sunday congregations combined to bid adieu to their friend and pastor for the past five years. Andrew explained that he had been an ordained minister in Bendigo diocese for 25 years, since being appointed as a curate at Christ Church Echuca. Now he felt it was time to avoid ‘burn-out’ by resigning from the ministry and taking up a position with the City of Greater Bendigo. Andrew’s final sermon was based on 2 Peter 3, where we are reminded to pay attention to the message God has made available. His customary lively address

made good use of a data projector and fillin answer sheets. He encouraged listeners to be informed by God’s word and to accept God’s transforming grace. At morning tea afterwards churchwarden Ed Yarrington expressed the thanks of all those present for Andrew’s leadership through a challenging time of change and uncertainty. It was pleasing to see the church building in such good shape, after a period of repair and improvement. A bouquet of flowers was presented to Kim along with a financial gift to them both. Andrew responded by thanking Kim and his family and friends for their support over many years, and wishing the

parish well in the next stage of its growth and development. A closing prayer committed Andrew and all to God’s good care. While the parish is waiting for a new rector, the two morning services will be combined at 9.45am and the afternoon gathering will continue at 5.00pm. Barry and Jenny Rainsford June / July 2014 The Spirit  13

First Frost The bar was closed at six o’clock, we went our separate ways – each one of us, a man alone, each in a sort of haze that comes from drinking beer too fast, and not enough to eat, each with whiskers on our face and chilblains on our feet. Old boots, sore toes and aching backs don’t matter when you’re going in to Bickley’s bar to drink, not even if it’s snowing. St George’s Trentham pageant line-up: Reg, Fay Spear, Kit Manning, Bob White, Ian Hansford, Hazel Gibbons, Neil Fitzgerald, Frances Palmer, Anne Walker (obscured), Pam Bosanquet, Elizabeth Wells, Saskia Post.

Picnic, pageant & cemetery crawl: 150 years of Anglican worship in Trentham


right sunshine and a cool breeze welcomed people to St George’s Trentham picnic and pageant at Quarry Lake on Sunday 3 May. They came to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first Church of England service in the town. The Revd Dr Peta Sherlock, our rector and author of the pageant, welcomed everyone, and with parishioner Peter Fernon led us through notable events and people over the years. Charles Sherlock was kept busy as stage manager, banging in tomato stakes with labels to mark key dates in the story of the church and town. Parishioners took the parts of church members of earlier days – shop-keepers, pub owners and the redoubtable Dr Gweneth Wisewould among them – as well as honouring the ministry of Lay Readers, notably David Weeding. The singing of several hymns was assisted by accompaniment from Tim Walsh, whose family marks 150 years in the town later this year. Tim, a parishioner of St Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church, also provided amplification for the event. At regular intervals during the pageant, ladies of the Guild walked across and back, dressed suitably in hats, gloves and carrying various items to illustrate their long involvement and service to the community – sewing, doing the flowers and serving tea and meals for many occasions, keeping St George’s spick and span, and of course raising money for its continued support. 14  The Spirit June / July 2014

Those present were surprised to have a visit from Trentham identity Reg the spud-digger (closely associated with churchwarden John McLaren), who told us in no uncertain terms what life was like for those on hard times, and how a friend of his, Declan, had shared the Easter message with him one frosty night. Concurrent with the picnic and pageant was a display of historical photos and documents, set up in the sanctuary on boards loaned by the Trentham Historical Society. Parishioner Elizabeth McInerney, assisted by the Society’s John Cook, had spent many hours of research to prepare the display, which was much appreciated by visitors and locals. Trentham Cemetery contains the graves of generations across the 150 years. With the permission of its trustees, Peta Sherlock made a map of the ‘top ten Anglicans’, whose graves were marked by more labels on tomato stakes, with details of their lives and ministry. Members and friends of families with historic links to St George’s joined in the regular morning service, and enjoyed examining the display and following the cemetery trail, as well as celebrating Easter with us. Over the day everyone moved around and shared stories of the early days - now it’s full steam ahead into the future which God has for us! q June English

But when your seven shillings’ spent and autumn dusk’s descending the road back home seems long and dark, and almost never ending. Me spud hut isn’t far away, just down beside the creek, but Dwyer’s spuds have all been dug. I’ll have to move next week. I stop, and lean upon the gate. The paddock’s crop’s been lifted sixty rows of spuds, I’d say, I’ve dug and bagged and shifted. Old Declan’s words come back to me he’s dug round here for years. He had his cheque. All flush, he said, “I’ll shout this round of beers!” The boys all grinned their thanks, and winked at Declan’s newfound wealth. Then every digger round the bar saluted Declan’s health. The talk resumed - of rabbit traps, of horses, slow and fast and whether winter snow this year would be as deep as last. But Declan looked me in the eye, and quietly he said, “Doc Wisewould says I’ve got a growth. Next spring I might be dead.” In shock I heard the publican call out, “Last drinks!” “It’s time!” and Declan said, “Cheer up, old mate! Right now, I’m feeling fine! Now don’t you fret, I’m right to go, next spring, next month, tomorrow. The Lord will have a hut for me, and no more pain or sorrow. “We’ve talked about this oft before, when we was bunked together last year, in old Pongello’s hut, in all that dirty weather. “I told you that, when but a boy, I heard the old priest’s teaching that Jesus and his mates slept rough when wandering and preaching.

A Tale of old Trentham - 1891


have discovered some new and fascinating reading. The drama is better than Downton Abbey, the subtleties more delicate than Foyle’s War, and the information fuller than ABC24, Current Affair and 60 Minutes together. It is the Parish Council Minutes of St George’s Trentham, 18881897, plus the Service Register and occasional local newspaper clippings. 1891 attracted attention given the amount of information available. From the Register I noted the numbers at worship, the collection and who counted and banked it, the minister’s text, notes on weather or choir numbers - and who played the organ. “They didn’t even have a swag, a billy or a pipe – not even soap, so in that heat, like us, they’d smell real ripe! “He was a bag man, just like us, he walked through dust and mud. He only had one pair of boots, no purse, dry bread for food. “He said the foxes had their dens, and birds had nests for bed – but not a halfpenny to his name, he’d now’t to lay his head. “He said that, where his Father lived, were lots of different places – and poor blokes, more than rich men, could count on finding spaces “where they could camp and stay forever. Never have to leave. And he would charge them nothing. They’d only to believe.” So Declan said. ’E shook me hand, and walked into the night. I stood, like I am standing now, hoping that ’e’s right. For, leaning here, upon this gate, I feel the first frost falling And deep within the silent bush, hear the frogmouth calling. At last, I move toward the light. I feel the years upon me and Declan’s gentle Irish voice dispels the fears within me. I hang me lantern from its hook. Me hearth coals still have heat. An old bloke, with whiskers on his face, and chilblains on his feet.

Reg, Trentham spud-digger – with help from John McLaren – Autumn 2014

From the Minutes I noted who attended or stayed away from Parish Council, who was secretary and treasurer and when they succeeded or failed to follow up decisions, decided to hold a concert, fix the church roof or put off paying bills (including the rector’s stipend). The Trentham Advertiser showed St George’s public face: the Bishop’s visit, unkind letters about how the organist was elected, and the sale of the rector’s goods before he moved on (including a horse, buggy, and 12-stop organ). As 1891 began the choir was growing under the musical Revd George Frewin and his wife. Especially on Sunday evenings, when attendances were much larger, as was the collection. In June there were 15 in the choir and a “splendid congregation” of 94, though it was a damp wintry Trentham evening. The Parish Council tried to have more Sunday evening services but Canon Carlisle (Kyneton rector?) refused permission. Mr JWS Wolff, church treasurer, longstanding Guardian and successful local businessman, went to a Melbourne lawyer – and more Sunday evening services were suddenly underway. A dozen new hymn / prayer books were bought for the choir. The previous September a better organ had been bought from the rector (apparently getting his 12-stop organ). But the better organ cost more than a year’s collections – a bank loan was taken out. It was not paid off when the Minute Book ended seven years later. Meanwhile, in the choir there was dissent. Selina Utber, aged 20, was being challenged by Caroline Carpender, 18, as to who was the organist. Selina was Mr

Wolff’s step-daughter (discovered from wanderings in our local cemetery). When the “disturbance in the choir” came up at Parish Council, he asked permission to make a speech. We don’t know what he said, but he presumably defended his daughter. Wolff was proud of his family, and later drew attention to his stepson’s paying the church ‘subscription’ even though he was not yet 21. The Parish Council decided that the organists should alternate every three months: this is written in the Register in April and July. But the system did not work. Who knows what girlish unpleasantness went on with winks and giggles? The Council moved that each girl should sing in the choir when not at the organ, but how could you police such a decision? Finally, the Council interviewed the choir one Friday night in early September, and went to the parsonage to vote. Miss Utber won by 5 votes to 4. Not a decision at all. By checking the Council’s moving and seconding, it became fairly clear who voted with whom. Miss Carpender’s four did not attend Council for the rest of the year – and a nasty exchange of anonymous letters took place in the local paper, plus one signed by Mr Wolff. During this whole year the rector valiantly preached pointed sermons: “act justly with one another” (Jeremiah 7:5), “seek things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41), “if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts ...” (James 3:14), “do not complain” (1 Corinthians 10:31). In his farewell sermon on 27 December, George Frewin begged them to “put things in order ... live in peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11). In 1892 Mr Wolff and a newcomer to the Parish Council (his main opposition, I suspect) would not stand for re-election even when asked. And Selina Utber resigned as organist.


do not write this to despise my forebears in the faith. I have become quite fond of all these characters. But has much changed 123 years later? How much energy do we put into keeping the church running so that we can keep the church running? Oh – please keep your church records carefully so that someone in 2164 will have as much fun as I have had in 2014! q Peta Sherlock June / July 2014 The Spirit  15

Beating around the bush Any old iron?


ny old iron was a British music hall song sung by people like Peter Sellers, performed on The Muppet Show and concert orchestras, and used in TV ads. It is a fun song about a product that has played an important part in the lives of outback Australians – notably as corrugated iron.

Monicah and Andrew Eaton with Robyn Davis and her painting that they bought.

‘Nara Dreaming’ delights


here was movement in the parish for the word had passed around – the ‘Nara Dreaming’ Art Exhibition was on again at Lockwood! With smiles and cheerful chatter, parishioners from Maryborough, Avoca, Talbot and Dunolly boarded the bus for their trip to the Exhibition. Time was spent discussing and appreciating the artistic talents of our Indigenous sisters and brothers – paintings, metal sculptures, sandstone carvings, photography, weaving, jewellery, cards. We were privileged to have the Revd Robyn Davis tell us of her art and Walkabout Ministry. We all eagerly searched for the gold cross which Robyn includes in each of her paintings. Each purchaser shared with Robyn the reasons behind the choice: she was delighted to know that part of her was going to be with us. Thank you Anne, Bill, Robyn, Ed and the team for this wonderful exhibition, your hospitality and the comfy couches ... our bus will be returning next year! q Sandra Field, Maryborough

A hole in the cathedral floor?


his photo shows the construction of the foundations for the new altar platform in the cathedral. The platform, octagonal in shape, will be able to be retracted into the floor by means of hydraulic lifts. This will give much needed versatility to the cathedral’s interior. q

16  The Spirit June / July 2014

There is no more wonderful sound in the outback than rain on a corrugated iron roof – especially the first fall after prolonged drought. We were privileged to live in a wonderful old Queenslander, named ‘Lis Escop’, the 150 year-old home of the Bishop of Rockhampton. The sound of rain falling on its corrugated iron roof was music to the ears.

And, would you believe it, an enterprising manufacturer of funeral supplies is marketing a range of corrugated iron coffins, named ‘The Outback’! On a less sombre note, would you also believe that one can produce a form of music, echoes of different pitches, by clapping one’s hands alongside a corrugated iron fence? Corrugated iron really isn’t ‘any old iron’. Outback people are well aware that houses built of corrugated iron cannot last forever. There is another ‘home’ we have been thinking about in Anglican worship during the season of Easter - God’s new creation in Christ. May nothing in this life cause us to forget our eternal home.

Corrugated iron was invented in England in the May we never forget the early 1800s. Made in sheets, Any old iron? Barcaldine Lodge spiritual needs of outback light in weight, easily transAustralians where in a rapidly growing ported and relatively easy to build with, number of outback communities there it was ideal for use in outback Austraare no clergy any more, too few clergy lia. The many buildings made from it willing to go outback, too few people to still standing today are testimony to its fund the cost of ministry any more, instrength and durability – corrugated iron frequent access to the ministry of Word houses, halls, hotels, sheds, church buildand sacraments most of us take for grantings and many other structures. ed, and little or no pastoral care available One corrugated iron house in Winton from the Church. was the home of two elderly Anglicans where we would make a pastoral call every time we were visiting the West – a real outback home of ‘dinky di’ Aussie battlers.

Can you, with me, imagine what the exalted Lord Jesus Christ would think of this situation? q

In his younger days, Bert, a former ‘ringer’, cut down trees on his block to the same height and level to form the foundations of the house. He then erected the external and internal dividing walls, and the roof, from sheets of corrugated iron. These two dear folk would spend the day under the house on a pressed earth floor, seeking the cool, and then go upstairs for cooking and sleeping at the end of the day.

Bishop Ron

An imaginative inventiveness is found in the people of the outback. Many of Winton’s corrugated iron houses, even the poorest, have decorative window awnings and weather vanes sculptured in the iron, and ‘bull-nosed’ verandas. Their use of corrugated iron has been discovered by architects and builders: this ‘any old iron’, or one of its descendants that has overcome the problem of rusting, is in vogue again.

ABM Auxiliary news


ho is my neighbour?, the ABM photographic display, will be featured at St Paul’s Cathedral from Sunday to Friday 1-6 June, then travel to St Margaret’s Mildura for the Mallee Deanery Rally on Sunday 29 June. The exhibition highlights the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and shows how Australian aid is helping our global partners respond to the serious challenges of poverty. The images come from Anglican Churches in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. They tell the story of people and communities on the front line of the struggle against poverty.

Margaret Kelly celebrates 25 years of volunteering with Benetas Chair John McKenzie

Benetas thanks its volunteers with historic luncheon


o coincide with National Volunteer Week, Benetas celebrated the work of its volunteers at an historic event at The Hotel Windsor on Thursday 15 May.

New ABM Auxiliary President:

Kris Hopkins


t the April meeting of the diocesan ABM Auxiliary, Kris Hopkins was elected as President. Kris worships at St Margaret’s Mildura and is an ABM Associate. Kris takes over from Heather Lawrence who stepped down last October. Special thanks to Jenny Rainsford who has held the reins in the interim. The annual fundraising rallies are happening around the various deaneries as we go to print – more information in next month’s issue of The Spirit. The next ABM Auxiliary Meeting will be held on Tuesday 15 July at St Luke’s White Hills from 12 noon. Everyone from across the diocese is welcome. If you have a passion for ABM and its part in God’s mission, bring your lunch and hear more about the role and work of our Auxiliary and how it supports ABM in the diocese. We are looking for new supporters! If you are interested please phone or email Kris Hopkins: au or 5023 8265 (the Northern Mallee parish office). q Kris Hopkins

“Over the last year Benetas volunteers donated a staggering 25,000 hours of their time, the equivalent of almost 3,300 working days,” said Sandra Hills, Benetas CEO. “They offer their talents in a range of capacities, from playing the piano for our residents, working in our local op shops, to providing transport and offering friendship.” Ms Hills said that the event, now in its eleventh year, was reflective of Benetas’ appreciation of its volunteers. “Their support means that our clients can maintain important links to the community and form lasting relationships which offer comfort and companionship. Without their commitment we would simply be unable to do much of the work we do with older Victorians.” The event acknowledged the work of long time volunteer Allan White, who this year celebrates 35 years of service. “To be celebrating 35 years of volunteering at the one place, along with three volunteers reaching 25 years of service and two celebrating 20 years, is incredible. As an organisation we are truly grateful,” said Ms Hills. For more information about volunteering with Benetas phone 8823 7900 or visit q Stephanie Russell

The Revd Dr Charles Sherlock (right) with MU Leader Mrs Noluthanda Langein (holding her churchwarden’s staff) and ARCIC III members Bishop Nkosinathi Ndwandwe (Anglican, Natal) and Sister Teresa Okule shcj (RC, Nigeria).

Anglican worship – Zulu style


harles Sherlock participated in the 2014 Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) meeting at the Vuleka centre, near Durban, South Africa, from 12-20 May. On the Sunday, the Commission joined 5-600 Zulu ANglicans at St Augustine’s, Umlazi for their 8am eucharist – which ran until 11am! “It was an amazing and inspiring experience,” Charles said. “The service was long, but you did not notice it - there was no time-wasting fuss, just unhurried delight to be able to worship God together. In Zulu the service’s words seem to take longer, and administerng communion to everyone took a while (accompanied by more wonderful singing). “ “Mothers Union members wear a white coat with a soft black hat to church. One, Mrs Noluthanda Langein (sister-in-law of apartheid martyr Steve Biko), is a churchwarden – a very significant ministry in this context. She was given 10 minutes or so to give the notices before the Peace. “The wardens supervise the collection, watching as everyone comes forward to place their gift in closed boxes. These are opened to face the front, and the wardens then offer the prayer over the collection, before carrying the boxes to the vestry (which is then locked).” ARCIC is currently working on how the local, regional and universal levels of church relate, especially in relation to discerning right ethical teaching. q June / July 2014 The Spirit  17

There’s a word for it: ‘time’ I

gather that the word ‘time’ is the most widely used noun in English. It’s a word we all know and use, yet try to define it and we come unstuck. From the myriad ways we use it, it’s obvious that it is more than a simple procession measured out in days, hours and minutes.

The ancient Greeks used this special word kairos to depict such appropriate times. Kairos is all about living in the moment for God, seeing what he is doing and catching the moment of opportunity when it comes. We ourselves enshrine this idea in such proverbs as, ‘Strike while the iron is hot’. And when we fail to catch the moment we talk about ‘missing the boat’.

In the developed world we are obsessed with the accurate measurement of time. As technology leads us into more complicated mechanisms there is an increasing Interestingly the word kairos, both in need to record time in the most minute ancient and modern Greek, also means amounts. Not long ago, to describe some weather. The two ideas of weather and event to the nearest half hour was sufthe opportune time come together in ficient – now we record things in micro seconds. In fact unChristians are called to discern the Matthew 16:3 and Luke 12:56 when til 1840 the record times aright, to seize the opportunity Jesus has a go at his of time in one town - to discern God’s kairos. contemporaries for could differ by 20 being blind to what God is doing in their minutes or more from the time in anothown times. er. Time was measured locally. The coming of railways changed things. Railways require a timetable and therefore the same time standard for everywhere. Trains simply could not wait until local time said what was on the timetable. So time became standardised. Each railway company had its own railway time for a while but soon time became standardised in Britain as ‘Greenwich Mean Time.’ The rest of the world soon followed. The further back in history you go, the less accurate are the devices for ‘keeping time’ and the less insistence on being ‘on time’. We are talking about chronological time – time as duration. The Bible recognises this kind of time but has little to say about it and about how time is measured. The words used for time in the Old Testament express a view of history as made up of various ‘times’, all of which are in God’s hands. All times belong to God and are for God’s purposes. The word ‘chronological’ comes from the Greek word chronos which gives us our words chronometer and anachronism. The other main word for time in the New Testament is kairos. This does not mean measured time as duration but something like the time of opportunity and fulfilment, the appropriate season. We speak of doing things at the right, or opportune, time, though we often have an inability to discern what makes it the right time.

18  The Spirit June / July 2014

You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present kairos? In the Bible, Christians are called to discern the times aright, to seize the opportunity. They are to “know the seasons”, understand the present time (Romans13:11), redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16), make the most of every opportunity (Colossians 4:5). They grasp salvation for “now is the acceptable time; behold now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). q Richard Stamp {}

Jesus Christ: the true hope of Star Wars?


tar Wars fans will be excited to know that a new Star Wars film is coming out in 2015. It will be Episode VII and will be a continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set 30 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’. One thing that rings true in the Star Wars films is the fight between good and evil, and the temptation of going to the ‘dark side’. In Star Wars Episode I: ‘The Phantom Menace’, released in 1999, a young boy called Anakin Skywalker is introduced. He can see things before they happen and has within him an unusually strong strain of the Force. A Jedi knight comes to free the boy from slavery but cannot save his mother. Anakin has his reservations and says that he doesn’t want things to change but his mother says “you can’t stop the change. It’s like stopping the sun setting.”


wo thousand years ago a boy was born in Bethlehem to free us all from the bondage of death in this world and the slavery of sin. His birth was also to fulfil the scriptures: “The maiden will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him ‘Immanuel’” (Isaiah 7:14). The Jewish people were waiting for a Saviour, their new Messiah who - just like Anakin Skywalker - would make a difference and set them free in accordance with the scriptures. For the risen Lord Jesus is the “Alpha and the Omega ... who is and was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8; 21:6). And as we know, the Messiah has already been found (John 1:41). The new Star Wars film will have some of the original cast from the original trilogy. It will no doubt delve into good and evil and the temptations of the dark side.

The Diocese of Bendigo expects the highest standards of professional service from its Clergy and Lay Ministers.

IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT Please call (free) 1800

135 246

A phone call to the above number will mean that your complaint will be handled by the Director of Professional Standards. The Diocese is a full participant in the Victorian Anglican Provincial Abuse and Harassment Protocol. This is an independent, objective procedure adopted by the Diocese of Bendigo.

I am not sure if creator George Lucas is a spiritual or religious man but one thing is for sure, there is a spiritual element to his Star Wars films, and to ‘the Force’. “May the Force be with you”? Almost like “May God be with you”! q Angela Morrissey

Strathfieldsaye holy-day programme continued from back cover From our experience of five programmes over three years, we are seeing progress towards both goals. The teenagers have real experience in preparing for long-term roles as leaders across God’s kingdom. And we are meeting new families – this Holy Week we had 30 children involved. These participants are keen to become leaders as they grow up through the programme too. This creates momentum for new leaders and active Church participation for the whole family. The materials we use are the CEP books available from Christian bookstores or online at CEP packs include a CDROM, songs, craft, talks / teaching times, multiple options for various age groups and events, and are sensitive to Anglican liturgy. q Steve Weickhardt

St Arnaud

Youngsters join in


ur congregation felt blessed. Six children were in church for Palm Sunday, and all were excited about leading the congregation in a palm procession around the outside of Christ Church Old Cathedral. After a circuit right around the church building the children led the congregation inside, and chose to place their palms against the holy table. An impromptu children’s talk followed, and we were delighted to hear the children’s answers as to what Easter was about. “I learnt this at school,” was the response from one youngster – a positive comment by a student who obviously pays attention in CRE, which is conducted by ACCESS Ministries volunteers in schools. A week later saw eight excited children in church for Easter Sunday. There was a children’s talk and later the young people helped distribute Easter eggs before the end of the service. They rushed outside when told that some Easter eggs were seen in the garden! Easter Day was such a joyous celebration of the resurrection of our Lord! q Heather Blackman

media matters Grand Theft Art


a jolly good try. In particular they learnt erren Brown is not to be afraid of being caught. After all, back on TV. I they could always pretend to be silly old wrote about him last codgers. Being old and ostensibly dodyear: an English madery can be a great advantage when you gician and illusionist want to do something illegal. who raises questions about how our minds Then Brown rehearsed and rehearsed work, and what is real. In many ways he them in his method of stealing the is just another magician, but with a huge painting off the wall of an art gallery. amount of spin and hype. I was disapIt was to be done in broad daylight, pointed some months ago to see him take with the owner watching on CCTV, a 90- minute show to do what I have seen and a security guard sitting in the room, other magicians do in 20 Being old and ostensibly and everyone knowminutes but without the ing exactly what time doddery can be a great build up. I am guessing the theft would take Mr Brown also makes a advantage when you want place. Yes, it was all to do something illegal. larger amount of money about distraction. And than they do. no, Brown did not tell the viewers evIt’s in the ways Derren Brown pushes your mind around that fascinates me. It’s in the ways he pushes the ethical boundaries that bothers me. With elaborate set-ups, he has made people think the apocalypse has happened and the world is ended, that they have committed a murder or an assassination, seen ghosts or had a true religious experience. All dubious exploits, after which I trust someone followed up and debriefed the individuals involved.

This time it was high society art theft from a public gallery. Derren got together a small group of older citizens, at least one of whom lived in a retirement village or aged care. He showed them some sleight of hand card tricks, and then proposed he teach them how to cheat people. They happily agreed - after all, it was only sleight of hand. First he needed to deal with the emotions they would experience that might get in the way of calmly pinching chips from a plate on Brighton pier, or pocketing someone else’s watch. It is all about distraction. Keep that in mind if you watch this show repeated! All about distraction. It is the answer to the mystery. But I am not going to spoil the ending for you. The oldies never managed actually to remove a watch from someone’s wrist as their victims helped an old frightened fellow across a busy road. But they had

erything that was going to happen until the theft was complete. The art work, worth £100,000, turned up safely in the window of an Op Shop with a price tag of £1 (the owner conveniently had that amount in his pocket to buy his painting back).

The fascinating aspect of this adventure, however, was the excitement and adrenaline rush of the senior citizens involved. They told us that they had not had so much fun in their lives for years. It made me ponder about what gives me the occasional rush in my fairly mundane life. It made me wonder whether I needed to do something illegal in order to have real fun! So I have to ask, what is wrong with having an ordinary life? I live in retirement, potter around the garden and the parish history, take an occasional holiday, sing in the local choir and walk to the shops most days for a coffee and chat to my neighbours. It is not a bad life compared to many in our world. Perhaps the excitement drive comes from the same source as the hundreds of young people on TV who seem to need celebrity status. They cook, renovate houses, sing, dance and do magic tricks, all to be a star. But not everyone can be a star, and it is silly to tell our children they can be and, even worse, they already are. It will distract them from what really matters in life. q Peta Sherlock June / July 2014 The Spirit  19

Gunbower Guild - ‘staying alive’


t Christ Church Gunbower we have a Guild of nine ladies - three 90-year olds, two who are 80 plus, two 70 plus and two who are still working. The Guild helps us with all the catering, cooking cakes, slices, sponges etc, for funeral afternoon teas and sometimes lunches, and also for birthdays of senior citizens.

I thought I would send a photo of the three ‘nonagenerians’ – Muriel Williams, Glad Bramely and Daphne Daus – and hope your readers find this an interesting subject. Yours in faith – may God be with you all.

Easter for kids! Strathfieldsaye holy-day week

E McGillivray, honorary secretary

Canon Ken Parker admires The Book of Blessings presented to him at Evensong on 25 May, marking his retirement. Full story page 13

Caring at a time of need

151 McCrae Street Bendigo 12 Victoria Street Eaglehawk

P. 5441 5577

A tradition that continues... 20  The Spirit June / July 2014


uring Holy Week, Strathfieldsaye Anglican / Uniting Church ran a holiday programme from Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 12 noon - ‘Easter for Kids!’ It culminated with our weekly Saturday 5pm Family Church where we celebrated the Lord’s Supper together. Our first holiday programme ran in July 2011, the second in April 2012. Building on that experience, we decided to run two in 2013, in April and October. The October programme saw a leap in numbers, especially from families we had not met before. Our programme has two aims. First, we offer it to attract young families to engage with our Christian community, and ‘walk through

the door’. We invite children and their parents to our Saturday services, building on the teaching and enjoyment they experienced as part of the weekday programme. Secondly, we aim to build a new generation of leaders in the church. A team of teenagers who are actively involved in South East Bendigo parish participate as leaders. They gain experience from leading the fun stuff of games, craft and dramas, to the harder work of setting / packing up and preparing /debriefing each day. Our motto comes from Romans 12:12 – “Rejoicing in hope. Patience in hard times. Praying always.” continued on page 19

The Spirit - June/July 2014  
The Spirit - June/July 2014  

Monthly magazine of the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo