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ABM’s mission: Dr Julianne Stewart

Julianne Stewart with community leaders in Makueni County, Kenya.jpg

Manning Deanery Anglican Women recently heard Dr Julianne Stewart speak about how the Anglican Board of Mission (ABM) interprets its call to join in God’s mission in the world today. Julianne spoke mainly about the Community Development work of ABM, of which she is part Director.

“Today, ABM does not send missionaries as it did in much of its almost 170 year history, but rather works in partnership with many of the Anglican churches it helped to found, as well as with other Anglican churches in the developing world. These churches include the national churches of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, the Philippines, Myanmar, Zambia, Kenya, South Sudan, Palestine and Egypt.

“All of ABM’s work today can be expressed in one or more of the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion, which it interprets as follows:

  1. Witness to Christ’s saving, forgiving and reconciling love for all people.
  2. Build welcoming, transforming communities of faith.
  3. Stand in solidarity with the poor and needy.
  4. Challenge violence, injustice and oppression, and work for peace and reconciliation.
  5. Protect, care for and renew life on our planet.

“In a sense, the first Mark is an umbrella statement for all the other Marks of Mission, since all are examples of witnessing to the saving, forgiving and reconciling love of Christ for all. ABM has a strong commitment to reconciliation between Australia’s first peoples and those who have more recently “come across the seas” to settle here. In this regard it works closely with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC) to promote the voices of the members of that body to the broader church, as well as to provide material support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ministry.

“In terms of the second Mark, ABM’s Church to Church program helps support the evangelism and religious education and training programs of several Anglican churches in developing countries, including Newton Theological College in PNG, and St John’s Seminary in northern Zambia, both of which it helped to start many years ago.

“ABM’s Community Development work reflects the final three Marks of Mission, working with Anglican Church partners to target disadvantaged, marginalised communities in the developing world to support those communities to address their own concerns. ABM seeks to build trusting, respectful relationships with its Anglican Church partners and the communities they serve. Examples of this work include building food security, resilience and livelihoods of farmers in arid parts of Kenya, as well as tropical mountainous areas of the Philippines, and supporting church led adult literacy programs in PNG and Vanuatu.

“In seeking to challenge violence, injustice and oppression, ABM’s supports the Anglican Churches in Zambia, PNG and the Solomon Islands to address issues such child abuse, gender based violence, and the human rights of women. ABM works with an Anglican hospital in the war-torn Gaza Strip to address a chronic problem of underweight children through a nutrition program of nutritional supplements.”

Autumn Rally at Gloucester

The Anglican Women’s Autumn rally at Gloucester for the Manning Deanery went really well, with over fifty in attendance.

Dr Julianne Stewart, Program Director, spoke about the work of ABM. In seeking to follow Christ, ABM works with Anglican churches in other countries. This involves listening respectfully to how these churches want to respond to God’s mission in their own countries, and discussing together how we might assist them achieve their goals. ABM’s Church to Church Program focuses on souls (or spirituality) and the Development Program relates to the material side – or bodies. (see article: ABM’s mission)

Julianne also spoke about her own spiritual walk, centred around the Gospel saying ‘Jesus wept’, beginning when she went to Israel as a young person.

Mrs Laura Llewellyn spoke on Hospitality, sharing how a young couple’s hospitality to her as a student had a profound effect on her. She had invited people to bring their favourite budget recipe, which she will use to make up a recipe book.

We were overwhelmed with clergy – Wingham Parish has a small bus and the rector, Brian Ford drove it and so was there for the day. Rob Llewellyn, of course, Martin Davies from Stroud accompanied Julianne, and Stuart Benson.

Catering worked out well with the Taree ladies arriving with the deanery baskets in tow. Gloucester ladies were a bit thin on the ground with several regulars away, having ops etc. but we got through with the help of some real troopers. Julie Van Homrigh from Mayfield also joined us.

Despite a nippy southerly, the weather was good for travelling, and everyone appeared to have a good day.

AWA Conference – prayer support

Please uphold the organisers in prayer and give thanks for those who will be take part at this special gathering.

If you would like to be a part of this, register now! Or just attend the Cathedral service on Tuesday 6th June – no registration required for this – all welcome  (BYO lunch).

Prayer points for the AWA 5th-8th June conference are:

  • For the smooth and harmonious running of the conference
  • For the speakers and presenters – for peace of mind and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in all they do and say
  • That the worship, fellowship and learning may be to the glory of God and help to build up his Church
  • For safety in travel for participants
  • For a good turn out and hassle free parking on the Tuesday for the Cathedral service and for the visit to the Mission to Seafarers at Wickham.

Other Diocesan events:

10th May: the 30th Anniversary of the ordination of Julia Perry and Pam Sauber to the Diaconate – the first in Newcastle Diocese. A Celebration Eucharist service will begin at 11am, Christ Church Cathedral, Church Street, Newcastle. All welcome.

3rd June: There will also be a Diocesan Celebration & Eucharist, celebrating ordination of women and the ministry of women in Newcastle Diocese at the Cathedral on Saturday at 11am. All welcome!

AWA Conference: it’s not too late!

The Anglican Women Australia Conference, 5-8th June, hosted by Anglican Women in the Diocese of Newcastle is drawing ever closer! We have been able to extend the deadline for registrations to 18th May.

With the theme, ‘Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Women’, it promises to be an exciting time of worship, fellowship and learning, with a wonderful array of speakers, including:

  • The Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy, Bishop of Gippsland Diocese in Victoria, who will speak as the Cathedral Service on Tuesday 6th June;
  • The Revd Di Langham, Chaplain at Cessnock Gaol, who will also speak at that Service;
  • Lisa Towle, President of Episcopal Church Women of the USA
  • Lucille Henniker, President of Anglican Women’s Fellowship in Southern Africa
  • Jan Malpas, sharing her journey with the World Council of Churches, MU – locally & internationally, MOWatch and Lifeline
  • Members MOWatch (the Movement for the Ordination of Women) will share their story of the ministry of women and present a segment on their ongoing struggle
  • The Revd Lu Piper will speak of her life and minstry of a different kind on a remote island of PNG.
  • Evenings will have a lighter aspect, with Bush Poet Bob Bush, a Sing Australia Choir, and Police Sergeant Debra Rowe recounting some of her experiences over many years in the NSW Police Force.
  • Following the Cathedral Service on Tuesday will be a visit to The Mission to Seafarers in Wickham, which serves the thousands of seafarers who visit the Port of Newcastle.

The final morning, Thursday 8th, will include the Provincial AGM with reports from Anglican Women in the Dioceses of Canberra & Goulburn, Bathurst, Riverina and Newcastle. This will be followed by small group discussion looking at the future of AW as an organisation – ‘Where to from here?’

The conference will take place in the Mountain View Room at Club Macquarie, Argenton, which is next door to Cockle Creek Railway Station. It provides a very pleasant and comfortable venue, looking out on to the creek and the hills beyond. Enjoy excellent meals. Half an hour from Newcastle, there is plenty of parking.

Accommodation is available at the Macquarie Inn, adjoining the Club – connected by a covered walkway. (See their website for further information.). There are also other motels in the area at Warners Bay, Speers Point and Cardiff. Several parishioners in the area have offered hospitality, with billeting in their homes.

Cost for the full conference (5th-8th June) is $275.  Registration is from 3pm on the Monday, and the conference will be finished by 12 noon on Thursday. You will need to make your own arrangements for accommodation.

Attendance at the Tuesday Cathedral Service is of course free and open to anyone – all are welcome! Bishop Peter Stuart will celebrate and The Venerable Sonia Roulston, Conference Chaplain, will preach.

There is an option to attend on the Wednesday 9am to 5pm, when you will hear the main speakers. Cost for this is $50, which will include a light lunch, morning and afternoon tea. MU will have a stall available.

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AWA State Conference programme

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From 5-8th June 2017, Anglican Women Australia will hold their bi-annual State Conference, hosted by Anglican Women, Diocese of Newcastle.

It will take place at Club Macquarie, 458 Lake Road, Argenton, a suburb of the City of Lake Macquarie, near Newcastle NSW. The theme of the conference is ‘Thanksgiving for the ministry of women’.


It is shaping up to be a most interesting time of worship, fellowship and learning with a range of very interesting speakers. They include Lisa Towle, President of Episcopal Church Women of the USA; Lucille Henniker President of Anglican Church Women of Southern Africa, Jan Malpas of the Diocese of The Murray, who has served with the World Council of Churches, Lifeline, Mothers’ Union; the Revd Lu Piper, and Members of MOWatch (Movement for the Ordination of Women. The evening programme will include Bush Poet Bob Bush, a Sing Australia Choir, and Policewoman Sergeant Debra Rowe. (see attached programme)

Conference Chaplain will be The Venerable Sonia Roulston, Archdeacon of Newcastle. Women from the dioceses of Sydney, Bathurst, Canberra & Goulburn and Riverina are expected, as well as ‘locals’ from the Diocese of Newcastle.

Cathedral Service & speakers:

The Annual Newcastle Diocesan Anglican Women’s service on Tuesday, 6th June at 10.30 am (morning tea from 9.45), will be part of the conference. It is open to anyone who would like to come, at no cost. Bishop Peter Stuart will celebrate and Adn Sonia will preach. It will open with a colourful procession of symbols of the ministry of women in its many diverse ways. The Rt Rev’d Kay Goldsworthy, Bishop of Gippsland Diocese, will be the guest speaker  following the service.

After lunch we will hear from Prison Chaplain, The Revd Di Langham, then participants of the conference will travel to The Mission to Seafarers Centre at Wickham, where they will view the facilities, hear about its ministry and enjoy afternoon tea, before returning to the conference venue at Argenton.

The cost to attend the full conference (Monday 5th to Thursday 8th June) is $275 (plus your accommodation). Day only: Wednesday, 9am to 5pm $50 (incl. lunch, m/ & a/teas).


You will need to make your own arrangements directly with the motel/hotel of choice, mentioning the AWA Conference. We also offer the option of billeting with parishioners in the area, or you might like to stay with family or friends if you do not live nearby.

Some of the options include:- The Macquarie Inn, Argenton, which is connected to the Conference Venue. ph 02 4911 9595, email: <>

Rates per night from $154 — based on 2 guests, any extras $30.00 per person per night.

The Esplanade Motel, Warners Bay is about 15 mins. drive from the venue. It is situated right on the lake, with walking tracks for miles. Ph: 02 4948 9666  <>  Rates from $119 – $159 per night.

Below are PDFs which can be downloaded: – a Newsletter with information,  a a Conference Registration Form, a programme- plus a Registration Form for those just wishing to attend on the Wednesday 9am to 5pm. (Note: there is no need to register or any cost to just attend the Cathedral Service on TUESDAY.)

AWA newsletter AWA Conf. 

AWA program-2-3-17

AWA Conf. Regn form.compressed

AWA Conf. DAY Regn

2016 AW Spring Celebrations hear of Kairos Outside

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Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Deaneries meet at Mayfield

Thanks to all and the parishioners of MICA, who contributed to such a lovely day of fellowship, worship, sharing of stories and of special gifts at St Andrew’s Mayfield today, 6 September 2016!

Eunice and Margaret shared very moving stories and gave us an insight into the ministry of KOW. May we all be challenged to support Kairos Outside for Women in any way we can, and may God richly bless their special ministry.

And the sublime music of David & Julie Webb from Southlakes Parish was a real blessing.

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Then the Upper Hunter met at Muswellbrook. . .

On Wednesday, 7th September 2016, another beautiful Spring day, ladies from the various parishes of the Upper Hunter gathered in the beautiful historic Church of  St Alban’s at Muswellbrook for a lovely service, again with well-chosen hymns and an excellent Homily from rector, The Rev’d Scott Dulley.

The speakers from Kairos Outside this time were Shirley and Karen who travelled up from Newcastle.  They gave most informative talks, illustrated with a Power Point presentation. (some of this information about KOW will follow in a few days.)

Lunch in the Hall again was an example of wonderful country cooking – thank you, ladies!

Thursday it was at Raymond Terrace for the Deaneries of Maitland & Paterson

Another beautiful Spring day – with lovely worship, good fellowship and learning about the ministry of Kairos Outside for Women in the Hunter. This time Sue Royal, well-known in Anglican circles, spoke about the origins of KOW, what happens on a weekend and how we can help (see next article).  Theresa shared her very personal and moving story, which touched many hearts. Then lunch and and a time of warm fellowship as we caught up with friends and made new ones.

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Friday: Central Coast AW gathered at Lakes Anglican, Gorokan

On Friday, 9th September, it was the turn of women from the Central Coast to gather at Lakes Anglican Church at Gorokan, where we were welcomed by Deanery Leader Noeline Darcy.

Following the Eucharist, celebrated by The Revd Cathy Walker, Margaret and Lee from Kairos Outside in the Hunter shared their very moving personal stories, followed by information on the what, how and when of KOW, as it undertakes this very important and worthwhile ministry.

We heard of how KOW provides a safe space for guests, offering unconditional love, support  and acceptance, as they share their life journey and help to foster spiritual growth.

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2017 AWA State Conference hosted by Newcastle AW

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Anglican Women of Australia Conference Theme: Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Women

Anglican Women in the Diocese of Newcastle will be the hosts for the 2017 Bi-annual Provincial Conference of AWA. Anglican women from many dioceses in Australia, including some from overseas, will be attending. Join us for a time of fellowship, worship and learning!

What is AWA: Anglican Women “exists to celebrate and support women, both lay and ordained, in their ministries and in their witness by providing opportunity for fellowship and the concrete expression of their unity in Christ”. (Most Rev’d Philip Aspinall, 2009)

Anglican Women exists in many dioceses. It is an ‘umbrella’ organisation for ALL women who belong to the Anglican Church. It does not aim to compete with other organisations, but rather to bring them together in a spirit of partnership and co-operation, as well as making provision for those not included in such groups. It aims to work toward the extension of Christ’s Kingdom through encouraging worship, study, service, fellowship and giving. There is no subscription and no admission service. However parishes and organisations are asked to pay a small annual affiliation fee.

All Anglican women, and their spouses, are most welcome to attend this Conference.

(Note: 2017 is the 170th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Newcastle (1847-2017); the 30th anniversary of the first women made deacon in this diocese (10/5/1987); and the 25th of the first as priests (12/1992).

DATE: Arrival & registration from Monday 3 pm, 5th June to Thursday noon, 8th June, 2017. (You may like to stay a little longer to explore our lovely region!)

VENUE: Club Macquarie, 458 Lake Road, Argenton NSW (Lake Macquarie, Newcastle Diocese). Set beside the tranquil shores of Cockle Creek, it provides a very comfortable, welcoming and attractive venue with excellent facilities, meals etc. Next to Cockle Creek train station, not too far from Cardiff Station. Plenty of parking.

The Venerable Sonia Roulston, Conference Chaplain.

Adn Sonia Roulston, Conference Chaplain.

Conference Chaplain:  The Ven. Canon Sonia Roulston, Archdeacon of Newcastle.

Programme: Highlights of an interesting and varied programme include:

  • Tuesday will see us travelling to the Cathedral in Newcastle to be a part of the Diocesan Annual AW Service. Special Guest and speaker will be The Rt Revd Kay Goldsworthy, Bishop of Gippsland Diocese. The afternoon programme will include a visit to The Mission to Seafarers, to hear and see something of their ministry to the Port of Newcastle.
  • Wednesday’s programme will include presentations by Lisa Towle, President of Episcopal Church Women in the USA; Mrs Jan Malpas from Sth Australia (MU,WCC, Lifeline etc); and members of MOWatch (Movement for the Ordination of Women) sharing their story of ‘The Movement for the Ordination of Women in Australia – Why it Still Matters’. There will be a special Conference Dinner with Sergeant Debra Rowe, (nee Joice) a passionate Christian police woman. She will talk about her faith and her career as a Police Officer, how much it has changed and some of the challenges she has faced.
  • Thursday will include the AGM for the Provincial Committees, other presentations, then a light lunch at 11.30.

Conference Fees: Full conference $275.  Day only: Wednesday, 9am to 5pm $40 (incl. lunch, m/ & a/teas). Registration Forms and a Newsletter are now available (see below).



TRAVEL: Train – On Sydney to Newcastle line – Venue is next to Cockle Creek train station, not too far from larger Cardiff Station, then taxi (about 10 mins).
Road: From Sydney 152 kms via M1 (about 2 hrs).
Air: Nearest airport is Williamtown (c. 35 mins. by car to venue); or fly to Sydney, then Newcastle train to Cardiff or Cockle Creek.

ACCOMMODATION: You will need to make your own arrangements directly with the motel/hotel of choice, mentioning the AWA Confence. We also offer the option of billeting with parishioners in the area.
Motels include:- The Macquarie Inn, Argenton, which is connected to the Conference Venue. ph 02 4911 9595, email:
Rates per night from $154 to $199 ­— based on 2 guests, any extras $30.00 per person per night.

The Esplanade Motel, Warners Bay about 15 mins. drive from the venue. Ph: 02 4948 9666      Rates from $119 – $159 per night.

Expressions of Interest: To help with the planning, we’d love to know if you are planning/hoping to come to the Conference. Please contact Co-ordinator:
Marion Willey, President, Anglican Women Newcastle,  email: <>  phone: 02 4971 2205;  25/ 68 Pacific Highway, Blacksmiths  NSW  2281;
OR Laurel Brook, 24 Chelston Street, Warners Bay  NSW  2282, <>

What is the blessing in the here and now?

With the Diocese still in the midst of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in the Church, 270 people, clergy and lay, from around the Diocese of Newcastle gathered at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College on Saturday 13th August for the annual Diocesan Convention.

Instead of the planned program, much of the day focussed on what could have been the ‘elephant in the room’ – the Royal Commission, something which deeply affects many.

This is just my personal reflection on the day. It was one I found moving, disturbing, emotional – and yet encouraging and uplifting. I worked in the Diocesan office for 15 years (1986-2001), working and praying with the people there, and I was a full-time student at St John’s College in 1982, which was a great privilege and a joy, a time of learning and community.

I know I am upset, disillusioned and angry, not only by the injury done to children and youths by people whom we trust and expect to be loving and caring, but by the fact that there were people in the Church who knew and did nothing. And that those who tried to do something, were either ignored or themselves abused and ill-treated.

The Rt Revd Greg Thompson, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

The Rt Revd Greg Thompson, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle.

Bishop Greg Thompson’s address was profoundly moving. There was absolute stillness as he spoke. He shared with us “The blessing in the here and now” and also what has shaped him for this time. He spoke of what it is like when all our resources come to an end. In the small and the big we all wrestle with things we have no power to deal with by ourselves. At the moment many feel shock and anger, do not know what to do, but yet feel the need to do something.

We heard again the story from Genesis 32, of Jacob who has stolen the blessing of his brother, of him coming face-to-face and wrestling with God. Bp Greg spoke of the Blessing which is the grace of God – and the capacity of God to work in us, with all our doubts and fears and vulnerability.

We need to say the honest prayer – talk about what is going on, he said. We all may come to a time of impasse, when all else fails and we need to surrender all. But the dark can lead to light, hope to new growth. “We are here today because we have hope – God is there.” He concluded with the prayer:

O God, with whom we wrestle until the break of day: 
make us long to seek your face beyond the limits of our strength, 
that in our wounds we may remember you, 
and in your blessing we may find ourselves, 
through Jesus Christ. Amen (APBA p.568)

As Bishop Peter Stuart introduced the guests – The Revd Dr Robin Greenwood, Gill Fletcher and Tim Dyer, he spoke of the road to Emmaus, the friends who were in the depths of despair when joined by Jesus. For us, too, he said, ‘companions of the way’ are essential. We do not walk alone.

Gill Fletcher, a counsellor, a Baptist from Nelson Bay, who has been working with the Diocese for the last 9 months; and Tim Dyer, from the John Mark Foundation, who has worked with many Churches, and is an international expert on travelling this journey; helped us to reflect, listen, and talk with each other.

Among the points made were the need to move to God in prayer, to find ways to talk in meaningful and constructive ways; yet to be thoughtful and careful in our speech and language not to cause further injury, for everyone will have a different response to this situation.

The key speaker for the day was The Revd Canon Dr Robin Greenwood, a priest in Newcastle Diocese (UK), a practical theologian and author. He was to have spoken about his latest book, ‘Sharing God’s Blessing’: a guide for renewal in the local church. Instead, he had circulated, listening and speaking to many individuals. “I recognise the pain, confusion and hurt, so I want to speak to your situation rather than my prepared presentation.”

Robin reminded us that nothing is ever just our problem or joy – we are not alone, but part of a world Church. There are fellow Christians in this country and overseas who are holding us in their prayers, e.g. the dioceses of Leeds, York, Derby, Hereford, Hexham in the UK, Grafton in NSW and Lutherans in the USA.

When we are blessed, it is always in the shadow of the cross, it is not a private matter, but an equipping to do, leading to finding our true selves, so that we may be a blessing to others. We have to be real, perhaps broken, if we are to be a blessing to be used by God.

With the help of Gill and Tim we looked at how we felt, what steps we could take to support each other as ‘we face the past and shape a healthy future’. We examined Psalm 55: 1-8, 13-18, which really speaks to our situation – a cry for help, but it concludes with “But I will call to God; and the Lord my God will save me.”

Marion Willey
17 August 2016

2016 Annual Service: a great day

Held at the beautiful, historic St Peter’s Church, East Maitland on Tuesday 7th June 2016, we were made most welcome by the Rector, The Ven. Canon David Battrick BSG and staff. On a day that was fine, though very windy after a fairly extreme weekend, about 120 people attended from 37 parishes.

Bishop Peter Stuart brought greetings from Bishop Greg Thompson, who was unable to be with us due to the pressures of the approaching Royal Commission. He then celebrated and preached on the anxiety of searching and the joy of finding, in a joyful Eucharist, with music provided by organist Evanne Sherringham.

Following this, Guest Speaker, The Rev’d Fiona Bergstrom, a ‘retired’ priest from Woy Woy Parish, shared her reflections on the new AW theme for the year, ‘JOY: “The joy of the Lord is your strength”,’ from Neh. 8:10. Her explanation of JOY and its use in scripture was interspersed with stories of her own life and faith journey, which eventually led to her ordination in America in 1995.

From a sermon by John N. Gladstone she quoted:

‘The fruit of the spirit is JOY’, Paul said. JOY is a product of possessing the Spirit and being possessed by the Spirit.  It is the conscious possession of power adequate enough to carry us through every trial, every situation, and it will remain ours to the end…In this life, we shall never be free of sorrow. But, then, we shall never be free of JOY.’  (And JOY is the dominant note. We are in touch with a power that dries all tears, lifts all burdens, satisfies all needs.”)

“This JOY is not the joy of the world, but the JOY of the Spirit,” Fiona said. “To me this JOY is multi-layered in meaning and much richer, more peaceful, inspiring an inner confidence and strength. So often as we go about our lives, the word JOY is interchangeable with happiness, which to me is an important word, but does not carry the depth or breadth of meaning that Christian JOY brings.”

Speaking of her road to priesthood, she said: “the studying was hard, but it was JOY-filled too.” Of her first time to preside at a service… “during the Eucharistic Prayer of Thanksgiving at the altar…I was overwhelmed by pure JOY …  And that JOY is with me still.”

From John 15:9-11: ‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my JOY may be in you, and that your JOY may be complete.’

Brendan Byrne in his book ‘Life Abounding: a Reading of John’s Gospel’ writes:

‘No JOY can be compared with the JOY of discovering that one is very much loved by someone whom one longed to be loved by but did not dare hope that such might ever be the case. . . Jesus has ‘said these things’ to the disciples in order that his JOY may be in them and their JOY complete. In other words, by sharing with them a sense of the love he receives from the Father, he is also communicating to and sharing with them a sense of the eternal JOY he experiences through that reception of divine love. The ultimate goal of his saving mission then is JOY: that human beings, through being drawn into the communion of love that is the godhead, may share in the JOY prevailing in that communion of love. When they share to the full the ‘eternal life’ of that communion, their JOY will be ‘complete’.”

Moving to Australia in 2011, to be closer to family and grandchildren, Fiona became involved in ministry in the Parish of Woy Woy, serving as p/time chaplain at Woy Woy Hospital and at Blue Wave Retirement Home. “Chaplaincy,” she commented, “is about meeting people ‘where they are’. As Chaplain I am chaplain to the patients, the staff and the volunteers who run the kiosk… As a chaplain one is privileged to hear people’s stories, and to have the opportunity to bring the light, love and JOY of Christ, in many differing ways.”

Fiona concluded: “I often have described our move to Australia as a giant kangaroo leap. And in some ways I found it a difficult move, so far away from England, Sweden and North America, places so familiar to us. My time as chaplain has helped me to feel connected to the community in a deeper way, and has certainly brought me great JOY over these years.

“I commend to you those four chapters of John’s gospel, starting with chapter 14. The love, JOY, and connectedness of Jesus to his father and to his disciples shines through. Jesus is facing his greatest sadness, leaving his friends and facing death, yet the sharing and teaching in his discourse and lastly the high-priestly prayer, are such a gift of JOY to us, today.”

President Marion Willey introduced the members of the AW Executive, then reported on the events of AW over the past year and a brief overview what lies ahead. She also raised the question of ‘What is the future of Anglican Women as an organisation?’

  • Are there people out there – are YOU – prepared to contribute through the Executive?
  • Do you still want / are able to attend, the events that we provide?
  • Are there any changes you would like to see?

If you have any suggestions, feel free to contact any of the Executive or myself.

After a BYO lunch in the hall, most stayed to enjoy the afternoon programme provided by the Senior Band from the Hunter Valley Grammar School — a wonderful selection of rousing joyful music, under the baton of teacher Shannon Laundon.

Altogether it was a great day of worship, learning, music and fellowship as we were able to catch up with members of the ‘church family’ from many parts of the Diocese.

In conclusion, a reminder that Anglican Women is for ALL women of the Anglican Church ­— as well as those who already belong to an organisation. There are no fees for individuals or rules and regulations. Events are organised for the benefit of all under its unifying ‘umbrella’.

Thanks: NT Aboriginal Clergy Fund

Thank You Boxes are distributed by AW. Mrs Kerry Thompson, the wife of Bishop Greg, spoke at the 2015 Spring Celebrations about the difficulties associated with bringing together indigenous clergy from remote communities for training and support.

Anglican Women recently received the heartfelt thanks of the Bishop of the Northern Territory, The Rt Revd Greg Anderson, for the cheque for $7,600 he had received from Anglican Women in the Diocese of Newcastle. He wrote:-

Bishop Greg Anderson, NT.

Bishop Greg Anderson, NT.

I wanted to send you my personal thanks, on behalf of the diocese, for your generous gift from the Thank You Box. We so much appreciate your support of indigenous clergy here in the Northern Territory, which (as) you have heard first hand from Kerry Thompson, face so many joys and so many challenges – and also so many expenses.

You may be interested to know of the start of the new Ministry Development Team, which is led by the Rev’d Kate Beer, one of the CMS missionaries. This group of about seven (including myself) is at the front line in seeking to further grow and develop ministry in the territory, especially in the Arnhem Land parishes but across the whole board as well. Since the team began a couple of months ago, training tours have been conducted in different remote parishes to think about stewardship using Bible studies on 2 Corinthians 8-9 and about safe ministry.

Your funding will continue to provide training for more individuals than would have been possible by bringing together Aboriginal clergy in one place. Next year there will be a mix of bringing people together and travelling out bush

Thank you for your prayers as well as financial support for the next generation of leaders in all Territory parishes.

With every blessing,
      Bishop Greg Anderson

The Diocese of the Northern Territory is the youngest of the 23 dioceses (regions) of the Anglican Church of Australia. It is responsible for the ministry of the Anglican Church across the whole of the Northern Territory and comprises almost one fifth of the Australian landmass, over six times the size of Great Britain. The total population of the NT is only about 230,000 people, 30% of whom are indigenous Australians.

AW Thank You Boxes.

AW Thank You Boxes.

The current Thank You Box project is Alzheimers Aust. (NSW). Boxes can be handed in to your parish, at the AW Annual Service in June or the September Spring Celebrations.