Approximately 180 people attended worship services this Christmas, including many past members of All Souls who have since moved.
A significant team of people is required to create worship opportunities, so grateful thanks are due to all those involved in preparing, leading and participating in services, including floral artists, the parish secretary, parish council, sacristan, musicians, lay assistants, servers, worship leaders, readers, sidespeople, money counters and cleaners.
Artist and Evangelist, Edmund Jagamarra Wanganeen, shared something of his journey to faith on the fourth Sunday of Advent.
Now a preacher and teacher, he shared how God sought him out and brought him to faith through other people. He also talked about his artistic gift and showed some paintings in rich earth colours, that celebrate God’s creation.
On the third Sunday of Advent, we welcomed a member of the congregation as guest speaker: Mano De Mel shared something of her experience of God’s activity bringing joy in her life.
She and her husband Nish conducted the Advent candle lighting and prayer ritual at the start of the service which included the traditional pink candle to remember Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Sacristan Julie Almond beautified the church with additional pink flowers and candles and Organist Brenton Brockhouse provided a recording of the Magnificat sung by the choir of Winchester Cathedral for congregants to enjoy.
On the second Sunday of Advent, 8 December 2019, we welcomed Volunteers from Compassion Australia. This is an organisation that helps improve the lives of children around the world e.g. Africa, South America and the Middle East, by directing donor funds through local churches to cover recipients’ educational, medical and other needs. It is an example of the Love of God in action through the work of God’s people and God’s church.
Nigel and Cherie Cooper and their family have sponsored children for many years and the couple now volunteers for the organisation.
Guest speaker for the first Sunday of Advent, Owen Crees, spoke about his experience of bringing Hope to his Angel Flight passengers.
Angel Flight volunteer pilots provide transportation for people who need to attend medical appointments in Australia’s major centres but cannot access or afford transportation from remote communities. This service is offered free of charge to the passenger and their carer and is funded entirely by community donation.
On Thursday 28th November, approximately 80 people came to All Souls’ Church to listen to Michele Hill’s presentation about William Morris and to learn about the wonderful stained glass windows of All Souls. Morning Tea was enjoyed in Coles Hall and thanks to the generous contributions of parishioners, and the REAL coffee, many expressed their thanks for the impressive spread.
Michele Hill brought some of her William Morris-inspired quilts to be displayed in the church. The effect was stunning and complimented the morning’s presentations. Following Michele’s talk, Sue Crees explained the history of the Parish, the church and our famous windows.
The morning earned the Parish more than $1000 which will be added to fund raising efforts to restore the church building and preserve the windows.
Students, teachers and accompanying parents visited All Souls’ Church on Monday 11th November as part of that school’s Remembrance Day activities. After a special assembly, the Year 5 group walked to the memorial on St Peters Street to lay a wreath before enjoying a picnic lunch in Otto Reserve Memorial Park. They then split into groups to visit All Souls’ Church and Spicer Uniting Church.
Brenton Brockhouse, our Church Historian, told students about the World War 1 memorials in All Souls’ Memorial Chapel. He talked about “the human face” of war, personalising WW1 with the story of his distant cousin who was lost, and told the students about the three Morris widows in the church that memorialise young men lost in WW1.
The students were given a special treat of home-made Anzac Biscuits. Thank you Helen Hancock and Estelle Tayler for making the biscuits . The students were delighted.
Sunday 3rd November was All Souls’ Parish Patronal Festival. Former parishioners joined with the present congregation to remember loved ones and to recognise All Souls’ Church as a place of remembrance. Members of the Cambelltown Brass Band supported guest organist Grant Brockhouse and Anglicare singers joined voice with the congregation to give thanks and praise.
Morning tea that followed the service in Coles Hall provided an opportunity to meet with old friends while enjoying delicious sweets and savouries provide by Parishioners. The Revd Dean Rowney, spoke of his time as Rector of All Souls’ Parish with amusing anecdotes of personalities and events.