On a beautiful winter’s day (it felt like Spring!) 13 members of Morpeth Parish visited St Peter’s Anglican Church, Swansea as part of their ‘Church Crawl’. It was a delight to welcome them and show off our lovely Church – certainly not as old and historic as St James’ at Morpeth – but nevertheless, one which has a special place in our hearts, where we can gather to worship God, enjoy fellowship, and be equipped to go out into the world He loves, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to live and work to God’s praise and glory.
The group had already visited a number of Anglican Churches this day – Hamilton, Adamstown, Charlestown and Windale. They were joined by several locals for lunch at Swansea RSL, looking out onto the sparkling waters of the Channel . After exploring the church and hearing some of its history from Lyn and Bill, Fr George Garnsey checked out the 1911 Estey organ in the organ loft, and pronounced it still in good order. The group then left to visit the Anglican Church at Morisset, before wending their way homeward. (See History section of this website for a PDF copy of a booklet about history of the Parish of Swansea.)
Our dear sister in Christ, friend and fellow worker, The Revd Christine Plumridge, passed from this life into the presence of God on the 7th July, 2017, following a stroke two weeks ago. Her funeral will take place on Tuesday, 18th July at 10 am at St Peter’s, Swansea.
Our love and prayers are especially with Bill and their family.
Chris was born in Battersea, London in 1946 and emigrated to Australia in 1950 with her parents and then two siblings – three more Aussie siblings were born subsequently. She attended both The Junction and Boolaroo Public Schools before enrolling at Booragul High School in 1958. She left at the end of the Intermediate Certificate year and studied at Newcastle Business College’s Secretarial course for the next year.
After various jobs – with an accountant, at Nesca House and Allis-Chalmers, she studied for her Leaving Certificate at night school – Cardiff Evening College, gaining a Teaching Scholarship to Newcastle University from which she graduated in 1979. The same year she began her teaching career, finishing at St. Philip’s Christian College in 1998, when ill health forced her to resign from work totally.
Bill and Chris both had suffered marriage breakdowns and found each other in 1975. At that time, Bill had three children, Scott, Kristi and Nerissa and Chris had four – Adam, Samantha, Simon and Guy. To their great joy, a son, Matthew was born to them in 1977. Their family was now complete and combined.
Chris was a confirmed member of the Anglican Church, being confirmed by Bishop de Witt Batty in 1958. She belonged to the GFS and later the Anglican Youth Society. She also taught Sunday School at All Saints, Boolaroo. Bill had always been a member of the Uniting Church, also a Sunday School Teacher.
However, in 1986, when they came back to Catherine Hill Bay to live, they started to attend church at St. Peter’s, Swansea and, under the care of Fr Jim Wilson, Bill was confirmed by Bishop Richard Appleby the same year and with the help of Fr Jim, established a Youth Group at the Church.
With the arrival of The Revd Barbara Howard, Chris and Bill attended training and became the ‘Kettles’ for a Luke 18 Group, which is run on similar lines to Cursillo and Emmaus. Many happy memories and new acquaintances were made through Luke 18.
Apart from being interested in Youth ventures, Bill and Chris became involved with Parish Council. Bill was first elected in 1999 and is still there. He became People’s Warden two years later and then with the advent of Fr Selwyn Dornan, Rector’s Warden, a position he still holds today. Chris was elected to Council in 2001 and served eight years as Parish Secretary, six as a Synod Representative and three as Mission Secretary.
Chris was a founding member of the Mission Team which plans and presents special services throughout the Church Year. She also presented a Service of Prayer and Praise at The Village in Swansea every second month for many years, and was still taking services at the Nursing Homes at Caves beach and Swansea Heads. She also preached occasionally at Church. Chris was a very active Cursillista and member of Lake Macquarie Deanery Servant Community.
Speaking to the Swansea MU group in 2014, Chris spoke about her faith:
“Concerning my faith, I have always had it – I certainly never had a huge epiphany moment where thunder rolled and strange things happened to bring me to belief. But I do know that my faith has grown from the simple faith of a child into a more mature faith that is far more complex than that of a child.
The year 2000 was a huge one for me. I made my Cursillo. There is one talk that really spoke to me — Study, by Bev Birch. I made a promise before God that I would return to study more about Him and His word, and I was determined to keep this promise.
Accordingly I enrolled at Charles Sturt University to study a Bachelor of Theology degree. There was so much I needed to discover and I needed answers to heaps of questions that had plagued me for years. I recognised that there was so much more to this God business than just attending Church and believing every word that was thrown my way.
I believe it is important to feed your faith, I know what all this study has done for me! So feed your faith whenever the opportunity arises, it will only lift you further up. I got through by prayer and by concentrating on Phil.4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me”.
On the 9th December 2016, Chris was made Deacon by Bishop Peter Stuart in a colourful and moving service at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle. Many Swansea parishioners attended and at the following Sunday’s services in the parish she was greeted with enthusiastic applause. Chris has been taking the Prayer, Praise & Proclamation Service once a month and the All Age Services at St Peter’s.
She will be sorely missed.
[The bulk of this information comes from that supplied by Chris and Bill for the ‘History of the Anglican Parish of Swansea’ by S R Willey, published in 2014]
St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Cloncurry Qld - 22nd June 2017 email@example.com
This is a very busy time of the year here in Cloncurry- including the Cloncurry and District Show. Rod and I are on the committee and after 2 years we are being trusted with more work. Christene was given the job of media coordinator and the time was a steep learning curve for her. The show is now done and dusted for us for another year, some may still be slogging away on the books.
The Show provided an opportunity for us to showcase 'Mainly Music'. We had a half hour slot on the Saturday in the pavilion, just before the Governor General opened it. It was well attended by the team, mums and children. The appreciation of the audience was obvious, they joined into the Five Little Horses song by shouting 'neigh' as each horse escaped by jumping the fence. Jill had the opportunity to inform the audience that 'Mainly Music' was a collaboration between the Anglican, Uniting and Catholic churches of Cloncurry. Everything worked in very well as we followed the Catholic school performance, which also included Christian themed songs.
Our Maundy Thursday community tea was less well attended, as many people used the opportunity of the Easter break to leave town. Since then Table Tennis Tuesday has morphed into Friday Fun Food and Fellowship. T.T.T. wasn't working as the guys expected so they are trying a more family orientated night. Our first F.F.F.F was a great success. Games for all, a bible story and fellowship over a scrumptious meal. The idea is to invite friends to enjoy the night as well, our next one is August the 4th. It will begin our parish weekend, where we are going to look at where we are going as a church in the Cloncurry community.
By the time you read this newsletter we will be in Townsville for our Synod. Our granddaughters are joining us for six days. We are also doing a deputation to Ross River Anglican Church on 2nd of July. They are prayer partners with us. Rod was to attend the Clergy conference but this has been cancelled, God obviously thought he needed more face to face time with the granddaughters. The girls fly home the day Synod starts. Christene has also been lucky enough to arrange a medical appointment while in Townsville.
We arrive home from Synod in time to get ready for the BCA bus tour arriving the 15th July and joining us for worship on the 16th. Looking forward to meeting these dedicated travelers.
Thank you for your support with much Christian love,
Rodney and Christene Oldfield
(BCA - Bush Church Aid staff supported by Swansea parish)
Please pray for the work of ACES (Association for Christian Education for Swansea):
- For Aces finances – that all the churches will continue with their donations.
The year started with over 60 year sevens and over 60 year eight students, but the numbers are dropping, that seems to be the pattern half way through the year, especially when sport is offered at the same time.
Pray —– that they remain stable now, and that we have good enrolment numbers for 2018.
Pray for teacher Samantha Brown and her first Genr8 Conference for SRE at Wollongong, 29-30th, June.
Pray —– all the Churches in Swansea will send two volunteers to participate at the ACES meetings and be informed of the operations of the SRE program and the implementation of the fundraising ventures, without you we are incomplete as a whole body.
Pray —– for implementation of our casual Teacher list and resources for all the programs.
Pray —– for endurance and perseverance for all committee members, teachers & volunteers
Pray —– that Bunnings will offer a swap after August for one of our 2 BBQ dates not both coming Christmas Eve
Pray —– for our Movie plans for fundraising, and our Games Coffee Night in the future.
PRAISE —– At the last year 8 Seminar the students studied the little book of Mark and were full of questions – most were listening and they had fun learning God’s Word
Suggestions for fundraising: maybe you could hold a soup and bread roll morning at your church in the winter for ACES?
The Next ACES Meeting is on 26th July, 7.pm at Swansea Baptist Church.
Vicki Coppard, ACES Prayer co-ordinator.
At Services on 2nd and 9th July at Swansea and Gwandalan, there will be a Retiring Collection to support the Mothers’ Union Overseas & Northern Outreach Fund.
This supports ministry to families overseas and in remote areas of Australia. In this country they are used to assist women and children and indigenous leaders in the northern areas of Australia. (see below)
In conflict-ravaged areas of Africa, MU Community Development Co-ordinators train women in leadership, promote reconciliation in their communities and help women and children recover from rape and other personal trauma.