Interested in attending an Ecumenical/interfaith workshop? Perhaps you will be inspired to learn more if you read how the Anglican and Uniting Church congregations of Cloncurry found much more than common ground.
The small outback town of Cloncurry has typified many small rural communities, particularly so in terms of its churches. For many years the Anglican and Uniting Church congregations gathered in their buildings every Sunday, struggling to make ends meet and slowly lacking the critical mass to do more than simply survive.
For several years, the two congregations would hold special joint worship services, alternating between the Uniting and Anglican church buildings. With no ministry agent, the Anglican congregation appreciated the ministry of Rev David Ellis, and the Uniting church folk appreciated the doubling of their numbers. Over time, the local congregations decided that this ad-hoc arrangement should become more permanent. So, in early 2022, with a new Anglican minister (Rev Simon Owen) appointed and a new Uniting Church Bush Chaplain (Ps Michael Chapman) starting, the congregations voted to come together as a cooperating parish and decided that the Anglican church building better suited their needs. The Uniting Church building was closed, and plans are being made for its use.
Carpentaria Presbytery Minister Rev Garry Hardingham said the union would help enrich the lives of all involved and breathe new life into the community and Christian witness.
“I am incredibly excited at the prospect of reaching more people. The change also means that Ps Michael and Rev Simon can be more flexible; their work isn’t just about Sunday worship service,” said Rev Garry.
It’s not all beer and skittles. A few from both traditions worry about the possible loss of their identity. But, on the whole, the coming together has seen new life, new hope and a renewed witness within the Cloncurry community.
Are you passionate about exploring new ways to engage in ecumenical and interfaith relationships? Then you are encouraged to attend the Ecumenical/interfaith workshop. Saturday, November 19, at the Synod office, 60 Bayliss st Auchenflower, from 10 am for morning tea until 3 pm, with lunch provided.
We’d love to see you there! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org