RECTOR”S ANNUAL RECTOR’S REPORT – March 2014

The basic feature of St Jude’s is the Christian community of people that gather here.

Buildings and property give a certain character to this community, but without the people stone and brick and glass and slate would be a sad reflection of St Jude’s.

I like to see the community here in a broad way. Community especially depends on those who faithfully commit and contribute to Worship Services here week by week.

Yet the community also extends to those people and families who have a strong history or local connection here  – those who come for Christmas and for Baptism or Marriage or Funeral Services.

Community also extends to those who come here to ring bells or visit graves, to the Child Care families that come here week by week. Some come to us for financial or spiritual help. There are other people who are interested in the history of Randwick or the Graveyard.

Community links exists when we are involved in local Anzac commemorations. From the beginning of our local schools, Religious Education was seen as an important feature of School life and we have maintained involvement. coordinating a group of teachers and helpers at Randwick Public School.

I see our role to be embracing and welcoming of the hundreds even thousands of people who have some connection here. This I believe is true to Christian witness and the nature and roots of an Anglican Church – The concept of Parish is an embracing one.

Our outreach opportunities come from these connections, and how we respond is a positive or negative witness to Christ. The impetus for Christian Service, and the call to be a church that follows Jesus Christ, are important as we prepare for Easter.

SERVICES

Weekly attendances for 2013 were encouraging.

Average attendances for 2013:  8am – 45 (44) 9:30am – 76 (75) 11am – 34 per fortnight, 6:30pm – 18 (22)

The Sunday School and it’s dedicated ministry has been growing and more families are becoming involved.

During 2013 there were 29 Baptisms – 15 Weddings  – 29 Funeral Services (18 in Church)

Among the Funeral Services in the Church we did say a sad farewell to many of our regular Parishioners whom we commended into the hands of our loving God: Jean Tennant, Diana Carter, Dorothy McLachlan, Connie Devenish, Diana Bryers, Rita Doyle, Eunice Eling, Winifred Milson, Colleen Simms.

We miss them and their part in the Parish and in our lives.

STAFF & VOLUNTEERS

Church Staff have continued their devoted work and ministry during 2013.

We acknowledge the devoted ministry of Amanda Wharton through Sunday School, Family Service, Evening Service, Scripture Coordinating and teaching, Playgroup, Child Care Centre Chaplaincy.

Rev Jim Le Huray continues to bring a wise guidance and counsel to Sunday Services and Pastoral work  in the Parish.

Rev John Bowen has brought a cheerful understanding in his contributions to Sunday Services and ESL ministry.

Angus Gilchrist our Organist, and Choirmaster brings quality church musicianship to our Parish. Angus is always looking for new Choir members to join those who faithfully sing.

In the office our Secretary Veralene Lobo’s caring and kind ways add significantly to the greeting that people receive when they deal with the Church. Cathy Taliano continues to conscientiously keep the church books, under the careful oversight of our hard working treasurer Alan Clark.

Padre Jim Cosgrove has willing stepped in to help with Youth Group and some great musical compositions for the Sunday School.

Terry O’Brien continues to give great leadership to the ESL Group.

So many in the Parish contribute in so many ways – all of the groups that operate within the Church are filled with dedicated people seeking to care and work as unto the Lord.

The Bible Studies, The Bell Ringers, The Choir, The Career’s Group, The Child Care Centre, The Craft Group, The Playgroup, The Creche and Sunday School, The Scripture Teaching, The ESL Group, The Flower Group, Friend’s of St Jude’s, The Men’s Breakfast Group, The Parish Council, The Readers, The Servers and Young people, The Social Auxiliary, The Sides People, Women’s Fellowship, The Working Bee and Gardeners, The Confirmation, Those who serve on the Child Care Committee. The 2013 Science and Religion Seminars with Dr Jaan Boersma were well supported.  We acknowledge the wonderful dedicated Pastoral work of Dr.Ruth White over many years. Marie Scroope has now graciously stepped into Ruth’s Coordinator role with The Carer’s Group.

All these groups add to the vitality and mission of the Community here. I deeply thanks all for your willing contributions.

Our dedicated Warden’s Alan Clark, Diane Hill and Philippa Skuja, together with the Parish Council have provided endeavor and wisdom to the Parish, as well as financial prudence and oversight.

To all Parishioners for your presence and contributions – our community life here is blessed by you.

RESTORATION WORKS and FINANCES

We have continued the Restoration work of this wonderful and challenging property. Part of the stewardship of this Parish will always be to care for this unique Heritage site and buildings.

During 2013 we made significant progress with general maintenance, as well as with 4 major projects.

  1. The Repointing of the Child Care Centre Hall,
  2. The Restoration works on the Gravestones and Railings in the Historic Church Graveyard (The oldest Cemetery in the Eastern Suburbs).
  3. The Church lighting is now complete except for a European spot light problem. All of the wiring in the church has been wonderfully hidden.
  4. The Church tower restoration. Thanks to the generous thoughtfulness of Parishioners the Tower project was brought forward a year and is now completed.

These projects cost over $800,000.

I would especially like to recognize the Honorary work of our Heritage Architect Geoff Danks. Geoff grew up as a server in St Jude’s and sees this as his spiritual home, even though he now lives and worships elsewhere. Geoff gave much openhearted effort and expertise to the lighting project, as he has to many other projects here.

For the first time the income of the church reached $1,000,000. More than half of this money came from the generous giving of Parishioners, and the balance came from income from the appropriate use of the property (Childcare Centre, Graveyard, Staff Housing, Occasional Services)

Despite the heavy responsibility of property care here, the church has contributed to ministries beyond St Jude’s – $13,000 to various Christian Missions, $17,500 to the ministries of the South Sydney Regional Area, and $52,000 in Diocesan assessment, part of which goes to Diocesan programs including new ministry and land for new churches.

The Parish here is on a stable financial footing. Into the future St Jude’s will be able to exercise Christian Ministry, to care for it’s property and to repay debt.

CONCLUSION – Some of you have asked me about my future as I turn 65 this year, and have been here for 22 years. I have applied for an extension of time to the Diocesan Retirements Board and hope that God willing we may be able to stay on at St Jude’s for a bit longer.

I thank Catherine for much behind the scenes effort, and do thank you all for your part in St Jude’s. We have many blessings to be thankful for.

We pray for Christian unity and witness. We pray that we might be a positive Easter community that cares for all and serves others during 2014.

Gregory Job – March 2014

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