On Sunday 11th July Archbishop Geoffrey Smith and his wife Lynn joined us and celebrated Holy Communion to mark the 180th year of worship at St Mary’s. A good sized congregation was present with overflow to the parish hall necessary because of Covid regulations.
A special cake was cut at morning tea by the oldest parishioner, Barbara Nelson who is 99 years young.
Fr Gary Priest, who had been Locum Priest at St Mary’s for a number of years, made a gift to the parish of his “Riverina” chalice and paten, presented to him by his father at his ordination. The gift was graciously received by Fr William.
Following morning tea at the parish, a celebratory lunch was held at “The Southern” club on South Road at St Marys.
Archbishop Geoff gave an address telling of his coming to the priesthood and the parishes he has served in.
An enjoyable day to remember was had by all.
The 9am and 2pm congregations combined to have worship and a picnic in the Avenue Road, Cumberland Park Reserve on Sunday 11th April.
Although the day was overcast and a bit windy a good time was had in sharing companionship and a BBQ lunch with the Sudanese congregation. The children enjoyed the playground and the adults enjoyed chatting and sharing a meal – even though it was under Covid restrictions.
Services were held during Holy Week with the traditional foot washing on Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday’s worship included the reading of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Recognition of the Cross and Holy Communion from the reserved sacrament.
The dawn service on Easter Morning at 6am was a small but faithful gathering, witnessing the Lighting of the New Fire outside the church. Fr William then processed into the church to set the Paschal Candle in place.
A large and joyful congregation celebrated Easter Day at 9.30am. The bare cross of Good Friday was given life and beauty by the decoration of flowers and foliage by the congregation.
The renewal of Baptismal Vows was made complete by a generous sprinkling of Holy Water by Fr William.
Palm Sunday this year was a joyful occasion, unlike 2020 when we were in Covid lockdown. The service began as in the past, with the blessing of palms at the South Road entrance to the church. The congregation then processed into the church singing “Hosanna in the highest”.
The service continued inside with people able to take communion in both kinds for the first time in many months.
A team of volunteers had helped Fr William decorate the church with so many palms it felt like being in the jungle.
In the afternoon, the youth of the parish did a Passion Presentation with readings and modern contemporary songs which the congregation were invited to join in singing.
We now look forward to Holy Week and Easter celebrations.
Late in 2018 St Mary’s Parish decided to try to make the site look more welcoming for visitors and community members.
A Mitcham Community Development Grant allowed for the project to proceed, and with the assistance of art teachers from Springbank Secondary College, four mural panels were created in 2019 to brighten up a previously unattractive wall in the parish car park.
The panels were completed and ready for installation early in 2020 but sadly Covid19 put an end to our plans to celebrate.
At last, in December 2020 we were able to hold a small ceremony attended by the Mayor of Mitcham, Dr Heather Holmes-Ross, Ulus Fuat, Youth Development Officer City of Mitcham, teachers and students from Springbank Secondary College, Fr William and Parishioners of St Mary’s and a number of Anglicare staff, volunteers and community members.
At last, after many years of wishful thinking, the parish now has an industrial dishwasher in the parish hall as well as in the Picket Fence.
This will make all of our catering and events much easier to handle for those working in the kitchen.
Each cycle takes about 3 minutes to wash.
The Project Centre will make a wall-mounted cupboard above, to accommodate items previously stored in the cupboard where the new dishwasher is now located.
The recent baptism of Janice Jennings was a wonderful occasion for many of us who have known her for many years as she used to be very involved in our community garden. Due to personal reasons she left for a while but is now back and becoming quite involved in parish life. Welcome Jan!
The two St Mary’s congregations combined to welcome Canon Mark on Sunday 8th March. The Sudanese sang and played drums and joined in the celebration of Holy Eucharist with the 9am worshipers.
Also visiting was Fr Stephen Clark who joined Fr William, Fr Barry and Canon Mark for a photo at the end of the service.
The St Mary’s Guild presented Fr William with a cope and stole made by parishioner, Nereda Ozols, and consecrated by Fr Barry Davis. Fr William will wear these garments on special occasions and festivals, particularly in his role as Canon of the Cathedral.
Eight of the youth members of St Mary’s Parish stayed at the Christian Endeavour camp at Mt Barker in December for 3 days. A contribution from the parish enabled them to participate in a fun and learning environment where they made new friends and strengthened their faith.
They were presented with T shirts which they wore to church when they reported on their stay at the camp.