It was Boxing Day 2009 when we decided that we would accept the invitation of the Nominators to come and join the ministry at Campbelltown Anglican Church. A month or so earlier, Stephen Bomford, David Busutel, Chris Main, Sarah Manning and Jan Tripodi had brought a cake from Willis Bakery to our house in Naremburn and Nicky and I shared an excellent evening with them. We never imagined leaving Naremburn Cammeray Anglican Church but God led us on a journey that has been enormously joyful.
As I begin a series of reflections on our time in Campbelltown I want to begin by thanking those Nominators for entrusting us with the responsibility to grow the Gospel here. They took a risk on a young couple with a young family who were passionate and excitable but had never lived in western Sydney and needed to learn the culture of both the church and community. They took a risk on someone who did not even own a clerical shirt! Despite these things and more, we are so thankful they took that risk and I want to express our whole family’s thankfulness for the privilege of being involved in your ministry here for almost a decade.
We left a thriving growing ministry to come to Campbelltown because this was a growing area and the church was faithfully seeking to reach people of all ages with the good news of Christ. We came because there was a great relationship with the Parish Schools and there was an opportunity to continue to grow the Gospel through those connections. We came because people were keen to continue to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word and to be enthused for mission. We came because God laid it on our hearts to come and lead the ministry here for his Glory. And it has been a delight.
A lot has changed in 10 years and a lot has stayed the same. Jan Tripodi showed me around the site in my first week and issued my keys – it will be a sad moment to hand those back and remember the faithful work Jan did (including as Warden and mentor of women). Trevor Richardson showed me how communion was done and talked me through the 8am service – his encouragement and support has been invaluable. James Locke and John Davis introduced me to our brilliant Wednesday service and I loved served alongside them. Stella Vernon helped me understand cemeteries, archives and everything historical. I’ll mention all the staff in a future article but Leanne was patiently willing to help me understand everything and everyone in those early days! There are many many more people to thank!
With our last day of ministry in Campbelltown being in mid-December, the current Nominators will begin their work of selecting a new minister for our church soon. They will be very thankful for your prayers and encouragement and patience. The task of discerning who might be best to lead our church is a difficult one but you can be assured that God remains sovereign over the whole process and the time in between our leaving and a new person’s coming. Please do uphold the Nominators in your regular prayers.