All Saints' Belmont

Parish of Belmont, Anglican Church Newcastle, NSW Australia

Category Archives: News

Our brothers and sisters in faith from the St Francis Xavier, Belmont presented us with a contemporary icon of All Saints on our Feast of Title 2017.

The gift marks a bond between our two congregations, and as a sign of thanks for the use of our Church building during the period when they constructed their new Church building. We are truly blessed to have received this significant and precious gift.

Icons are clearly an art form, and the person who writes an icon is an iconographer - image writer - and they have a significant place in the Christian Tradition, and perhaps more so in the East, though broadly accepted as helpful in the West.

The first thing that is different from a painting is how you approach it. When you approach a photograph or a painting the thing we do is to look at the image and appreciate the beauty it depicts. That is also true of the icon, however that is only the start of the journey. The icon invites us to read the image writer has written. There will be many things in the icon, and what is relevant to read one day may be quite different from what we read another day.

One interesting variation from many traditional icons is that many were surrounded by a raised relief covering of metal (perhaps silver) and only parts of the whole icon visible. In this modern icon the raised relief is at the heart of the icon, reminding us of the dimensionality of God.

As Fr Gerard read the Icon as he blessed and presented it to us, he spoke of the brokenness of the world in which we are called to be saints, given life in the sacrament of baptism, and nurtured in the sacrifice of the saints. He spoke of how the image is not full, there is still room for your brokenness and mine in this image. In stark contrast in the centre of the icon is the raised relief of Christ himself, at the centre of the life of all the saints, and providing completion and wholeness to the brokenness of the image. The glimmering gold reminds us of the light Christ brings into this world.

The Orthodox sometimes speak of icons as windows of eternity. Whilst we may look at a window, and we may admire the craftsmanship of the window, in the end the window calls us to look beyond, to look through the window and see what lies beyond. Sometimes what we see beyond the window changes very little, and sometimes what we see beyond the window changes a great deal.

One of the joys of the icon is a link with our sisters and brothers in the Roman Catholic Parish in the continuity with the art that they have in their new church building.


The work was done by Michael Galovic, renown local artist and iconographer. It would be hard to say more of Michael - the work speaks for itself - however these words by Rod Pattenden, a graduate artist, a Co-ordinator of the Institute for Theology and Arts and the Chairman of the Blake Society for Religious Art, perhaps say it best.

“Michael Galovic offers a unique contribution to contemporary Australian Art having trained both in modern art and traditional painting in Europe. Since his arrival in Australia he has developed an impressive body of work that includes commissions for churches and private collections as well as work that seeks to bring together the Australian landscape and religious and personal identity… Michael Galovic is a careful student of tradition while exhibiting the capacity for artistic innovation and excellence. A considered craftsman and dynamic originator, his vision offers new possibilities for figuring the transcendent contemporary multicultural Australia”.

You can find more about Michael from his website:

Oriental Orthodox - Anglican Dialogue

Last week (26 October) a new Agreed Statement between the Anglican Communion and the Oriental Orthodox was released. As agreed statements go it is relatively short and quite readable. You can open it in the button below, or the conclusion is copied to the right. This is an ongoing discussion that began in earnest in 2001. The First Statement was the Agreed Statement on Christology. The second statement is about the Procession and Work of the Holy Spirit.


  1. Holy Scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit as movement in vivid imagery of water, fire, and wind. The Holy Spirit speaks in the Church and moves her from the area of internal comfort to the arena of external engagement. The Holy Spirit acts as the dynamic force within a redemptive understanding of memory as found in a historical past and leading to future responsibility in a changing world.
  2. In a world of enforced displacement and fearful arrival; in a world of accelerated movement; in a world of war-torn fragmentation and courageous martyrdom; the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, transcends time and space and yet inhabits both. The same Spirit is sent to commission and empower the weak to be strong, the humble to be courageous, and the poor to be comforted and blessed in a fallen world that is upheld by the providence and grace of God the Trinity who makes all things new in faith and hope and love.
  3. We submit this statement to the responsible authorities of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the responsible authorities of the Anglican Communion for their consideration and action.

Feast of All Saints 2017

Next Sunday, 5th November, 2017 there will be one morning service at 9.30am followed by morning tea and lunch in the hall.

Guest preacher will be The Rev’d Sarah Plummer (Senior Chaplain- Specialist Commands, NSW Police).

The Parish will supply meat for the meal at $5/head.

Please bring a salad or a sweet.

At 3.30pm there will be Afternoon Prayer with our Catholic Brothers and Sisters at All Saints. You will remember that when the new RC Church was being built they had worship in All Saints on a Sunday evening. They want to give us a gift of an icon and this will happen at the Afternoon Prayer service.

Please bring a plate.

After the plans and determination of a hardworking group the Op-Shop opened this week.

The Op-Shop is in the laneway by the Commonwealth Bank and we invite to come in and have a look around.

Opening Plans

The planned opening date for the new Op Shop venture is 24 July 2017.


There will be training for volunteers 20 & 21 July 2017.

Refugee Week Photos 2017

Here are some photos from the Gregson Park event at Hamilton on Saturday 1/7/2017.

A wonderful day with hundreds of people present. 

Belmont High School Chaplain

One of the important things we do as a combined Churches group in the area is to support the work of the Oecumenical Chaplain at Belmont High. 

One of the key ways we do this is with a Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings (twice a year). Saturday the 20th of May 2017 was scheduled for rain, and we go come but not a lot, and a band of willing volunteers turned out to support the cause.


The annual Give Us A Sign campaign emerged out of conversations within the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting Churches in the Hunter and Central Coast as a powerful initiative to highlight social justice issues across the wider community. Previous campaigns have promoted peace and called for greater compassion for asylum seekers.

This year our country acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, which permitted the Federal Parliament to make laws for First Peoples and included them in the Census. This is an appropriate time to reflect on both what has been achieved and what still needs to be addressed in relation to the First Peoples of Australia. There are significant questions for our nation to consider including constitutional recognition, sovereignty and treaty, and social, economic and other disadvantage experienced by many First Peoples. It is important we mark National Sorry Day (26 May), Mabo Day (3 June) and National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June).

“The oldest living culture is worth listening to”

To raise awareness of this important milestone and the work that still needs to be achieved, the Give Us a Sign campaign is calling on Churches and Christian organisations to Stand Together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the First Peoples of Australia.

From 1st May to 4th June simply post a message at least one day EACH week on your church or school noticeboards to show that you Stand Together with the First Peoples of Australia. We note the signs we are suggesting have been endorsed by some of the First Australian church leaders from our communities.

Mercy Ships

There will be a documentary on one of the  Mercy Ships – Africa Mercy on 7two 6pm Sat 3 Dec

Mercy Ships is a unique hospital ship charity

We have transformed the lives of more than 2.5 million people in the least developed countries for over 38 years. Amazing surgeons, nurses and other staff volunteer their services and pay for their own expenses so we can treat more people.

One Service Only 10.00 am

Visiting Preacher: The Venerable Sonia Roulston, Archdeacon of Newcastle.

Please note:

One Service Only - 10.00 am

6th November 2016

A lunch will follow - cost of $6.00 to pay for nibbles and cold meats, Parishioners are asked to bring either salad or sweet to share. There is a poster and signup sheet in the Narthex of the Church. If you plan to attend could you please indicate whether you can provide a salad or a sweet. Many Thanks.

Afternoon Tea

There are around 100 new units in Belmont this year, and we want to welcome all those who come to live here. 

An afternoon tea will be held at 3 pm on Sunday 25 September 2016 in the Parish Centre.
This event is to welcome new residents who have recently moved into the units in the immediate surrounds of our Church.
This is an opportunity to make people feel welcome and respected. Also to chat with them about local opportunities, and what our Parish offers.
Do note this in your diary and come along to show those attend that we truly welcome them into our community.

The Parish Centre is in front of the Church in Church Street Belmont



The Diocesan Social Justice Council will be holding a dinner to raise awareness about Domestic Violence, and assist Nova Women to continue to provide support. The dinner will be held on Friday 26th August at Victor Peters Suites from 5.30pm, cost $35.00 per head to attend.

The Hon. Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, in her role of Chair of the Parliamentary Friend for Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse will present. Along with Robyn Donnelly, CCSS and Office of Life and Faith and Suellyn Moore, Nova Women.

Please find attached a flyer with more information. I do hope that you can attend to show support in breaking the violence.

A4_Domestic Violence

NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to celebrate the history, culture, achievements and contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples.

Our celebration this year will particularly focus on the contributions of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders. The gathering will allow us to come together, to listen and talk with one another and share afternoon tea.

We are pleased to partner with the Samaritans and the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council to host this important celebration at our Cathedral.

Date: Sunday 3 July

Time: 3pm

Venue: Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle

NAIDOC Week 2016 Christ Church


Tuesday 31 May – 6.30pm to 9.00pm
Light supper included

An opportunity to join together with our Muslim and Christian communities to explore the true sense of what peace means to our religions. Each of us can learn and appreciate what
we have in common and our love for our God.

  • Bishop Bill Wright (Catholic),
  • Bishop Greg Thompson (Anglican),
  • Sheikh Mohamed Khamis (Imam: Newcastle Mosque),
  • Farooq Ahmed (Newcastle Muslim Association), and
  • Shaikh Muhammed Thalal (Mayfield Mosque)

will form a panel for a Q&A dialogue.

If you would like to present a question to the panel, please email your question to

Alyson Segrott email by 22nd May.

This years topic will be on “Peace”, we would like to explore what this means to us personally and religiously. Questions on other topics can be submitted also.

To RSVP or for further details please contact Brooke Robinson at the Diocesan Chancery Offices on 4979 1111 or email


Africa Day celebrates with live Music, Dance Performances, African Food Stalls, Arts, Crafts, Jewellery Stalls, African Fashion, Kids Workshops, Live DJ, So Much Fun and So Much More….


Harmony Day – Hamilton Community Picnic – Everyone Belongs – Celebrating the different cultures that make Hamilton a great place to be.

Harmony Day Poster

The Forum met as planned and nearly 40 people attended. Most of the people who attended were regular members of our congregations.

We reflected on a number of the activities we are involved in, including Belgrandies, Pastoral Care, Community Markets, Friendship Services, and the like. The list is quite long.

We discussed needs in the area for lonely and shot in people, and also those in need of support. Some discussion happened as to the nearest Samaritans relief centre being in Adamstown, and there was a feeling that this left a large gap on the map, including some areas where there are real needs.

We discussed reasons why few people from the wider community attended noting that we are not always the best at communicating outside the Parish Community, and recognising that for some anything to do with the Church is seen as a negative. 

Part of our plan from here will be to arrange one on one meetings with numbers of groups and people in leadership roles in our community to see if we can extend our understanding of needs that we might help to meet.

You are invited, and invited to invite all to a forum. We are talking about the ways in which the Church can be better connected to the life of our Community. This is an opportunity for us all to listen to the ways in which we might better engage in our community.



We wish all joy and peace as we gather with folk in every age, shepherds, wise folk, and all who come to the manger where acceptance, assurance, forgiveness and true peace are found.

We pray for all who work this night to keep us safe. Above all we say Peace and Joy.

Advent passing


The 4th sunday of Advent  means within the week we will light the Christ Candle.

The gospel today recounts the visit of Mary to her kinswoman, Elizabeth.

Christmas Services at All Saints Belmont

24th 6.30 pm Family Christmas
24th 11.30 pm Midnight Mass
25th 8.00 am Eucharist

Celebrate the Feast

WelbyParis climate deal: Archbishop hails ‘remarkable achievement’

Welcoming the climate deal reached in Paris this weekend, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the global church must be a key partner in tackling climate change.

I warmly welcome the agreement that almost 200 states came to in Paris on Saturday, setting a clear and ambitious path towards tackling global climate change.

Earlier this year I, alongside many other faith leaders, endorsed the Lambeth Declaration on Climate Change. The Declaration recognised the COP21 negotiations as a pivotal moment in the urgent global challenge to tackle climate change.”

As faith leaders, we urged those participating in the negotiations to apply the best of our world’s intellectual, economic and political resources to reach a legally-binding global agreement to limit the global rise in average temperatures to 2oC. The commitment made by world leaders to hold the increase in global temperatures to ‘well below’ this level is welcome and courageous progress.

Those most affected by climate change are the poor. In our prayers and actions we must demonstrate our love for them through sustainable and generous innovation.

The success of the negotiations to bring together so many different countries and groups to an agreement is a remarkable achievement.ParishClimateChange

One of the Anglican Communion’s marks of mission says that we are “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth”. The global church – extraordinarily led on the issue of climate change by Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch – must be a key partner in tackling climate change. As the Body of Christ, his church is called to be incarnational. Each of us has a role to play, if we are to help achieve what has been agreed in Paris.

Article posted from Anglican Communion News Service, article posted by ArchBishop Justin Welby.

All Saints' Belmont

Christmas Eve 24th December 2015

  6.30 PM Family Christmas


Christmas Eve 24th December 2015

11.30 PM Midnight Mass


Christmas Day 25th December 2015

  8.00 AM Holy Eucharist

Advent Calls Us


The Church (liturgical) year begins four sundays before Christmas. The word Advent comes from the greek word for parousia, or the second coming of Christ. In English the word is sometimes used for the beginning or start of something. 

The sarum or old english color for Advent was the deep blue of the night sky, just before the dawn, save for the third Sunday when Rose vestments were used as the hint of the sunrise you get in the night sky before the sun rises. The western rite simplified this and we now most commonly use the penitential colour of purple as we do in Lent, for Advent which is specifcally a season of preparation.

Main Themes

The main themes of the Advent Season have to do with the return of Jesus, The Kingdom of God, the call of John the Baptist to Prepare the way of the Lord, and the emphatic yes of Mary 'I am the Lord's servant, let it be to me according to your word'.

Hard to miss that the main characters of Advent are John the Baptist and Mary the Mother, and both of them are directing our attention, not to themselves but to Jesus.

The thing that is most important about Advent is to remember not that Christmas is near, though that for all that happens in retail Australia you might be forgiven for thinking this is the Christmas Season, but rather that Christ is near. Advent offers us a chance to reflect on what it means for us to remember the nearness of Christ, and no doubt we will be making ready for the celebrations of Christmas with family and friends, with feasting and celebration, yet for us it is not simply what we celebrate, but who.


There are signs all over the place. The Star on the Tree reminds of the the long and arduous journey some must make to the truth, the Angel on the Tree reminds us of the absolute acceptance of the task that Mary makes, and the rabbit I saw on the tree reminds us that some people do not get it - yet.

Advent can be a good time to set aside a few moments each day to reflect on the coming Kingdom, the already and the not yet. 

A printable Bible Reading Plan can be downloaded here, and Canon Janet has another one available.  printable-advent-reading-plan

BishopGregThompsonAtBelmontIt was a great honour to have the Bishop of our Diocese, Bishop Greg Thompson visit us on the 22nd of November, the Feast of Christ the King.

The service started with a procession of banners, and the solemn entry of the clergy.

Bishop Greg preached a very relevant sermon asking us to reflect on what it might mean to have Christ as King, not simply a new ruler, but a new way of exercising authority, not simply a new kingdom, but a very different type of Kingdom. He urged us to rethink our ’empire-mindedness’ of the old paradigm, and think of a new servant king as we seek to serve in an increasingly pluralistic world. He also reminded us that God was here in this ancient land, with the peoples of this ancient land long before European settlement and the coming of the Church.

Bishop Greg was also the principal celebrant of the liturgy, and our Rector, Canon Janet Killen was the deacon of the Eucharist. As both of them hail from Muswellbrook, there was another level of synergy.

The service was followed by lunch in the hall.

We are truly fortunate as a Diocese to have such a great Teacher, Pastor, and outward looking Bishop.

Irene0BirthdayAs a community of faith it was a great joy to celebrate with Irene the milestone of another ‘O’ Birthday.

Irene is a great part of our faith community, always held with a great deal of dignity and respect and dearly loved by all of us.

Happy Birthday.

Christmas Lunch

Christmas lunch will be held in the Church Hall
12.00 noon to 2.30 pm on 25th December.
All are welcome.
Please invite friends or neighbours who may wish for company
and a delicious meal to celebrate the birthday of our Lord.
Registration is essential by 10th December.
Call 49713083 or 49459993, leave a message with your name & number.

Brother Bruce Paul SSF

Guest Preacher

We were privileged to have Brother Bruce Paul of the Society of St Francis worship with us a preach on the Feast of All Saints, our Feast of Title, on the 1st of November 2015.

His sermon addressed the readings of the day and reminded us that we are All Saints not because of how wonderful we are, or who we are, but because of whose we are. 

We also word name tags for the day that declared that each of us is a saint, in that each of us as a follower of Jesus on the way is part of the new kingdom.

It is good to be reminded of the important role the community plays as part of our Diocese.

There are two sets of images here, one showing the Killens trip to Israel, and the second showing their trip to Ireland.



CombinedChurchesSREBBQThe Belmont High School SRE is supported as an ecumenical (Combined Churches) endeavour. As part of our effort together we  run a Sausage sizzle at Bunnings a couple of time a year.

The 16th of September, was the day of the venture, though the weather was very Melbourne, rain – shine – rain -shine.

The effort was a great success and it is a great activity we can undertake together.


Social Justice Training Day

Faith in Action

Saturday 26 September 2015
9.30 am to 12.30 pm

Jesmond Park Uniting Church
15 Robert St, Jesmond

Cafe Conversations:
Indigenous Matters
Refugees/Asylum Seekers
Environment Issues
Other Issues
Morning Tea Provided
No RSVP required

An Activity of the Newcastle and Hunter Ecumenical Social Justice Network 
Enquiries to:, 0437 879 442 or Teresa Brierley 49791157

Pilgrim’s approach

It starts at the very beginning

Pilgrim assumes very little understanding or knowledge of the Christian faith.

It focuses on Jesus Christ

Pilgrim aims to equip people to follow Jesus Christ as disciples in the whole of their lives.

It flows from the Scriptures

The primary focus of each session is a group of people engaging with the Bible together.


Pilgrim’s approach

It draws deeply from the Christian tradition

In the Early Church, the Christian faith was taught by the transmission of key texts which summed up the heart of the Christian message. Pilgrim restores this approach for the twenty-first century.

It honours the Anglican way and its many streams

Pilgrim has been developed as a specifically Anglican resource which aims to cater for every tradition in the Church of England.

Pilgrim Promo

Why Attend a Pilgrim Course

A Course for the Christian Journey

Pilgrim is a major new teaching and discipleship resource from the Church of England that explores what it means to travel through life with Jesus Christ.

A course for the twenty-first century, Pilgrim offers an approach of participation, not persuasion. Enquirers are encouraged to practice the ancient disciplines of biblical reflection and prayer, exploring key texts that have helped people since the early Church.

Pilgrim is made up of two parts: Follow and Grow. Follow introduces the Christian faith, while Grow aims to develop a deeper level of discipleship.

Assuming little or no knowledge of the Christian faith, Pilgrim can be used at any point on the journey of discipleship and by every tradition in the Church of England.

The Pilgrim course is a journey to the heart of God and to a living, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.                            
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York

A pilgrim is a person on a journey. The Bible is full of journeys. Pilgrim invites you to join the journey of faith.

Who is it for?

Adult and youth, enquirers and beginning Christians as well as for those seeking refreshment in their faith.

What do I need to know?

The course assumes the participants have little prior knowledge of the Christian faith or the Bible.

What is the format?

In small groups participants are encouraged to practice the ancient discipline of biblical reflection and prayer, exploring key texts that have helped people since the earliest days of the Christian faith. Believing that the Christian faith is primarily about relationship, Pilgrim aims to lay a foundation for a lifetime of learning more about God's love revealed in Jesus Christ.

What is the Commitment?

To attend the six sessions of stage 1. 

What's the cost?

$15 for the softcover participants book containing the six lessons. (Electronic editions available from Amazon for approx $13) Concessions available.


All Saints Parish Hall, 24 Church Street Belmont.


Afternoon Sessions:

Tuesdays 1.00pm - 2.30 pm on October 6th, 20th, 27th, November 10th, 17th, and 24th.

Evening sessions

Thursdays 7.30pm - 9.00 pm on October 15th, 22nd, 29th, November 5th, 12th, and 19th.

Pilgrim Stage 1 - Turning to Christ

The first stage in Pilgrim, Turning to Christ, explores the heart of Christian belief through the six questions candidates are asked at baptism.

The Sessions

Session 1: Do you turn to Christ?

Explores the attraction of Jesus Christ. What happened when people met him? What would happen if your did?

Session 2: Do you believe and trust in God the Father?

What do Christians believe about God? The session uses the Old Testament to look at how God is like a Father.

Session 3: Do you believe in his Son Jesus Christ?

Looking in more detail at who Christians believe Jesus is, this session looks as what Jesus' baptism reveals about his identity.

Session 4: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit?

Uses the story of Pentecost to show how Christians believe the Holy Spirit makes Jesus present today.

Session 5: Do you repent of your sins?

Looks at what Christians call sis: that inbuilt tendency to get things wrong and God's desire to put things right.

Session 6: Do you renounce evil?

Explores the reality of evil, and how the Christian faith invites us to set the moral compass in our lives.


Stages 2, 3 and 4 will be offered in the future for those wishing to continue studying.

For more information

To Register

Phone: 02 4945 9993


Or use the form on this page

Please Register My Interest

Re CLOSURE of BELMONT OFFICE of the RMS (previously the Motor Registry or the RTA, as we knew it).

Robin Gordon writing to you as a matter of urgency for our Belmont Community.

I am the President of the Belmont & District Residents’ Action Group Inc. (We are a modern name for what could be called a Progress Association)

We are quickly circulating, to as many groups as possible, this notice, below,  of the meeting we have called as a matter of urgency to attempt to have the NSW Government reverse their decision to close our Roads & Maritime Services office (RMS) in Belmont. (our R.T.A or Motor Registry Office, as we have known it.)

Would you please circulate this notice of meeting to all you are able to tell. We need to have huge support from our entire community to show we do NOT wish this office to close and it is only with numbers, huge numbers that we could stand a chance that we may be heard.

With this message, you have my email address.

My phone number, should you wish to speak to me is  :49 454 382

Looking forward to seeing you on Monday 7th September 2015 at 5.45pm at  the 16Ft. Sailing Club.

Further message and  Notice of Public Meeting, below…and below!!!



Meeting to protest the  closure of Belmont RMS.

Hello Residents of Belmont and surrounding areas – everyone  from north south east and west of the RMS office who use and need this facility.

Below is a notice about the  meeting we hope will reach all the residents of Belmont and the surrounding suburbs who use the Belmont RMS office.

This is an extremely well used and very busy office. The services provided in this office are far more than we are able to access online.

There are many in the districts that are served by this office  who do NOT have the use of a computer and rely on our Belmont office to service their needs for essential services.

For these services  to be relocated  at Warners Bay from the areas presently served by the Belmont office is  a transport nightmare if not, close to impossible to be reached by public transport.

May I ask please that you attend this meeting & help us to publicise it, far and wide.

Thank you in anticipation.

Robin Gordon

President.    Belmont & District Residents’ Action Group



The Belmont & District Residents’ Action Group Inc. (B&DRAG)

Invites all residents of Belmont and surrounding suburbs to join us to discuss and protest against the closure, by the NSW State Government,  of the ROADS AND  MARITIME  SERVICE  office (Motor Registry Office)  at Belmont.

Meeting will be held on Monday 7th September  2015 commencing at 5.45pm.

at the Belmont 16 Ft. Sailing Club, Ross St. Belmont. NSW.

BelgrandiesLunchBelgrandies met in the hall for a great lunch.

This active group project in conjunction with the Samaritans makes a great contribution help to resource people in our own community.

We do still need volunteers to help with this great work. Belgrandies meets once a month from Midday till around Two on every monday of the Month in term time.

If you would like to help, or need help, please let us know.

SocialJusticeTrainingDayFaith in Action

Saturday 26 September 2015
9.30am to 12.30pm

Jesmond Park Uniting Church
15 Robert St, Jesmond

Cafe Conversations:

Indigenous Matters
Refugees/Asylum Seekers
Environment Issues
Other Issues

Morning Tea Provided

No RSVP required

An Activity of the Newcastle and Hunter Ecumenical Social Justice Network

Enquiries to:, 0437 879 442 or Teresa Brierley 49791157

PopeFrancis_ARCICAuthor: George Conger

Christian unity does not mean Christian conformity, Pope Francis told a gathering of 50,000 Catholic Charismatics held at St Peter’s Square on 3 July 2015.  The Pope stated the Anglican Martyrs of Uganda — 23 young Anglicans killed by King Mwanga of Buganda in 1886, along with 22 Roman Catholic young men — should be venerated as Catholic martyrs to the faith too. The pope’s remarks came at the close of the 38th National Convocation of the Renewal in the Holy Spirit Movement held in Rome from 3-4 July 2015. In his impromptu address to the conference, which included “Orthodox and Catholic oriental Patriarchs, Anglican and Lutheran bishops, and Pentecostal pastors,” reported Vatican Radio, Pope Francis said unity does not mean uniformity. It is not a “spherical” unity in which “every point is equidistant from the centre and there is no difference between one point and another. The model is the polyhedron, which reflects the confluence of all the parts that nonetheless maintain their originality, and these are the charisms, in unity but also diversity,” he said. Francis also spoke of the “unity of the blood of martyrs, that makes us one. There is the ecumenism of blood. We know that those who kill Christians in hatred of Jesus Christ, before killing, do not ask: ‘But are you a Lutheran, Orthodox, Evangelical, Baptist, Methodist?’ They say, ‘You are Christian’, and behead them. … Fifty years ago, Blessed Paul VI, during the canonisation of the young martyrs of Uganda, referred to the fact that for the same reason the blood of their Anglican companion catechists had been shed. They were Christians, they were martyrs. Forgive me, and do not be scandalised, but they are our martyrs! Because they gave their lives for Christ, and this is ecumenism of blood. We must pray in memory of our common martyrs.”

Tree_FacingThePastFacing the Past: Shaping a Healthy Future


To you who have experienced abuse I want you to know as a Diocese we feel shame and profound regret that people within the Church harmed you and harmed you again when you came forward to speak of what had happened.

Bishop Greg Thompson

17 June 2015


The Bishop has had a website set up to help those who would like to know more about the Church response. If you click on the image of the Tree, it will take you to the site.

Facing the past: shaping a healthy future


Last day


Kilkenny Castle garden and castle


Kilkenny Castle garden and castle


Famine ship “Dunbrody”

From Killarney to Kilkenny


Blarney Castle


Waterford Crystal


Janet trying her hand at Hurling


Group shot at the pub


Grant at the pub

Killarney Catholic cathedral – St Mary’s 8.00am service, no hymns.

Killarney Catholic cathedral - St Mary's 8.00am service, no hymns.

Killarney Catholic cathedral – St Mary’s 8.00am service, no hymns.


Ring of Kerry – weather excellent!


Ring of Kerry – weather excellent!


Ring of Kerry – weather excellent!

From Galway to Killarney


Cliffs of Moher 10 C 45 kph wind, freezing rain.

FullSizeRender (4)

Cliffs of Moher 10 C 45 kph wind, freezing rain.


Ross Castle at Killarney

Medieval Church at Galway St Nicholas – don’t think the Rector agrees with the last paragraph…


Medieval Church at Galway St Nicholas


Kylemore Abbey



Walled gardens at the Abbey


Connemara Marble shop

Medieval Church at Galway St Nicholas - don't think the Rector agrees with the last paragraph...

Medieval Church at Galway St Nicholas – don’t think the Rector agrees with the last paragraph…

The cross the priest used was not a pectoral cross but a short arm Jesus on a cross similar to this depiction and placed on a sleeve under a jacket to hide that the person was a priest.

The cross the priest used was not a pectoral cross but a short arm Jesus on a cross similar to this depiction and placed on a sleeve under a jacket to hide that the person was a priest.

The cross the priest used was not a pectoral cross but a short arm Jesus on a cross similar to this depiction and placed on a sleeve under a jacket to hide that the person was a priest.

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Castle near Galway Bay where we were entertained by two singers and harpist and fed.

Clay is mixed with gum Arabic and extruded like string and hand woven before firing, all little flowers are hand made.

Clay is mixed with gum Arabic and extruded like string and hand woven before firing, all little flowers are hand made.


Mass rock. Used in penal times when catholic priests were banned and could be killed for celebrating the mass. It would be out of the village in a wood.

Inishowen peninsula almost the most Northern tip of Ireland


Inishowen peninsula almost the most Northern tip of Ireland


View of Derry Waterside


Peace Bridge Derry

The Albert clock…….. Yes it has a lean.


The Albert clock…….. Yes it has a lean.


Part of one of the 48 walls still in use ……… i.e. Still with gates locked of a night

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Caught this fish at the river…. But before I measured and weighed had to throw it back.. No license.

The Homeless Jesus statue on a bench at Christ Church Dublin

The Homeless Jesus statue on a bench at Christ Church Dublin

Dublin Temple Bar area cobbled streets.

Dublin Temple Bar area cobbled streets.

Dublin I think going to museums is important………..


Lookout tower on corner of the Dublin cemetery – to keep watch for the body snatchers.


I think going to museums is important………..



We began with an Interfaith Prayer for Peace

O God, you are the source of life and peace. Praised be you name forever. We know it is you who turns our thoughts to peace. Hear our prayer in this time of crisis. Your power changes hearts.

Muslims, Christians, and Jews remember, and profoundly affirm that they are followers of the one God, Children of Abraham, brothers and sisters; enemies begin to speak to one another; those who were estranged join hands in friendship; nations seek to way of peace together.

Strengthen our resolve to give witness to these truths by the way we live. Give to us: Understanding that puts an end to strife; mercy that quenches hatred, and Forgiveness that overcomes vengeance. Empower all people to live in your law of love. Amen.

This was followed by an incantation of some verses from the Glorious Quran in Arabic.

About 120 people met together at St Pius X in the Factory for this gathering. There was a good representation from all three traditions of faith represented – Roman Catholic, Anglican and Islam. There were 5 people from All Saints in the gathering. The question that were addressed were for the most part pre-lodged so the respondents had had time to reflect upon their answers. They covered areas from who are God’s people, the place of Abraham (peace be upon him) in our traditions, matters of respect and some thought as to how to approach the question of radical fundamentalism.

It very quickly became apparent how important Augustine’s ‘City of God’ is in the construct of Christian thinking, and both Bishop Bill Wright and Farook Ahmed made quite a bit of the writing. It also became clear that much of the perceived notions of the Catholic Church had been reshaped to a significant extent on the basis of Vatican II. Sheik Mohamed Khamis read quite a bit to us in his responses quoting the Quran from his iPad. Bishop Greg reflected on the sign he had seen driving to the venue urging cyclist and pedestrians to be mindful of each other on the path, and also nearly quoted Fr Mel’s Sunday Sermon is discussing Andre Rublev’s icon of the Old Testament prefiguring of the Trinity with the Angelic visitation to Abraham.


Some of the things that came out in speaking was the common thirst for Truth and Goodness, a strong understanding of the Mercy of God. Ideas of belief in God, belief in a Day of Judgement and the importance of right action where all underlined. Hospitality as a spiritual discipline seemed to become a repeated theme in the discussion. The task of religion is to help us align our will to be one with the will of God.

The evening was marked with a great deal of respect.

_  _  _  _  _  _

I preparing for the evening I found the in the 1st pastoral letter of his Beatitude John X the Patriarch of Antioch whose region and responsibility includes much of the Levant, and in that setting his words stand in stark relief to violence of which we read so often.

We should stress here the fact that our Muslim brothers, our co-citizens, have a special place in our heart and mind. Our relations with them go beyond the mere living together in peace. With them we share all the concerns which face the development of our countries, and the peace of our people. With them we build the common future of our children, with them we face all dangers. We shall work on rejecting every negative spirit that could negate our presence on this land of ours or could limit our role in serving our country. We will work faithfully to get rid of ignorance through strengthening the ways of dialogue and communion, asking God to shed on us His grace in the spirit of togetherness for the best of the people in this region of the world.

Source: First Pastoral Letter from Patriarch John X of Antioch

IslamChristianityAn opportunity is coming to join together with our Muslim and Christian communities to explore the common good that each of our religions share.

Bishop Bill Wright [Catholic], Bishop Greg Thompson [Anglican],

Sheikh Mohamed Kharmis  [Iman: Newcastle Mosque] and Farooq Ahmed [Newcastle Muslim Association]

will form a Q and A dialogue at this event.

When:             6:00pm, Tues 2 June 15

Where:           St Pius X High School Adamstown

RSVP:             Brooke Robinson  4979 1111.

Last Day in Jerusalem

Janet receiving paperwork from the Dean of the College, Very Revd Dr Graham Smith

Janet receiving paperwork from the Dean of the College, Very Revd Dr Graham Smith

Emmaus site 1 of 4 Nicopolis where had our final Eucharist

Emmaus site 1 of 4 Nicopolis where had our final Eucharist

Herod's Palace at Caesarea Martima

Herod’s Palace at Caesarea Martima

Happy Pentecost Sunday

Off to do the Way of the Cross, church, Pool of Bethsaida

The Revd Janet going down backwards into Lazarus' tomb, then on to knees and backwards crawl a couple of steps to get inside.

The Revd Janet going down backwards into Lazarus’ tomb, then on to knees and backwards crawl a couple of steps to get inside.

Dome of the Rock - not a Mosque but a place Holy Place - access by Christians if a VIP

Dome of the Rock – not a Mosque but a place Holy Place – access by Christians if a VIP

Going from the Temple Mount through the Cotton Merchant's gate to the city streets

Going from the Temple Mount through the Cotton Merchant’s gate to the city streets

Grant at the Western wall - it was busy as boys were making their Bar Mitzvah,noisy and happy!

Grant at the Western wall – it was busy as boys were making their Bar Mitzvah,noisy and happy!

City wall outside the Dung Gates. Note the size of the bottom stones

City wall outside the Dung Gates. Note the size of the bottom stones


The Church at Mt Tabor, one of two sites for the transfiguration of Jesus. Although the view was spectacular it was very hot and hazy.

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Janet at Mensa Christi church on Lake Galilee.


The church of Mensa Christi where Peter is restored to primacy ……… Feed my sheep.


We had Eucharist at the Pilgerhaus on the Lake Galilee at 11am and remembered Dorothy.


Bethsaida, Caesarea Philippi, Sea of Galilee. View from the shelter.


Bethsaida, Caesarea Philippi, Sea of Galilee. Shelter at Bethsaida where we heard a meditation on the feeding of the five thousand.


Queen Anne’s Lace flower prevalent at Bethsaida.


Banias or Caesarea Phillipi. The rock face was a pagan worship area and source of water springs for Galilee. It is traditionally held that Jesus said to Peter here that you are the rock on which to build the church.


Joint Arabic/English service Christ church Nazareth


I was able to read Luke 4:18 to the group after our service. That is what is written on the wall at the rear of the altar in Arabic.

This church at Nablus ( Shechem) where Jesus met the woman at the well.

The women at the well, not quite square.

The women at the well, not quite square.


A view of Nablus.


In the crypt where the well is located, we drank from the well that is attributed to Jacob. The man is the fellow who has ‘written’ numerous icons in the church. We had a reading outside before going in.


Email at the college is patchy for me especially outgoing. Sorry. If you get multiple emails it is me trying to resend via adjacent coaches with unlocked wifi, when we get to a site.


Tristram’s Grackle. Very friendly with tourists, can be hand fed.


View from the top looking down the cable car


Some of the tiled floor in Herod’s palace


Sculpture outside the Church of the Visitation


Church of the Visitation


Church of the Visitation

We visit most of the sites we have already seen with SCP, but will do some different things, and the prelude to each visit is more detailed.

Entrance to the Chapel of Angels and the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Entrance to the Chapel of Angels and the Tomb of Christ in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Janet placing her hand on the Rock of Calvary.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Janet placing her hand on the Rock of Calvary.

Last day today, book out tomorrow.
Have to go back to the airport at lunchtime, then catch a Sherut (shuttle) to St Georges College.

Anglican Church Christ Church Nazareth. Was a mixed English Arabic service..

Anglican Church Christ Church Nazareth. Was a mixed English Arabic service..

Mary's Well. Orthodox Church. Church service in progress, we entered by a side door which was then closed, we walked down a side aisle then down steps to the side to Mary's Well. Back thru the Church crossing the front of the Nave during the service....... That's how we had to do it.

Mary’s Well. Orthodox Church. Church service in progress, we entered by a side door which was then closed, we walked down a side aisle then down steps to the side to Mary’s Well. Back thru the Church crossing the front of the Nave during the service……. That’s how we had to do it.

The Australian Travel Companions

The Australian Travel Companions

Concelebration Eucharist at lake Galilee

Concelebration Eucharist at lake Galilee

Church of the Beatitudes,

Church of the Beatitudes,

Boat Trip Across Lake Galliee

Boat Trip Across Lake Galliee

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

Garden of Gesthemene

Garden of Gesthemene

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross

Jordan was amazing. Out tour guide took a liking to us and took us to places that he likes to eat at etc

Dome of the Rock

Dome of the Rock

In Jerusalem

Meet the 2015 Candidates

Hear what they have to say.

We will host a pre election public forum in the Church hall at 7.00 pm on Thursday 19th March 2015.

A number of candidates for Swansea will attend. This is YOUR opportunity to hear the policies and ask the questions you need answers to from these political party hopefuls.

Candidates have been invited to address a very generalised agenda. This will be headings under which we wish to hear their responses. Housing & homelessness, environment, health, education (especially SRE) proposed referendum re constitution and maybe transport. 

Ballot Paper

Candidate Name Party
CUBIS Luke Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile)
UIDAM Johanna Liberal
AGLAND Joshua Animal Justice Party
OSBORNE Chris Independant
DOUGHTY Paul No Land Tax
EDWARDS Garry Independent
CATLEY Yasmin Labor


A number of the candidates have been late registrations, and as yet photos and details remain unclear. As they are sourced this article will be updated. There is no intended bias in this article, and statements have been obtained from candidates published material or essentially neutral sources. Searching on the net has failed to locate much for three of the candidates. If you are the candidate or know where the information can be sourced, please let us know.

ABC Interviews with five of the candidates can be listened to on this link.   6021_abc-logo-b-

Luke Cubis

Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group)

Luke Cubis was an independent candidate for Charlestown at the October 2014 by-election. He described himself as having recently left the education sector having worked as a teacher locally for almost a decade. He hopes for a career in politics and currently works as a Guest Services Officer for Charlestown Square. He states that he has been interested in politics since meeting Prime Minister Bob Hawke as a child at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the 1980's.

Phillipa Parsons

The Greens

As a resident of the Lake Macquarie region for twenty-five years and a former Councillor, I'm committed to protecting the local environment and heritage of the region and advocating for fair and equitable resourcing of our public services.

Garry Edwards


64 year-old Edwards was a conveyancer and company director before he won this seat at the 2011 election. He had previously been the unsuccessful candidate in this seat at the 2007 election. Edwards served on Lake Macquarie Council 2008-12 and was Deputy Mayor at the time of his election. He was denied Liberal endorsement after the it was stated at the ICAC that he had accepted an illegal developer donation.

Yasmin Catley


Catley grew up in Summerland Point and now lives in Swansea. She previously worked as a librarian for Lake Macquarie City Council and at the Refugee Review Tribunal. For the past decade she has worked in the offices of Federal Labor MPs Greg Combet and Anthony Albanese. She is married to Robert Coombs, who was defeated as member for Swansea at the 2011 election.

Chris Osborne


Chris Osborne has lived in the electorate for 20 years, and highly active in the community on environment & development issues through the Pelican-Blacksmiths Progress Association and Landcare Group. In 2003 he was involved in 'Friends of Belmont Airport' lobbied for the re-opening of the airport achieved last year. Osborne was a life member of the ALP and resigned over Labor drifting from its original purpose, including the ICAC revelations on corruption. He ran as the Labor candidate for Warringah at the 1977 federal election. He describes himself as an avid trade unionist for over 40 years and is currently an IT and Industrial Relations Consultant with his own business.

Johanna Uidam


Johanna Uidam is the Liberal Candidate for Swansea at the March 2015 election. Johanna worked as a nurse at Newcastle Hospital and currently works for her family-owned business. As a member of the Baird Liberal Team, Johanna will work hard to ensure essential services such as health, transport and education are delivered to Swansea.


JoshuaAglandAnimal Justice Party

The AJP provides a voice for policies and practices that promote respect, kindness, compassion and understanding towards animals and as a result provide an opportunity for better outcomes for society and the environment. We all have our vulnerabilities and it is the quality of our response to these in others that determines the health and worth of our society.


NoPhotoNo Land Tax Party

The No Land Tax Campaign has been formed to fight for a fairer deal for property investors in NSW. Over 150,000 people (and their families) paying land tax. Now is the perfect time to put pressure on the NSW state government. We intend to stand candidates to fight for our rights (just like the Shooters Party does for gun owners). It can be done. Land Tax can be abolished.


Thankyou to all the candidates who either attended or submitted statements. We understand that there is a lot to do when an election is coming up, however we trust that there was value for you as much as we can assure you that there was value for us. 

Meeting and hearing candidate speak does give one the assurance of the good heart and will of all those who seek to represent us. 

AsylumSeekersMeet at The Clocktower, Beaumont St, HAMILTON for a time of silent prayer every Friday during Lent, from 5.30 pm to 6.15 pm, beginning on Friday 20th February 2015.  All are welcome to participate.

Organised by Christians for Peace, Newcastle, with Anglican, Catholic, Quaker and Uniting members


Philip Thirlwell 4963 4334  ~  Doug Hewitt   4969 6336  ~  or

Understanding Asylum Seekers and why Churches are reaching out with compassion

Saturday 14 February 2015
9.30am to 12.30pm
Jesmond Park Uniting Church
15 Robert St, Jesmond

For all people and churches with an interest in social justice and a Christian response to asylum seeker issues


Teresa Brierley – Principles of Social Justice – Vice Chancellor Pastoral Ministries, Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle
Justin Whelan – Mission Development Manager at Paddington Uniting Church, One of the Co-initiators of #Love Makes a Way

Morning Tea Provided
No RSVP required

An Activity of the Newcastle and Hunter Ecumenical Social Justice Network
Enquiries to:, 0437 879 442 or Teresa Brierley 02 4979 1157


Asylum Seeker Training Day – 14 Feb 2015.2


The Belmont High School SRE Chaplaincy is an oecumenical project supported by the local churches.

On the 15th of November we had a sausage sizzle at Bunnings to raise funds to support the SRE Chaplain at Belmont Hight School. This is an important oecumenical project in the district, and all the Churches contributed teams. Naturally the Anglicans took the early spot, and It did get a bit busier than the shot suggests. During the day we managed to raise over 1000.00 for the support of this ministry.

The November Men’s Breakfast was a great feast with a very good talk from Jill Hall our local member on here experiences as our local member. She spoke very positively about those activities where the various Churches worked together, and acknowledged the positive contribution of the Church to the community generally.

All Saints LogoOur current website has been in operation for some five years. This new site is an opportunity to review what we have dome, work with what works, change what does was not, and review everything. This site uses a different technology, WordPress and as such opens the door to a few more possibilities, which holding costs of maintaining and updating the site under control.

As a non-urgent project we may well take a little time to get this site up and running. Until that day the most up to date information will be found on the old site.