On Saturday 26 March 2022, following the Bishop-in-Council Planning Day, a special farewell BBQ was held to formally recognise Bishop Stephen and Jennifer Pickard’s service and contribution to the Diocese. The event took place in the new Grevillea Building at the Burgmann Anglican School Forde Campus in Canberra.
A time of relaxed fellowship and a delicious BBQ meal cooked by Reverend Andrew Taylor and the Registrar was enjoyed by all, followed by a number of speeches and a presentation of gifts on behalf of the Diocese.
In his speech Bishop Mark Short described Bishop Stephen as ‘an exemplar of the Burgmann tradition so central to the life and history of our Diocese’.
‘Like Bishop Burgmann, Stephen grew up in Newcastle Diocese. They share a passion for social justice and for engaging Australian society with matters of abiding significance. And both were known to relax by chopping wood!’
As a token of the Diocese’s gratitude, and alongside other gifts, Bishop Mark then presented Bishop Stephen with an axe. This was used to re-create a famous photo of his Episcopal fore-runner found in Peter Hempenstall’s book on the life of Ernest Burgmann titled The Meddlesome Priest.
The Chancellor then reflected on Bishop Stephen’s ministry journey over the years, his work in the Diocese and support with Episcopal functions, his pastoral support and more recently his work as Executive Director at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture; drawing parallels between the artistic and intellectual and the correlation of these with Christian spirituality and faith. (See page 4.)
Lynette Glendinning (Presiding Member of the Anglicare Board) paid tribute to Jennifer Pickard’s life of faith and her strong support of clergy wives during her time as Bishop’s wife. ‘Jennifer’s own spiritual life is one of openness to God and to his people through hospitality and attention to the spiritual life’, she said.
‘Her discipleship has been expressed through her calling as a Montessori teacher and, in the past few years, she has also led a Camino experience (pilgrim way) during lockdown and using the Canberra Centenary trail.’
Jennifer herself reflected on her teaching career noting her particular area of passion ‘Godly Play’ and offered her skills and expertise in this field to ministry units that may be interested in exploring this within their worshipping community.
Bishop Stephen was very grateful for the kind words and prayers for this stage of his and Jennifer’s journey together.
Thank you to Emma Body for the BBQ organisation, information and photos.