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Picture above: L-R Reverends Marilyn Waind and Robin Moore, Dean Phillip, Reverends Heather Millard and Kim Hoey, and Cathedral Guide

The title of Bishop Mark’s address to Synod was ‘Good to be Here!’ and how good it was for so many of us to take part in the uplifting worship of the Synod Eucharist Service! We have not gathered in such numbers since before COVID.

Just imagine the preparation that took place for everything to run smoothly to the glory of God!

At the end of August, Dean Phillip Saunders ran a training workshop for Deacons at the Cathedral.

The day began with a tour of the Cathedral with the Dean telling us the story of its construction under the architect Edmund Blacket. We examined some of the magnificent fixtures and looked at the stainedglass windows, depicting stories from the Gospels, and the pictures of the Celtic Saints along the roof line in the Soldier’s Chapel. These may normally be missed because they are so high. The Dean pointed out many of the interesting items on display as well as regaling us with various anecdotes about the personalities involved in the life of the Cathedral over the years.

I noticed other things too. Dotted around the Cathedral were some brightly coloured plastic buckets. I wondered if they were there to catch drips from a leaking roof. The Cathedral is in need of repair and although it has been given a grant from the NSW State government, these funds have to be matched by public donations. (To donate: au/our-appeal)

L-R: Reverend Robin Moore, Venerable Jane Simmonds, Reverends Wendy Robertson, Kim Hoey and Heather Millard

After the tour, Dean Phillip opened a discussion about traditions. He explained the Lambeth Quadrilateral: the fourpoint structure of the Anglican Church, namely the Holy Scriptures, the Dominical Sacraments of Jesus (Baptism and Holy Communion), the Creeds, and the 3-fold order of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. He then talked about local traditions, traditions within groups, gospel traditions and invited us to think about whether there may be a need to change. We had a conversation about the strong links between the Cathedral and the Diaconate and the function of Deacons as part of the church community. We reflected on our calling as Deacons and our role in living out the Gospel in the wider world; much food for further thought and prayer.

We then had a practical training session of serving at the altar, each one of us taking a turn under the Dean’s watchful eye.

We are all very grateful to Dean Phillip for leading our workshop at the Cathedral and thank him for sharing his wisdom and practical instruction with us.

We ended our meeting with a time of fellowship over lunch. A most enjoyable day.


by Venerable Jane Simmonds, Archdeacon to the Diaconate
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