The Reverend Neil Percival was inducted as the Rector of Young District Anglican Ministry at a Service in St John’s Anglican Church, Young, on 30 June 2018.
Neil grew up in Sydney’s northern suburbs. He graduated with a BA and MA from Sydney University and then went on to Moore Theological College to complete a BTh, Dip Min, and Dip Arts (Theol). He is also a PhD student at the University of Newcastle researching the effects of exposure to trauma from a theological perspective.
After ordination in 1993, Neil’s first appointment was as Assistant Minister to the Sydney parish of Dundas with Telopea where he met and married his wife, Leanne. They now have three teenage children. The oldest is at University in Bathurst and the younger two are in High School in Young. In 1996 he became the Rector of the Parish of Beacon Hill (on Sydney’s Northern Beaches) before becoming the Rector of Berry (on the NSW South Coast) in 2003 where he spent the last 15 years.
Asked why he decided to make the move to Young, he said, ‘For some time I’d been wanting a new challenge. We loved Berry and part of me would have been happy to stay for another 15 years, but when Bishop Trevor got in touch and suggested Young, it just seemed right … We wanted a challenge and we’ve certainly got one. We’re in a different part of the State with a very different climate, it’s a new and much bigger community than we’ve been used to over recent years, and we’re in a new Diocese. But we’ve been very warmly received and we’re learning fast.’
Neil has also been a volunteer firefighter since he was a teenager. He was the Captain of Broughton Vale/Berry Brigade and RFS Chaplain for the Shoalhaven District for many years. Earlier this year, on St Florian’s Day, he was awarded the NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner’s Commendation for Service in recognition of his work as Chaplain. Since moving to Young, he has joined a local Brigade and been appointed as Chaplain for the South West Slopes Zone.