Stephen Clarke to Retire

Stephen Clarke, much-loved and hard-working Business Manager for SFC, will retire at the end of January 2020. Stephen has worked at the College for the last 15 years and many in the diocese will have cause to be grateful for his kindness, generosity and consideration when they have had College matters to attend to. He will be greatly missed. A farewell and thank you will be planned for early in 2020, details later:- and of course we are now looking for a new Business Manager!

Community Garden Working Bee

Last weekend a group of enthusiastic and hard-working gardeners continued the construction of the St Francis College Community Garden. Ten 1.2m square tubs have already been installed, with another five to be constructed in the near future. A wide variety of vegetables and herbs have been planted and are enjoying the sunny and protected conditions inside the old tennis court.

July Formation Intensive

From U2charist to BCP evensong

Our recent Formation Intensive was lively and varied, especially in its worship. Bishop John presided over a full-throated U2charist – one participant remarked that they had not realized how many U2 lyrics they actually knew! From the silent spaces of Lectio Divina with Ven Valerie Hoare to the hilarity engendered by some of the role playing of pastoral scenarios there was opportunity for learning and community building, all within the embrace of God.  The insights of Revd. Ann Solari into the role of deacon were particularly valued by many participants, for whom her clarity of expression and her ability to relate theology to practice provided much food for thought. It was wonderful to receive sermons from a number of students who displayed their increasing confidence in communicating the gospel.  Our time together was rounded out by instruction in the singing of Evensong from Ven Michael Faragher and participation in that liturgy – a beautiful way to conclude our proceedings.

Senior Ichthus Camp 2019

Camping Out at the Nursing Home

Bringing the different generations of the church together is never a bad idea, and often it produces wonderful results.  This was demonstrated recently when the Senior Ichthus campers visited the Tantula Rise retirement village at Alexandra Headlands on the Sunshine Coast, as part of the social service component as part of their program. Campers and leaders participated in the regular worship of the 25 residents, who were themselves eager to meet with so many young people.

AYCF Director Jonathan Kemp says it proved to be a win-win opportunity. “The Ichthus campers (school years 10-12) were able to enact pastoral care in the nursing home, and the residents heard some new music and met some new people. By sharing in Communion together, everyone gained a new, deeper understanding of what it means to say, ‘We are the Body of Christ, for we all share in the one bread’. We’re already planning to come back next year.”

To read more, please click here

John Walton Public Lecture Report

I was excited to join over 40 people at Old Bishopsbourne on 19 July for the public lecture by John Walton, an Old Testament scholar from the USA.  John spoke so eloquently and engagingly about The Lost World of Genesis, focusing on the creation story. One of the many points that will stay with me are that the intent of the narrative in Genesis one is not to explain the material circumstances of creation, but God’s role in creation: to create a world of order from chaos through the WORD.  This is not about evolution or creationism, but that the nature of God’s operation in the universe is to create order. To go one step further, John spoke about God creating humanity from dust – taking one thing and making it something greater: each of us, created in God’s image. Christ Jesus then takes us and makes us something greater.  What Good News!


Many thanks to the Mathew Hale Public Library and St Francis College for this fantastic opportunity to hear a world class academic speaker, and for fine fellowship in magnificent surroundings.  I am looking forward to the next event in October.

Thanks to Melissa Conway for writing this report.

Fiona Wins Diocesan Intranet Naming Competition!

Fiona Hammond from the Lay Education Team at St Francis College has won the Diocesan Intranet Naming Competition.

‘The ARC’ (Anglican Resource Community) – a title which Fiona explains - reflects that the new intranet is our “go to” hub for sharing resources and communicating with others in the Anglican community. The ARC will hold all things necessary for our future together, and sails under the rainbow promise of interconnectedness, authentic community building and an increasingly collaborative work environment.

I can hear people say “I’ll put it on/in the ARC”, or “you’ll find it on the ARC”. “Go to the ARC, it’s all there”.

Fiona’s entry was unanimously selected from a pool of approximately 80 submissions. The announcement was celebrated with a lavish morning tea kindly provided by Patrick and the team from FDSC.

Wontulp-Bi-Buya Pilgrimage

In early June, Jazz Dow facilitated an ABM pilgrimage of Church Leaders to Wontulp-Bi-Buya College in Cairns. 8 Church Leaders from ACSQ participated, including 2 Students from SFC. It was an incredible opportunity and a time of much learning for everyone who participated in the pilgrimage.

Read Jazz's reflection here:

Campus Conversations

Such a privilege to witness our Spiritual Direction Community chatting away in such a beautiful landscaped setting here at St Francis College, surrounded by luscious green lawns, an abundance of beautiful flowers, new gardens being gently tendered and song birds. From the quiet stones of the Chapel to the polished timber framework in Old Bishopsbourne, St Francis College Campus was buzzing with 28 Spiritual Direction Formation Students, Supervisors, Presenters and some Past Graduates during the recent Intensive. Nourished each day by teams of Parish volunteers who also enjoyed wandering around our captivating campus and historic buildings.

Climate Change Justice

It was wonderful to have a packed house in Old Bishopsbourne for Friday evening’s conversation with Dr Mick Pope, climate scientist and eco-theologian - in collaboration with others. This is part of our diocese’s continued efforts to help address climate change.

Did you miss listening to Dr Mick Pope speaking about Climate Justice. You can catch up on this link:

Praying for a Change

Our Formation students gathered for their intensive this past weekend, on a theme of Praying for a Change. Each intensive focusses on one of the key learning areas, personal growth, spirituality, ecclesial understanding, pastoral care or entrepreneurial leadership. This weekend was about spirituality, and we were privileged to have two keynote sessions from Fr. Nicholas Whearat introducing us to Franciscan spirituality from his perspective as a tertiary. We were invited to engage with this ‘reluctant saint’ and recognise how much of his message is important for the church today. This was particularly apt as we celebrate this year the 800th anniversary of the meeting of St. Francis and the Muslim sultan that underpins much interfaith dialogue today. In the wake of the Christchurch shootings, focus on St Francis’ call to peacemaking has never seemed more urgent. Nicholas also drew our attention to St Francis’ care for creation and again, with the recent school strike for climate change, his words had particular relevance.

There were many other sessions, with first year students particularly appreciating input around spiritual direction from Dale Keenan, who directs the spiritual direction formation programme, and later years learning something of how to deepen the spirituality of others in small groups and creative expressions of worship. Underpinning it all were acts of worship, opportunities for fellowship around meals and meaningful conversations. As in any diverse community we do not always see things alike, but as Canon Gary Harch our preacher and speaker on Friday evening pointed out, this is the very essence of Anglicanism, such that when we come together to ‘pray for a change’ there is great beauty in our diversity.

"So What Does Anglican Mean?"

You’re at a barbeque and conversation with some new friends takes an interesting turn. You mention you went to church that morning, an Anglican one in fact. The next question? “So what’s Anglican mean?”

And you’d say…?

The new St Francis College Short Course: Being Anglican is designed to enable you to answer that question. Five episodes (mostly under 10 minutes each except for the big finish!) come with discussion questions, transcripts so you can ponder more deeply and extra reading in case you want to ponder even more deeply still.

The content for the short course comes from a session Archbishop Phillip led in which he explored the word ‘Anglican’ in an interesting and unique way. You’ll have to watch to find out what that means!

Jonathan and Fiona love making these short courses for St Francis College and the next one is in planning at the moment.

Anyway the promo for Being Anglican is above to give you a taste, but the full course, free of charge is here… Enjoy!!

Grad Cert in Professional Supervision


In response to the recommendations of the recent Royal Commission, St Francis College is offering for the first time, the Graduate Certificate in Professional Supervision (Pastoral/Clinical) The course is being delivered face to face on the Milton Campus of St Francis College, and being offered in partnership with St Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra, who has been offering this course in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Western Australia for several years. The course has National Vocational accreditation, is part time, conducted over one year, and delivered in a series of 2,4,2 day Intensives. Fourteen participants enrolled for the course in 2019, commencing their studies in March. Enrolments were heavily weighted towards the Pastoral stream, but one person is enrolled for the Clinical stream. Course facilitators are Nicky Lock from St Marks – a supervisor and Clinical expert, and Dale Keenan from St Francis, a supervisor and Director of the Spiritual Direction program at St Francis. Dale skills will complement the expertise of Nicky to assist in the delivery of the course.

200 attend Elevation Training Day!

The annual Elevation Training Day for Youth, Children's and Families ministry brought together nearly 200 clergy and laypeople from near and far, across multiple denominations. AYCF has been a partner in leading Elevation for several years now, and it was great to see Anglicans present on the day from Sherwood, Kawana, St Barts Toowoomba, and North Pine among others. The keynote address from Scripture Union's Terry Williams offered five ways to 'walk with young people': express care, challenge for growth, provide support, share power and expand their awareness of possibilities. It will be great to hear how Anglican parishes have brought those five ways, and the learnings from all the day's elective sessions, to life in their local contexts.

'Being Community' Series

During Lent a number of parishes in the Diocese, including Community of The Way, are focussing on the Beatitudes using Dave Andrew’s book “Plan Be”.

Early in March, a group of 18 people gathered at St Francis College for the first workshop in the Being Community series. The workshop was led by Dave Andrews, Community Builder and writer, and explored the radical implications of a community shaped by Jesus’ beatitudes.

We spent time reflecting on what constitutes a healthy community and then looked at the framework the Beatitudes provide us for building and sustaining flourishing communities where all people are welcomed and celebrated. Dave has reflected extensively on the beatitudes and has identified 8 virtues that are blessed in the beatitudes and that healthy Community's live by: Humility; Empathy; Self-restraint; Righteousness; Mercy; Integrity; Non-Violence; Perseverance.


St Francis goes to Hong Kong

Jonathan Sargeant with Senior Lecturer Matthew Jones and the class

Jonathan Sargeant with Senior Lecturer Matthew Jones and the class

Jonathan Sargeant recently traveled to Ming Hua University in Hong Kong to lecture with students there, a first for the Anglican Theological College.

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Working with an attentive group of postulants, school teachers and other theological students, Jonathan facilitated activities, lectures, group assignments and theological reflection to lead the group through 12 weeks of lectures in five action-packed days.

“This was a first for Ming Hua”, Jonathan said. “This was the first time an intensive subject has been delivered. It was a first for me too, lecturing overseas! But the students were great, with incisive questions, always eager to know more.”

“THL366 Christian Education is a subject that is very suited to mixtures of lectures, group work, discussion, and featured a unique version of online integration, too. We used devices continually to share information, thinking and research. Ultimately it was a great experience and I’d look forward to doing it again!”