Today is the second anniversary of the founding of our Parish in the Blue Mountains area of Sydney Australia. We began in Winmalee on 8th December which was a Sunday that year, as the Parish of the Holy Redeemer. The Parish was a Mission of the Ecumenical Franciscan Order, to which I belong, we had reopened the Parish to distance ourselves from Roman Catholicism and a rather insular, inward focusing Community that, was driving us away.
We called it Holy Redeemer after the initial Parish founded there in 2004.
We are three Clergy and a lay Sister of various Protestant Traditions, all having passed through the Anglican tradition and we were exasperated with a Cathedral Community that preached an open Table yet had no Theology to support or explain it to those who might ask “How is this so?”
Our lay Sister felt ill at ease among the incense and the gilding and an invitation to an Altar that screamed Transubstantiation. Yes we have already been here.
Finally in late September this year we severed all connections with our Mother Church to become an independent non-denominational Christian Community. By early October, the 4th to be precise, we reopened our doors as the Blue Mountains Franciscan Church Inc, in Springwood – I was ordained Priest on that day – The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
I had been a deacon in the Mother Church since 4th July 2004 but had not been determined suitable for Priesthood and had continued to serve as a permanent deacon – as is the Roman way.
I am a protector of the Parish to which I minister, though I am a Priest of the Sacramental Tradition, Ordained by a Celtic Bishop, I do not call myself Father but Rev. brother or Pastor.
At the time I favoured being commissioned by my fellow Brothers and Priests since our Community does not have an hierarchy and all candidates for Ministry are chosen and proposed by the people to whom they will minister – however they considered that since i had begun my vocation in the sacramental tradition that I should finish it that way.
An old and dear friend of mine, Bishop Peter Johnson of Christ our Hope Community Ordained me.
See the article on the church blog with the gallery