On Saturday 3 June, Bishop John Parkes inducted Rev. Helen Malcolm as part-time Priest-in-Charge and licensed Rev. Victor Adams as Senior Associate Priest in the Shepparton Anglican Parish.

Helen was born and educated in Shepparton and returned home ten years ago after working overseas and in Tasmania, while Victor has joined us from Sth. Africa with his wife Elizabeth and teenage children Ruth and Nathan. Parishioners, local dignitaries and clergy from other denominations, Diocesan clergy, family and friends made up the congregation for this joyful and future-focussed service.

Speeches of welcome were made by the Ven. Clarence Bester; Wendy Lovell, MP for Northern Victoria; Rev. Richard Horton from the Shepparton Ministers’ Association; Rev. Scott Jessup, Area Dean; and Bev. Condon, PiC’s warden.

Helen, in her response, acknowledged the valuable role played by Rev. Gunnar Rippon as part-time locum over many months, as well as that of Ven. Clarence Bester – both of whom helped her transition to this unexpected ministry role. The lay people were also thanked for the way they had stepped up to provide necessary ministry at a time of priests coming and going from the parish – but warned that they should not now think they could put their feet up! The parish will continue to be served by a team ministry, including the Rev. Kasey Holyman. The Bishop spoke in his Synod address of the Shepparton parish being a ‘test tube’ – Helen furthered the analogy by suggesting that ‘we are under the microscope’ to see how this different form of ministry works.

The readings, hymns and the Bishop’s sermon centred round the need to build a house of living stones where, in lines from the opening hymn, ‘hands will reach beyond the wood and stone to heal and strengthen, serve and teach and live the Word they’ve known…..’ and ‘where all are named, their songs and visions heard and loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word.’