This week, the Most Rev Kanishka Raffel, Archbishop of Sydney, formally invited Rev John Stanley to become the next Rector here at St. George’s, and he has accepted. This is excellent news!
Our Parish Nominators have been searching for a new rector for nearly a year and their efforts have finally been rewarded. The Rt Rev Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney, officially welcomed John Stanley as the new rector this Thursday evening the 30th September at 7pm in a service which conducted via Zoom. We are grateful that with our experience in running online services, many of us were able to join in this joyful moment while observing all relevant public health regulations.
The Rev John Stanley comes to us with a long history of Christian ministry in a variety of places, including Darlinghurst, the United States, Melbourne and most recently Tasmania where John has been the Senior Associate Minister in the Parish of Lenah Valley. John is married to Alison and they have three adult children. John is keen to continue the parish’s commitment to social justice issues, the ministry of women, and engagement with the local community.
We ask you to keep John and Alison in your prayers as they commence this new ministry with us.
Details on Commencement Service
Rev John Stanley commenced his ministry at St George’s on Thursday evening 30th September at 7pm at a service led by The Rt Rev Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney.
You are invited to bring a candle and a means of lighting it to the service, as there will be a moment where we are all invited to participate in one of the symbols John will receive.
Introductory Message from Rev John Stanley
Rev John Stanley sent the following message to introduce himself to the St George’s Community:
Alison and I are very excited to be joining you in Paddington in lockdown! We have spent a couple of days walking to and from the church and getting to know the cafes and neighbours and we love this neighbourhood!
I have been aware of St George’s passion for justice and for engaging in community for decades; we are keen to walk on that journey with you.
A brief bio to introduce myself.
I was raised in Anglican churches from birth, most of my young discipleship happened at St John’s Parramatta.
I was challenged to consider ministry and explored Moore College before heading to Church Army College. Whilst in College I met Alison at St John’s Darlinghurst, where we learned the power and joy of living and working in community with transgender friends at PJs Cafe in Premier lane. Philip Bradford was ministering at St Peter’s, upstairs at the time!
Alison joined me in Melbourne after our wedding, where I worked as a part time school Chaplain and and youth minister at churches in Coburg and Niddrie. We moved from there to help start Rough Edges Cafe when our youngest was 6 months old. Alison taught at Darlinghurst Public School and led the Friday night team at the Cafe.
Five years later we moved to Aliquippa, a rust belt town in western Pennsylvania, USA. We bought an abandoned strip club for $1000, stripped it and, with the help of many volunteers, rebuilt it as a community Cafe. While I worked in the Cafe, Alison worked as Children’s Librarian.
We returned from the USA exhausted, but have spent the last seven years in gorgeous Hobart being rejuvenated as we worked with a local church to reorient their worship to engage children more fully. Alison led the early childhood curriculum development at Southern Christian College. We met Max at the lost dogs home and he joined us when he was just 14 weeks old.
I was ordained in Hobart and have worked with the diocese, with the help of Common Grace to build real relationships with Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples. We were delighted to grow community in the church and outside, through our dog walking friends, initiating an annual carols event that 1500 people joined to celebrate Jesus’ birth together.
Alison, Max and I are excited to share this next adventure with you. As we listen and celebrate our lives together, I am confident that God will reveal both a journey that grows us and an example of Christian life-in-community that will encourage and challenge others to follow Jesus and take his exhortation to live God and love our neighbour seriously.
Grace and peace to you
John and Alison and Max