World Day of Prayer, Milang

Some of those who shared in our World Day of Prayer service at St Mary’s.

The ecumenical World Day of Prayer service in Milang this year was held at St Mary’s on Friday 3 March at 7.30 pm. The service was hosted by the women of the congregation and we were fortunate that Margaret Holt was available to share her experience and insight in the sermon. This year’s focus was on the Philippines and the challenges faced by Filipino women, so we were delighted that some of the members of the local Filipino community were able to share in the service with us. The evening concluded with supper which included some very authentic Filipino dishes.

Pancakes in the Park

We had nearly a hundred people come on Shrove Tuesday to the Memorial Gardens for free pancakes and drinks. Nearly $500 was donated to support the Pantry Club which helps those in need. Thanks to the Inter-Church Council members from all the churches and Lions who helped make the evening a great success.
David Smith

Harvest Thanksgiving

On the fifth Sunday of the month the various congregations of the Parish usually join together for a combined service. On Sunday 29 January, instead of being at one of the churches in Strathalbyn, Meadows, Langhorne Creek or Milang, the service was held at the Blackwell’s home in Lake Plains and followed by a barbecue lunch in very pleasant surroundings.

The various congregations were well represented and a number of members took part in the readings and in leading the prayers. The theme of the service was that we should give thanks for the blessings we have received, that we should care for the environment and share with those in need.

Most of those present were able to share in the wonderful lunch which between courses included the auction of the harvest gifts to raise funds to support the ministry of the Pantry Club in Strathalbyn. Afterwards there seemed to be no hurry to leave but eventually we had to drag ourselves away and return to everyday life


IlKoo with his parents Amy and Christopher Nelson following his baptism.

Welcome to IlKoo Kym Nelson who was baptised at Christ Church Strathalbyn on Saturday 10 December by Fr David Smith. He was accompanied by a large number of the members of his extended family and welcomed by a number of parishioners who were delighted to be able to attend. At the conclusion of the service the Mothers’ Union gave him a present to mark this joyous occasion before we all went to the Parish Hall for morning tea.

Blessing of the Vines

img_1661croppedOn Sunday 30th October, parishioners from all the parish centres gathered in Barry Potts’ shed for the quarterly combined Eucharist. Not only was the setting unusual, surrounded by Barry’s collection of farm tractors, but the intention of the Eucharist was the Blessing of the Vines in the Langhorne Creek Wine Region. We gave thanks to God for the wonderful area in which we live and prayed for the coming vintage and those involved in the work of the vineyards and wineries. We also remembered those in other parts of the world who need our prayers and help.

Following the service we enjoyed a shared lunch with a selection of roasts especially cooked for the occasion.


Operation Christmas Child 2016

opcristmasch-boxessmThis year the boxes are being sent to Mongolia and the members of Ladies Fellowship got together in September to bring the various items needed to pack the Shoeboxes.  Each box contained Something to love; Something to wear; Something for School; Something to play with; Something for personal hygiene; and Something special.

As Fr. Peter Carlsson was in Strathalbyn at the time he came to bless the items and boxes, offering that the Diocese would pay the $9 freight cost for each shoebox from the Mission Fund.

After the boxes had been filled, labelled in the categories: Boy or Girl, 2-4, 5-9, 10-14 years old and a label inserted sending love from Strathalbyn Ladies Fellowship, they were delivered by Raelee, Keven, David and Eileen to a drop off point in Goolwa ready for their onward journey and personal delivery by Samaritans Purse to the children for Christmas.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project in any way.

Bible Society Visitors

On Sunday 31 July we met at Christ Church for our fifth Sunday combined Eucharist and welcomed Steve Bengtsson from the Bible Society who spoke about about the history of the Bible Society in Australia.

Next year the Bible Society will be celebrating two hundred years of ministry in Australia, having been inaugurated at the instigation of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in Sydney on 7 March 1817. The Bible Society is the oldest continually operating organisation in Australia.

Following the service we shared lunch in the hall and welcomed Ian Morely who gave a presentation about this year’s Bible Society project, Get the Word Out in South Africa.

Ian Morely, Rev. David Smith and Steve Bengtsson

Ian Morely, Rev. David Smith & Steve Bengtsson

Martin Bleby Welcomed

The Rev'd Martin Bleby speaking about CMS.

The Rev’d Martin Bleby speaking about CMS.

On Sunday 10th July we welcomed the Rev’d Martin Bleby to our 10.00 am Eucharist at Christ Church, together with his wife Vivien.

During the service he preached on the day’s Gospel reading from Luke chapter 10 which tells the story of the lawyer who came to test Jesus, asking “Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life.

Following the service, over a mug of soup, he spoke about the work of the Church Missionary Society and the importance of the Mission of the Church.

Martin is no stranger to Christ Church as he spent his first five years here when his father, The Rev’d John Bleby was Rector.


Diocesan House of Hospitality Newsletter 6 May 2016







Our first House of Hospitality in the Diocese:
7 East Terrace, Strathalbyn:
“What I dream of secretly is something very simple and very small, something like the very simple first communities of the early days of the church… ” (Charles de Foucauld)

Let us pray for our first house of hospitality – that our doors may always be open to all without judgement, our hands open to help the needy and our hearts open with the love of God.

Dear friends from around the Diocese,

Thank you for your prayers over this House of Hospitality and those who have been coming here these last couple of months. There is a lot happening and a lot being planned so I would ask you gratefully to continue to hold us all in prayer before the Father.

There is a continual cycle of prayer at the Rectory House of Hospitality and anyone is welcome to join with us in one of the daily prayer times. Morning prayer is 8am and Evening Prayer 5pm. There are a couple of regular people who come to say Evening prayer 2 or 3 times a week and it is always a great blessing to pray together even if there is only two of us! I have a great sense of joy and Jesus’ presence with us as we pray together and intercede daily for the Diocese, our community and the needs of those around us.

If you would like us to pray regularly for anyone or anything happening in your church, in your community or your own life then please send your prayer requests through to us. Names are not necessary unless you are happy to give them to us. We now have an email account attached to the House:

There has already been a couple of people come to stay here at the House for retreat and be part of the daily office of prayer. Please pray for those who come to retreat and spend quiet time with the Lord here that he will draw them close to his heart and bless them as they seek his face.

Anyone is welcome to come and spend quiet time either for a day or for a few days. There is also a house in Milang which can be used for retreats. Please contact us for more information or to book.


Holy Eucharist will be celebrated by Bishop John or Fr Peter Carlsson at the House on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 11am:

The next Eucharist is 24th May 11am. You are welcome to join us for soup and toast afterwards especially during the cold months ahead!

The Southern Area of the Third Order of St Francis (TSSF South Australian Region) is also gathered around the Rectory House in Strath so anyone who is interested in Franciscan Spirituality or indeed anything Franciscan is welcome to come to those meetings!  Our first meeting as the southern group is this Saturday 14th May at 10am in the House. We will have the Eucharist together and then discuss how we would like to proceed in the months ahead. The meetings generally will be bimonthly.


A provisional timetable is:


May:      Saturday 14th May at 10am – meeting of the TSSF SA Southern region.


Tuesday 24th May at 11am – Eucharist with Fr Peter and lunch afterwards.


June:     6th June – 5 July is Ramadan, the fasting month of the Muslim World. Please keep the Muslim people and our Christian brothers and sisters in your prayers at this time.


Saturday 11th June – from 10am; Quiet Day in the Hospitality House for the local community and any others who would like to come of course!  Poster and details to follow.


Sunday 19th June – 5pm. There will be a Taize service in one of the local churches which we are planning at the moment. It is Ramadan at this time and also the beginning of Refugee Week so we will especially keep the Muslim World, persecuted Christians and refugees in our hearts and prayers during this service.  Poster and details to follow.


Tuesday 28th June, 11am – Eucharist with Bishop John and lunch afterwards.


July:       TSSF SA Southern Franciscans meeting – date to be fixed.


Tuesday 26th July, 11am – Eucharist with Bishop John and lunch afterwards.


During July or August we are planning a Diocesan Quiet Day at the House for which we will give you dates and information when we have them locked in!


May the Lord show us the way in all we undertake, and please pray for us to listen and follow with humility, love and joy…


Pax et bonum (peace and good),

Marg (Margo) TSSF


“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5)


We should seek not so much to pray but to become prayer… (St Francis)