It has been an exciting time in the Church of England lately.
We have just welcomed our first full time Chaplain for several years.
On 26th January, Rev David Fell arrived here with his wife Crystal, and children Wendell(4), Marigold(2) and Ernie (4mths).
David has previously been working as an assistant minister at Manly in
When he saw an invitation for someone to consider ministry on Norfolk
Island, he felt moved to respond. The Fells felt a special
connection with the island because Crystal
was born just a few months after her parents, Pam and Barry Ledsam, had served
a term here at our school.
It was decided that David, who has been serving as a deacon, would be ordained to the priesthood before he took up his duties, and that the Ordination would take place here on
The Ordination service took place on Wednesday evening 4th February in St Barnabas’ Chapel.
Acting on behalf of the Archbishop of Sydney was Bishop Rob Forsyth, who has had oversight of
for many years, and with wife Margie has become a great friend of us all.
Also present were a number of former Chaplains who came to the island to support David Fell and to share in the joy of the special occasion. In many ways, the event was quite historic. We do not believe that an actual ordination has taken place on
since the days of the Melanesian Mission. Nor would there have been such a
large number of ordained clergy gathered together in the Chapel at one time. On
Wednesday there were seven in all, and it was a very moving moment when they
all laid their hands on David’s head as they sought God’s blessing.
Here is an old picture of the service of Consecration of the Chapel nearly 135 years ago. We can imagine what a joyful occasion that was too!
During the service, there were several messages of welcome to the Fells, including one from our Chief minister Lisle Snell. This picture shows Crystal and David in the background.
After the service, everyone gathered in the Parish Centre for a delicious supper, where there was an opportunity to meet David and Crystal, and also to greet all those former chaplains who had come for the occasion. These included Rev Canon Bruce Ballantine-Jones (who had baptised David fell as a baby) and wife Heather, Rev David Lloyd and Olive, Rev Earl Hughes and Julie, and Rev Stan Colefax.
It is important also to mention Rev Canon Stuart Broughton, who has been our Chaplain for the past three months, and is leaving us on 9th February. This is the second time that Stuart has come all the way from England to spend time in the Norfolk Island Parish, and he agreed to stay on for a couple of weeks to help David settle in. We will all be sorry to say goodbye to Stuart.
A lunch at Governor’s last Sunday was a great opportunity for parishioners and friends to welcome the Fells, greet our special visitors, and say goodbye and thank you to Canon Broughton before he leaves us.
Another note of sadness is that Bishop Rob will also retire this year, and this will have been his final official visit to
Norfolk Island, However, we are sure we will be welcoming
him back in an unofficial capacity in the future. He says the island has a
special place in his heart.
Canon Stuart with David Buffett, Bishop Rob and Margie in the foreground, Tom Lloyd in the background.
We would also like to let the community know that in the past couple of weeks we have also welcomed Mitchell Mahaffey, who has been employed by the combined churches of the island to carry out work among the young people of the island, the task that was formerly carried out by Dan Widdowson. Mitchell has planning to make this move, at the invitation of the island’s churches, for many months now, and is enjoying being in the community and getting to know people.
Mitchell and David be a great team, we are sure. The picture below shows Mitchell chatting to Ralph Holloway and Beryl Evans. Mitchell is obviously keen to get to know the oldies as well as the young people!
Just a few days before the Ordination, we also had another special event in the Chapel. This was a Confirmation service conducted by Bishop Rob Forsyth and Canon Stuart Broughton. The confirmees are Julie Mansen and Phillip McDowell.