WA Heads of Churches, including Perth Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, pray during the inaugural Service of Blessing for Chaplains, Sunday 18 September at St George’s Anglican Cathedral. Photo: Michelle Tan.
Chaplains and Pastoral Carers across different industries and agencies came together on 18 September 2022 to reflect and give thanks to God for their ministries.
Held at St George’s Anglican Cathedral, the inaugural Service of Blessing was organised by the WA Heads of Churches.
Anglican Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy AO presided over the service and generously provided support through the Anglican Diocese of Perth.
The Service of Blessing is to be an annual event and was supposed to take place in early 2021 but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a year’s delay, Chaplains and Pastoral Carers serving in Hospitals, Prisons, Schools, Aged Care, Workplace, Sports, Community, Emergency Services, Military, and local Churches could finally meet and celebrate the call to serve in the community.
King Edward Memorial Hospital Head of Department Pastoral Care Services Sheldrin D’Rozario welcomes guests to the WA Heads of Churches inaugural Service of Blessing for Chaplains, Sunday 18 September at St George’s Anglican Cathedral. Photo: Michelle Tan.
Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton represented the Archdiocese of Perth and in the delivery of the opening address, he said: “Ideally, chaplains are people who have been prepared for ministry and, after discernment by their faith community, are commissioned and sent, to work in a distinctive pastoral field. So it is that the chaplain becomes an extension of the Christian community, in a discreet mission of the Church.”
“The chaplain participates in the mission that Christ has committed to the Christian community, and is called to be, fundamentally, a bridge builder for those who are looking for the love and mercy of God.”
“Chaplains go to the margins of society as signs of God's mercy, carrying their own stories of encounter with Christ and ministering the Good News of the love of God for each person.
WA Police Chaplain David Ladner (Injury Coordination & Support Services) speaks at the inaugural WA Heads of Churches Service of Blessing for Chaplains. Photo: Michelle Tan.
“They give an account of their own hope and trust in God, and walk with the other, being there for them, offering companionship on their journey through important stages of life. You can be in places that other ministers cannot be.”
“The Heads of Churches in Western Australia wants every chaplain and pastoral carer to know that we recognise, honour and value very deeply the extraordinary commitment and resilience that you show in ministry.”
“These are only possible because of your faith in God and the love of Christ that urges you on. We admire these spiritual gifts that you manifest. We understand your need, as well, for emotional support and solidarity with your colleagues. We want to reassure you that we are committed to supporting you as your brothers and sisters in faith.”
Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, far right, at the WA Heads of Churches inaugural Service of Blessing, Sunday 18 September at St George’s Anglican Cathedral, from left, King Edward Memorial Hospital Head of Department Pastoral Care Services Sheldrin D’Rozario, Anglican Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy third from left, and Uniting Church Moderator, Suzie Thomas Photo: Michelle Tan.
In closing, he reminded those present that the body of Christ need to commit to praying for one another in the various ministries, and “continue to seek the face of Christ in each person we encounter.”