This coming Wednesday we celebrate with Father Brian Newing and his wife Judith 50 years of ordained ministry. Father Brian’s faith journey has seen him as a Parish Priest in country towns around WA from Ravensthorpe to Pinjarra, to Corrigin and Brunswick. During this time in 1974 he was made Canon of St Boniface Cathedral. From 1990 to 2000 he held the position of Residential Archdeacon and Administrator and then became the Dean of St Boniface for 3 years. This amazing journey into ordained ministry began in 1966 on the 21st December when Fr Brian was ordained by Bishop Ralph Hawkins. The past 13 years has seen Fr Brian undertaking Prison ministry in his ‘Semi Retirement’.
Wednesday won’t be the first time the services of Fr Brian have been celebrated. In 1999 he was awarded Bunbury’s Citizen of the Year and in 2008 he was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal for his work in the Anglican Church and the community.
To give you an insight into Fr Brian here are his answers to the following questions.
What has been one of the most significant changes you have seen in the Church over the last 50 years?
Well the most obvious one is the ordination of women however there have been some other significant changes I’ve seen. In the past you were sent to a parish at the discretion of the Bishop and you went. Now the priests have a say about where they are feeling called. Another interesting change has been the advent of clergy wives having a profession they are the unsung heroes of many parishes. The other thing I have noticed has been the change in the ‘loyalty’ of congregations. What I mean is that there is more transition with people attending different churches when their needs change.
What helps you daily with your walk with Jesus?
Knowing that Jesus is an intimate friend. He is involved in all my decision making he is the perfect role model I stride to but often fail to follow. Also knowing his perfect act of mercy and forgiveness. I always say I have a Christian Faith not a Christian religion.
How about the future? What have you got planned next?
I think I will continue to do what I’m doing one day at a time! I will continue my work with alcoholics anonymous and narcotic’s anonymous they are really important to me and I have been involved with them for the last 38 years.
Favourite hymn or worship song?
How Great Thou Art and Here I am Lord.
Any last thoughts?
I want to end by giving my undying gratitude to my wonderful wife Judith of 49 years.