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Fr R M Nolan (1987-1992)

The parish had a long interregnum of almost six months before the arrival of Fr Randall Murray Nolan who trained at St Francisí College Milton and was Priested in 1984. He served in several parishes, including St Lucia in1986/7, before coming to All Saintsí with his wife Fran, in 1988. In 1991 they transferred to Kenmore.

Fr Nolan came to the parish as a Rector in December of 1987, was inducted on December 11, 1987 and took his first service on Sunday December 6, 1987. The Wardens and Council ran the parish during the vacancy while Canon Les Turner and his wife Sheila helped.

Val Kerr describes Fr Nolan:

His emphasis was on expanding the edges of the parish. We were encouraged to look out, beyond the faith community. To reach out and welcome the outsider. To cater for the newcomer, very informal Sunday evening worship began. With Randallís encouragement we created WOMBAT.

Wider community need saw us supporting the Holy Trinity pantry and then establish our own at All Saintsí. Growing economic hardship meant more people came asking for financial help. What is now Chermside Anglican Welfare Ministries developed from this. Randall also had a healing ministry to many people and he gently guided us through the trauma of closing St Thomasí for worship. Randall was called to Kenmore ending a very relaxed style of ministry.

During the Rev Randall Nolanís ministry from 1987 to 1991 the parish was exposed to new areas of study programs. These programs provided further avenues for people to participate in The Archbishopís Certificate Program, which lasted for some time and the Education for Ministry course (EFM).

New Baptism Policy

In 1988 Baptism was a sensitive area and Fr Nolan had to tread carefully between two groups. The first group was those who thought that the sacrament of Baptism may be compromised by extending it to all, irrespective of whether they were worshipping members or not. The second group saw the needs of those who dwell on the Ďfringes of the churchí. Fr Nolan decided that the church had to take the risk, open up its borders and invite people to share in its life.

My task, as I saw it, was to explain to people the meaning of baptism, and to ensure that they were aware of the promises they were making. It seemed to me that the churchís task was not to condemn or to interrogate, but to accept people with openness and understanding. In any case, this was my approach during the year; and as everyone is aware, we celebrated quite a few baptisms as a result.
The Churchwardens reported that a new concept of Parish executive emerged with the inclusion of the Parish treasurer with the Wardens and Priest in their meetings. Also, they noted the production of the first issue of Saintsí Alive by Gary Handran, a newsletter for the Parish.

During 1989 Education for Ministry continued along with many other groups but relatively few people attended them. The Pastoral Care groups were phased out and replaced by six Pastoral Care Regions to build bridges with those on the fringes. Margaret Coombs was appointed Pastoral Care Coordinator for the year.

Paul Tuxworth, the Ecumenical Chaplain at Craigslea High school, addressed services during October. All Saintsí, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Uniting and Assemblies of God Churches all contributed to his salary, which was under $10,000 pa but, for him, it was a labour of love.

All Saintsí contributed $1,000 pa to another outreach when the Bartholomeusz Family, Peter, Ruth, Keryn and Catherine undertook missionary work in Paraguay.

WOMBAT (We Offer Manna, Balm And Time) was founded in 1989. It is a parish organisation which collects food etc for emergency relief, assists in resettlement of refugees and works for justice within the church and society.

The 75th Anniversary Celebrations of All Saintsí were held over a weekend in 1989. It was done in a hurry and was celebrated with gusto and a visit by Bishop John Noble. . Displays of memorabilia were mounted, a dinner was held; children contributed illustrations for the Eucharist - one very prominent one based on a mythical bus driven by Fr Nolan. A Bush Band was formed with home made instruments.

On the Saturday, to mark the event, the ladies made a special Cope which Fr Nolan wore at the Eucharist on Sunday. This formed the culmination of the celebrations,. People brought food of all kinds for a shared meal in the hall after the Eucharist.

Closure of St Thomas'

A major change during Fr Randallís time was the closure, on St Thomasí Day 21st December 1990, of the worship centre of St Thomasí, Watcombe Street, (East Chermside) Wavell Heights. The closure was carried out under the guidelines and requirements of the Diocese. However, Fr Randall deeply regretted the pain caused to the parishioners. Some decided to leave the parish but the great majority transferred to All Saintsí. This has enabled All Saintsí to have a 7am service on Sundays as well as the 8.30am.

Furnishings were put in storage and were used in the new church of All Saintsí when it was built in 1996. Fr Nolan always wore the St Thomasí vestments at the 7.00am service on Sundays. This service became the St Thomasí service with many of the older parishioners from the original church attending.

Finally, after many price reductions, the sale of St Thomasí was concluded for $90,000 in August 1992. This money would help with the building of the new All Saintsí Church in 1996.

The Sunday School children developed several activities which they were able to insert into the liturgy on a number of Sundays. A Ďhands oní type of teaching was used in getting the children to use their imagination. Working in small groups for from 3 to 5 weeks the children would produce a theme, maybe visual displays or an activity, which they brought to Sunday service.

The children of regular worshippers were now able to ask for admission to Holy Communion from the age of 7, and not have to wait for Confirmation as previously. The parents must not apply pressure and programs were made available to help prepare the child. However, Confirmation was in a state of flux as the parish had adopted the policy of encouraging the deferral of Confirmation until a person is older, about 16 or 18 years.

Lyn Gregory was appointed as part time secretary for the Rector in 1990. This was part of a program to develop mutual ministry and accountability as the days of appointing a priest to run the parish had passed. Prior to Lyn being appointed volunteers used to type the Pew Bulletins and print them on a duplicating machine. A computer was bought for the parish office in July 1991. The parish office was now in the electronic age.

With the closure of St Thomasí, the parish of All Saintsí became a single centre parish for the first time.

A Variety of Fund Raising Schemes

The Gatton scheme was developed in the Parish of Gatton and came to All Saintsí in the early 1990s. It consists of paying off Capital Debts by encouraging parishioners to lend the Parish money interest free for a specific period of time. The money was then paid to the bank in total thus reducing the loan and the interest payments. Parishioners determined how and when they wanted their loan repaid. This resulted in a large saving of, usually scarce, money. Thus Capital costs are reduced.

Previously, in 1984, All Saintsí had used a similar scheme as a short term measure to finance the budget deficit of $6,000. An appeal was made for interest free loans and a sum of $3,700 was raised.

In the later 1990s the ADIF (Anglican Development Investment Fund) was started and All Saintsí borrowed from it. Then the Partnership Scheme was invaluable for the parish as it involved parishioners investing in the ADIF and giving part, or all, of their interest earnings to the parish.

Developing Pastoral Activity

1991 was fairly typical of other years for pastoral activity. While the Pastoral Care Regions, known by different colours, in general were not running well, the yellow Pastoral Care Region with its younger, more active families was excelling. It gradually assumed a position of leadership and eventually developed into the Social Committee arranging concerts and other activities which were very successful.

WOMBAT was alive and active with the Refugee Ministry helping an El Salvadorian family to settle in Brisbane.

The Youth Ministry was being vigorously pursued via the Craigslea High School Chaplaincy but Paul Tuxworth, the Chaplain, was leaving and a replacement was needed. Also in July 1991 two youth meetings, facilitated by Mrs Lisa Sergeant, the Diocesan Youth Officer, were held. The older Youth Group was to meet weekly for study and support while the Junior Youth Group was to begin regular meetings in August. Both groups needed more support and help from mature persons.

Jeremy Liyanage, the Diocesan Community Development Process Consultant, was working from the Parish Centre. He started in September1991 to work on the Banyo Interagency Youth Survey which was an outreach to the young homeless in the local area. It involved six local parishes and was done in conjunction with the University of Queensland Education Department.

A questionnaire was sent to the local schools and to Skillshare at Northgate and Nundah to obtain information relating to young people in the area. Also, he was conducting street interviews with young people in the afternoon which sometimes kept going till as late as 1.30am. The aim of the outreach was to provide a range of services to the multi-risk youth of the region.

To the dismay of Fr Cowdell and the Parish Council Jeremyís work, which seemed so promising, was terminated by the Diocese in July 1992. The council affirmed its recognition of the contribution made by Jeremy and Nigel Sloss.

On the 17/12/1991 Fr Nolan and Fran were farewelled and the search for a new priest was begun. In the meantime, Fr George MacDonald was to be available for the February services during the interregnum.