12 May 2023
The first combined service at the newly merged parishes of St Augustine’s and St Alban’s Merri-bek was held 30 April.
The two congregations became one during the service in the St Alban’s church building where the Reverend Angela Cook was affirmed as vicar of the new parish by Bishop of Marmingatha the Right Reverend Genieve Blackwell.
Ms Cook said the church was full, with around 85 people attending.
She said there was a mix of people from both the St Alban’s and St Augustine’s communities.
Parishioners previously from St Augustine’s enjoyed exploring the new church grounds, Ms Cook said.
“There were about 15 children having the time of their lives in the sandpit,” she said.
Ms Cook said one parishioner brought a cake decorated with the parish’s emblem.
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Bishop Blackwell said St Alban’s had initially started as a daughter parish of the original St Augustine’s a hundred years ago.
She said a stained-glass window depicting the Good Shepherd in St Alban’s had originally come from St Augustine’s.
Bishop Blackwell said the readings that day included the passage from John chapter 10 where Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd.
“It’s a beautiful culmination, isn’t it? For various reasons we chose [April 30] and the reading turned out to be ‘I am the Good Shepherd’,” she said.
Churchwarden Shane Giliam said it was fun to see everyone and get to know people he hadn’t met before.
“It was really good to meet together. God in the Bible does call us to meet together as His people,” he said.
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