New year, new combination
The two parishes of Glenquarie and Ingleburn have amalgamated, with the former rector of Glenquarie, the Rev David Ould, moving into a new role at Parramatta.
The move came about because of financial issues at Glenquarie, which is unable to afford a full-time rector’s stipend. Mr Ould, at Glenquarie since 2013, is now the senior assistant minister at St John’s Cathedral.
“We’ve made it work [at Glenquarie] but it’s never been financially viable,” Mr Ould says. “Now we’re in a position to make a change in a supportive and constructive way, and we saw that a merger with Ingleburn was the way to go.”
The rector of the new combined parish, the Rev Joe Wiltshire at Ingleburn, says, “Glenquarie actually used to be a branch church of Ingleburn many years ago, so in a way this partnership was really a natural fit.
“We looked at a number of options, but an amalgamation seemed the best choice long-term. I think that while people at Glenquarie are a bit sad about it, and [will not be] meeting in the church building regularly as they have been, there’s also an opportunity here for us to grow and to move forward in the area together.”
Services will now be conducted at Ingleburn’s church, but the Glenquarie building will continue to be used for regular programs such as the Break the Cycle. Mr Wiltshire says the amalgamation will also provide opportunities to explore new ministries, including a burgeoning Spanish-speaking outreach that he hopes will grow into a full service at Glenquarie in the future.
“This gives us concrete avenues to explore new ministries and to put new energy into ministries started at Glenquarie" Mr Wiltshire
"We have people that we can involve in that – we have another venue that we can use. Glenquarie also runs a once-a-month service for clients of Break the Cycle and their friends, so we’re looking to continue with that.
“Ingleburn is a fairly typical middle class church right now, so I think it’s good for us as much as for the people attending that service that we continue with Glenquarie’s work there.”
The new parish has been meeting as a single church since late last year, although the change wasn’t formalised until New Year’s Day. The plan is to explore replanting a congregation at Glenquarie in the next three to five years.
Says Mr Ould: “We’re in a position now where there’s 100 per cent engagement with it. Everyone’s saying, ‘Yes, this is what we need to do’. We’re handing over a very united, loving church family who love Jesus, love his word and are excited about the opportunities that a larger church family represents. For me the great encouragement is that we’re in that place.”