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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 5

8 February, 2015

Today we welcome as our guest preacher the Ven. Jan Crombie, Archdeacon Parish Partnerships for the Diocese of Melbourne. Parish Partnerships is a collaborative venture between Anglicare Victoria, the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Diocese of Melbourne, and Jan's role is to address local community needs in ways that strengthen the vision, mission and purposes of parishes and Anglican welfare agencies. Jan previously was executive director of parishes and other mission agencies in the Diocese of Brisbane.

At St Peter's we have a long tradition of social service that goes back to the days of Mother Esther (1858-1931) who established the Mission to the Streets and Lanes in 1885, and Fr Tucker (1885-1974) who founded the Brotherhood of St Laurence from Keble House in 1931. For the past twenty-three years St Peter's has served breakfast for the homeless and those in need. Parishioner Joyce Newton, who with Jean Henderson founded the program, recalls its beginnings: "It all started quite naturally. The homeless came, they needed it, we gave them a cup of tea and something to eat .... There were many different stories as there were people. Some struggling with health issues and addictions, and some needed support through a period of crisis. We didn't ask them many questions, and I don't think Jean did either, but you never felt afraid or threatened. Jean was a great talker and liked to sit down and chat with them they just loved it and they thought the world of her." Today, in partnership with Anglicare, the Lazarus Centre serves breakfast to more than 50 people each day, 365 days of the year. We have established a Chaplaincy to the homeless, under the leadership of Fr Philip Gill, and there are plans to launch a Social Enterprise later in the year, providing employment pathways for people who are homeless.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster


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