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New Childers priest a former prison chaplain

Reverend Susan Baker
Newly commissioned Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Goonanamen Reverend Susan Baker.

A 10-year “spiritual leadership drought” has broken for Childers Anglican Church parishioners with the commissioning of Reverend Susan Barker as priest-in-charge.

Reverend Barker, originally from Brisbane, was officially commissioned on Friday, February 5 by the Right Reverend Jeremy Greaves, Bishop for the Northern Region.

A former long-serving public servant and more recently a prison chaplain, Reverend Barker said she had always retained a strong faith but the need to answer a call as a spiritual leader had only manifest itself in recent years.

“I grew up in the church but with no intention of exercising any form of ministry more demanding than teaching Sunday School,” she said.

“After the passing of my husband Allan I turned to God and asked ‘where should I go next?'

“While working as a a chaplain for Corrective Services in two State prisons was a demanding and rewarding experience, I can fully appreciate the responsibility that rests with me servicing the numerous congregations in the Parish of Goonanamen.”

Reverend Barker said she was delighted to be ministering in some of the most beautiful churches in country Queensland.

“Christ Church here in Childers with its gorgeous stained-glass windows radiates such history being around 120 years old.”

According to historical records Childers Christ Church was opened and dedicated on May 9, 1901.

“My immediate plans are to get to know my congregations and to learn and understand their needs and abilities but I feel we can go on a very worthwhile and fulfilling journey together,” said Reverend Barker.

“I believe there will be ways in which we can enrich not only our parishioners but also add to the needs of the wider community. These are some avenues I hope to explore.”

Reverend Susan Barker
Welcoming Reverend Susan Barker (second left) to Childers at an all-denominations meeting for the forthcoming World Day of Prayer event are (from left) Lorraine Goding, Dilys Griffiths, Pam Middleton and Dorehy Abell.

“Naturally I do want to touch base with all our local church leaders and groups. One way we will come together is through the forthcoming World Day of Prayer which is scheduled for Friday, March 5.”

“Our church is hosting the event locally and this year’s theme is “build on a strong foundation” with Vanuatu the country of focus.”

When opportunities for relaxation present themselves Reverend Barker said she enjoyed reading and long walks.