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Q&A with Priest's Warden, farmer and inventor, Ian Kronk

Spotlight Q&A

When ACSQ Senior Property Officer Nicole Ham told anglican focus about the generous and hardworking Priest’s Warden, grain farmer and inventor, Ian Kronk of Pittsworth, we knew he would make a wonderful Spotlight Q&A interviewee

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Meet Ian Kronk, the youngest of five children and a fourth generation grain farmer from Pittsworth, near Toowoomba. He took up farming when he left school in 1968 and was part of a small youth group, which met at St Andrew’s Anglican Church. He considers himself “an ordinary bloke, who has received extra-ordinary blessings throughout life.” He is known in the Cathedral Precinct for his generosity, especially for the enormous bags of home-grown produce he has gifted staff and clergy over the years, and for his innovative inventions.

How long have you been involved in the Anglican Church and in what roles?

I was born, baptised and confirmed in the Anglican Church Pittsworth Parish, near Toowoomba. When I was a teenager, I enjoyed being part of an Anglican Youth Group. I became a Parish Councillor at the age of 18, taught Sunday School and was a Church Warden in the early 1990s.

What are your current roles and what do your roles involve?

I am currently Priest’s Warden and Parish Nominator. My role, along with the other two Wardens, is to help with the day-to-day running of the Parish and to support our Priest, The Rev’d Frances Andrews. I am also a Liturgical Assistant and assist with communion when required.

What projects and activities are you currently working on?

Alongside our Priest, I am currently with Geoff and Brenda (People’s Wardens), looking at ways that we can involve more people in worship and fellowship in the Christian faith, with a focus on the younger people. We are also looking at better ways to maintain our buildings more economically.

What have been the highlights of your roles so far?

I get a great sense of spiritual satisfaction being part of God’s team when administering the chalice. The highlight for our Parish in 2018 was a successful Craft and Fine Food Event and the completion of the alterations to our Hall, with the new toilet facilities and Atrium.

What are your plans and goals for the next 12 months?

My plan is to continue as part of the team working to provide a great place for people to come and worship God, and enjoy fellowship.

Can you tell us a little about your faith journey?

From childhood, I have believed in God. Over the years, my faith has deepened and become more relevant to my daily life. Even though I’m not an ‘in your face’ type Christian, I enjoy sharing with others and, in particular, I experience a deep spiritual connection while receiving the bread and wine at Communion.

St Andrew’s is my spiritual home, as I was baptised at Springside (daughter church), and confirmed and married in Pittsworth. Our three children were baptised in the Parish, with the first two being baptised at home.

Christmas 2018 at the Kronk’s: Ian with his wife Karen and their nine grandchildren, with the grandfather clock in the background that Ian made in 1989

How does your faith inspire you and shape your outlook, life choices and character?

Part of my role is to help achieve the very best outcome, spiritually, physically and financially for our Parish community.

What is your favourite scripture and why?

John 3.16. I think that this verse could be the most important one in the Scriptures. If it doesn’t mean anything to you, the rest of the scriptures don’t matter.

What person of faith inspires you the most and why?

Probably my parents inspired me the most in my faith because they lived the life of faith. Their continuing commitment and unwavering need to worship with their quiet and unassuming ability to do good without the need for recognition still impresses me.

What are the challenges currently faced by the Church and what can be done to overcome these?

One of our biggest challenges is the lack of commitment by those who say that they belong, but don’t get involved or come to worship and enjoy fellowship on a more regular basis. I don’t have the answers to this problem, though I suspect that prayer, and leading by example could help turn it around.

What do you enjoy most about living in the Bush?

For me, living in the Bush, isn’t just a way of life, it is who I am to the core. Being a grain and cotton farmer all my life, I have the compelling urge to plant seeds and watch them grow. I guess that living so close to nature has, is, and will always be part of who I am.

You are known for designing and building machinery for your farm. Can you tell us a little about what you have built and what problems the machinery has solved?

Growing onions, garlic and sweet potatoes as a hobby helps my addiction with growing things, as I look from my home every day and can see something growing, as well as our crops in the field. Life on the land for me has always meant that I adapt, build, repair, and maintain as much machinery as I can to make work easier and cost effective. For the onions, I built a WILD Machine for controlling the weeds. ‘WILD Machine’ is a term of endearment for something that is made out of bits and pieces around the farm and is truly interesting to operate.

Ian’s ‘WILD Machine’ that he built and adapted for use in the onion patch to control weeds

What is your New Year’s resolution?

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions; however, in 2019, I would love to spend more time with my family and friends, go camping and fishing, and do some woodwork. Karen, my wife, and I would like to see a lot more of Australia and some overseas countries. Having said this, I will still serve the Parish in the best way I can.

What do you do in your free time to recharge and relax?

I have been a passionate woodworker for many years. I love creating things with my hands, like household furniture, including grandfather clocks. I also like to fish and camp and enjoy the company of good friends.

Ian Kronk recharging and relaxing, as he camps near a dam

What is your favourite travel destination and why?

Karen and I are at the stage in our lives where we are just starting to travel. I guess you will have to ask me this question in a few years.

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