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Bush Ministry Fund supporting mainly music in Clifton

The Baru Beat

“God has been faithful also, and we now have nine families that attend mainly music – nine families that we’re now caring for, praying for and with whom we are developing strong relationships,” says The Rev’d Matthew Skelton from All Saints’, Clifton

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One family.

Just one family came to our first mainly music session at All Saints’ in Clifton.

After months of preparation, prayer and persuading volunteers and the rest of the church body to introduce the program, only one family came.

It’s easy to be disheartened by this. I certainly was for a brief moment. But, then it dawned on me…

Four people. This family represented four people whom we would otherwise have little to no contact with. Four more people that we can hold up in prayer and build relationships with. And, on any given Sunday four people represents a 25 per cent increase in either of our small congregations.

Fortunately for me, the volunteers who put so much time and effort into the mainly music launch saw it that way from the beginning. What a blessing to be around such faithful people.

God has been faithful also, and we now have nine families that attend mainly music – nine families that we’re now caring for, praying for and with whom we are developing strong relationships. Some of them came to our church Christmas picnic last year.

Dr Ellie Skelton (in blue) leads a mainly music session at All Saints’ Church, Clifton in March 2022 – the lycra activity is a crowd favourite

And, we continue to be blessed. Over the Christmas break three families contacted us out of the blue. One of these families is a grandfather who comes with his young grandson. As we chatted, the grandfather said to me:

“He stays with me every Tuesday and Thursday, but he’s getting too big just to stay at home all the time.”

“I was talking with some friends about it, and someone recommended mainly music at the Anglican church in Clifton.”

So far they haven’t missed a week!

Mainly music, a music-based playgroup, has Christian origins and seeks to build relationships between families with pre-school children and the local church.

Participants start with a music session with actions and props that encourage movement and bonding between child and carer. Afterwards we have story time and free play while the carers enjoy a cuppa and a chat.

Our weekly mainly music program is only possible with support from generous parishioners and the Bush Ministry Fund.

When I first proposed starting a group with our Parish Council, one of the councillors immediately offered to pay the application fee herself. Her own grandchildren had been to a mainly music group while growing up. She had witnessed how much they enjoyed it, and how much everyone benefited from the program.

The Bush Ministry Fund, which subsidises my stipend, also enables us to run mainly music. Essentially, BMF donations enable me to serve in the Clifton parish full-time with my young family. My wife, Ellie, is the team leader for mainly music, and she does an amazing job (I’m not biased at all). And, my two-year-old and five-year-old kids, well, they’re pretty cute and fun to play with, which really helps other parents when they’re taking their kids somewhere new. Kids love having other kids to play with.

We’re so grateful to God for this opportunity to reach out to families in our region. Only with the generosity of God’s people in this parish and in BMF supporters can we minister in such an effective way to the nine mainly music families. Praise God!

Editor’s note: The new Bush Ministry Fund money boxes are a fun and easy way for individuals, families, parishes and schools to donate to bush ministry in our Diocese. Order your BMF money box today by emailing Helen Briffa in the Western Region office via or by calling 07 4639 1875.

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