The history and origins of The Parish of Freshwater
People & History
The Church of the Risen Christ, Deception Bay was recently filled with excited people donned in their Sunday best gathering to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the church’s construction
The Church of the Risen Christ, Deception Bay was recently filled with excited people donned in their Sunday best gathering to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the church’s construction.
The Rev’d Claye Middleton was joined in the sanctuary by Bishop Bill Ray, former parish priests The Rev’d Susan Crothers-Robertson, The Rev’d Anne Bottomley and The Rev’d Les Monaghan, and Liturgical Assistant Paula Rogers. Together they honoured the church’s 12 March 1993 dedication.
However, our parish’s roots can be traced back to 1890 when the first reference to North Pine describes it as being within The Parish of Caboolture. Caboolture was subdivided in 1964 to create the new Parish of Pine Rivers. The church hall at Deception Bay was dedicated St Matthew’s in 1964 as a place of worship, and the parish was renamed Pine Rivers North Parochial District in 1976. In 1980 our Diocese created a Mission District in Deception Bay, from part of Pine Rivers North. In 2000 the Provisional Parish of Burpengary-Narangba combined with The Parish of Deception Bay as The Parish of Burpengary-Deception Bay-Narangba. The parish was renamed The Parish of Freshwater in 2002, after Freshwater National Park, which is located within its boundaries.
The large wooden cross on the sanctuary wall was made from an oak beam (over 600 years old) and donated by St Margaret’s Church in Barking, Essex.
Roland Seeger, a parishioner for 40 years, is the only original member of the church band that plays at the Sunday morning service. He notes that the style of music has changed over the years to be more contemporary, while old hymns are still played.
Wayne Price recalled joining the band as the drummer 20 years ago. Initially the drums were controversial, but now they are an essential part of the band. The band is now composed of eight musicians and singers.
Megan Victor, granddaughter of long-time parishioner Barbara Johnstone, joined in the celebrations. She was the first child to be baptised in the church. She was baptised during a service on 21 March 1993.
Parishioner Troy Juides recalls that some years back, the church employed an energetic young woman as a locum. This priest conducted one service on a Sunday morning, and then began driving to The Church of the Risen Christ to conduct another. The police stopped her on the way for a random breath test. Because she drank the remaining wine at the first service, she was required to wait about 15 minutes until the alcohol vapours cleared from her breath. The congregation waited for the locum to arrive, chuckling at her explanation when she commenced the delayed service.
The strawberry festival, held several years ago, is a favourite memory of parishioner Christine Davies. Strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, strawberries on skewers, and other strawberry treats were sold at the successful fundraising event. Christine recalls that “everyone was involved, and we looked like a strawberry at the end with the juice and jam spilled all over us.”
The Christmas market is held annually and in recent years has been organised by warden Carolyn Buck. Numerous parishioners donate crafts, plants, preserves and baked goods for sale. Others assist with the set-up of marquees, signs and tables. People from the community come to buy the homemade gifts and listen to Christmas carols. Children are treated to face painting. It is a joyful event for parishioners and the wider community.
Our parish is well known for its community outreach. The community café, op shop and food pantry are friendly ministries that are staffed by passionate volunteer parishioners. These ministries have experienced challenges over the years, but are now flourishing. Services at nursing homes and (men’s shed) Shed Happens are other popular outreach activities.
Innovation is a hallmark of our parish. It is exemplified in the Sunday evening young adult service. After the structured worship, one to two dozen youth sit in a circle and share about issues they face. They are supported in the safe space offered during circle time. They also enjoy the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons periodically as a team building exercise.
Theo Café hosts a monthly discussion about interesting issues relevant to religion and faith. The Rev’d Claye first provides a brief overview of the chosen topic, and then questions and debate begin. Discussion sometimes continues at length in the car park, especially if parishioners are passionate about the topic.
Bishop Bill Ray reflects that our “community is one of faith, eclectic yet caring and loving”. I wholeheartedly agree.Jump to next article