Redfern came into my life every Sunday from the age
of 7. Upon reflection, my earliest experiences of St
can best be described as “The Redfern Show”. When questions
of spirituality had not yet presented themselves I can
brightly recall the Sunday ritual at Redfern.
began on the street with requests to my parents for
spare change. Inside the church I ducked between black
and white legs until my family had found a pew. Once
seated, I would read the many engravings etched into
my seat or shuffle about hoping for interruptions which
were not infrequent, but were always ignored by Ted,
as he held his gaze toward the back comer of the church.
Soon communion would come and I was presented with real
bread, sometimes Saos, and always wine. Following this,
the closing prayer, the dreaded community speeches -
which as a child seemed to last forever - and the hope
of climbing into the car before .
my recollections from this time are childish and certainly
not inspired by Ted's words, I fondly recall regular
occasions of friendship, loyalty, passion and compassion.
Mum Shirl's power and charisma, along with Harold's
unsure aloofness, are two of the most striking images
for me during these years.
back through the last decade I can more coherently express
what Redfern has meant to me. It has blessed me with
the opportunity to develop life-long relationships with
Aboriginal people, the Aboriginal culture and their
continual struggle for equality. It has shown me the
beauty of the human spirit that brims with dedication
and compassion for the poor. It has shown me the beauty
of the poor.
the years, St
has heaped upon me scenes of anger, loyalty, power,
frustration, confusion, abandonment, desperation, inspiration
and love and has demonstrated above all the importance
of justice, humility and generosity. St
as a public community could surely not have represented
Christ more successfully. It was led by a man who will
always be an inspiration to me and an example of the
glorious power and generosity of unselfish love and
the human spirit.