Twenty Two Years in the Making

October 23, 2013 by Jonathan Foggin

Pictured left to right are Father Neville Nixon, Miss Tegwen Betts, and Lt. Col. Travis Betts.

"The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed" and like a seed long dormant, a parish in Australia is experiencing new growth.  After nearly twenty-two years, St. Benedict’s Anglican Catholic Church (ACC), Clayfield, Queensland (Australia) had the joy of its first Confirmation.  On Sunday, 8th September, Bishop Brian Iverach confirmed Tegwen Hannorah Mary Betts in the course of the parish Mass.

St. Benedict’s and its sister parish, Christ the King, were founded in 1992 and Fr. Neville Saunders became the first parish priest.  On his retirement, Fr. Matthew Kirby undertook a round trip of over 1,500 kilometres (900 miles) to ensure Mass was said regularly.

These days, the parish has four centres and much less travelling for Fr. Neville Nixon, the present parish priest.  A trip to say Mass in Gladstone and Urangan is a little less than 1,100 kilometres (700 miles) return and Toowoomba only an hour and a half away.

Tegwen’s family joined St. Benedict’s shortly after regular Sunday services commenced.  Her father, Lieutenant Colonel Travis Betts, is a lay reader and postulant for holy orders.  Julie, her grandmother, cares for the altar linens and Jim, her grandfather, is amongst the parish handymen.  His latest effort was a small very serviceable votive candle stand.

If in Brisbane, Australia, they ask that visitors look up.  The young lady who takes up the Sunday offering will be Miss Tegwen Betts and a warm welcome awaits from them all.