News Item Details

back back to main news

Revd Cathy Turnbull appointed Deacon-in-Charge of the Episcopal District of Nar Nar Goon

March 29th, 2022

I am pleased to share the news that our Missional Deacon to the Eastern Region (Bushfire Response and Recovery), The Revd Cathy Turnbull, has accepted an invitation to serve as Deacon-in-Charge of the Episcopal District of Nar Nar Goon.

Working with lay leaders at Nar Goon and in conversation with Cathy and Diocesan Staff we are confident that Cathy brings the community-building skills and passions, and the ministry experience as a Distinctive Deacon, to lead the people of St John’s as they expand on the pioneering legacy of Chris McAleer.

Cathy will be well-supported by Lay Reader Genevieve Shallard and by Locum Priest David Atkinson, among others. We are enormously grateful to both Genevieve and David for their ministries in recent months alongside other clergy and laity who, with Archdeacon Sue Jacka, have ensured that the worship and outreach of this centre have continued to serve this growing district.

Cathy is a ‘cradle Anglican’ and has always been involved in church life, which during her formative years was at St Matthew’s Bruthen. In lay ministry she held numerous roles including leading GFS and teaching CRE at primary school, as a Synod rep, Parish Councillor and church archivist. Cathy spent four years working with people impacted by what become known as the Black Saturday bushfires, running a women’s support group through the church and gathering stories of bushfire experience and recovery.

Following that experience, Cathy felt a call to ordained ministry. That call was put on hold for several years when her husband Glen was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. As Glen slowly recovered from his injuries the call to ordained ministry returned, and Cathy began training for ministry at Trinity College, Melbourne, including a placement at Christ Church South Yarra where I first got to know her.

Cathy was ordained in February 2019 in the Diocese of Melbourne and took up a curacy as children and families minister at Christ Church Essendon. When the 2019/20 summer bushfires hit, a grant from the Provincial Disaster Fund enabled the Diocese to engage Cathy 2-3 days a week co-ordinating the work of bushfire recovery across East Gippsland. After a period of secondment – which was able to be extended by further grants from ARDFA and other philanthropic contributions – Cathy resigned her position at Essendon at the end of 2020 to focus solely on her work in East Gippsland as a Missional Deacon for the Eastern Region, which she has fulfilled with distinction. We are delighted to retain her gifts and expertise in the Diocese.

Glen and Cathy own a hobby farm in the Macedon Ranges with angora goats, a llama, two rescue donkeys, and several dogs and cats. Cathy will divide her time between the Rectory in East Pakenham and Lancefield, and retains her connection with East Gippsland as Chaplain to Buchan Primary School one day a week.

Cathy will be inducted as Deacon-in-Charge at a date to be determined in Eastertide, and she and Glen and the people of Nar Nar Goon are in our prayers as we rejoice with them in this good news.