Wally Cox is Blayney's new Anglican minister

NEW MINISTER IN TOWN: Reverend Wally Cox has begun his ministry in Blayney. Photo: Mark Logan.
NEW MINISTER IN TOWN: Reverend Wally Cox has begun his ministry in Blayney. Photo: Mark Logan.

The Bathurst Anglican Diocese has been in the news quite a lot lately, mainly for all the wrong reasons.

Their debt problems, caused initially by poor financial decisions and then child abuse reparation payments, have led to the sale of schools and churches, including the historic St Paul's in Carcoar.

In the wake of that though has come a renewed vigour by the current Bishop of the Bathurst Anglican Diocese Mark Calder to rebuild trust within the community.

Reverend Wally Cox is the iteration of Bishop Calder's plans to bring new life and energy into the Bathurst diocese parishes, and Reverend Cox is under no delusions as to the difficulty of the task in front of him as he begins his life as Blayney's new Anglican minister.

"The church is an ageing church and we're hoping that with a young minister coming in we can invite the next generation of people into church, and it does have a lot to offer the people of Blayney," he said.

"Firstly the church offers the love of God, secondly church offers the community friendship and fellowship which I'm hoping to build up."

Reverend Cox is well aware of the troubles that the Bathurst diocese has had over the past decades, but believes that with time the scars will heal.

"The church has lost a bit of trust over the decades which is sad because the people of this church have had nothing to do with that and they want to love the community, but we really do need to build trust again."

After studying psychology at Newcastle University and then Theology at Moore College, Scone born Reverend Cox is pleased to get back into the country and deal with the unique peculiarities of rural parishes.

"Many churches just get into a rut and they do things without even realising what the purpose is, so a young minister will look at everything that's happening and ask why it's happening, and how can we do it better,"

"It's a matter of bringing more focus and purpose to what the church is doing."

As COVID-19 has driven many churchgoers online for their services, Reverend Cox will be harnessing the potential of social media and online services for those around the parish.

"Church can continue to be live-streamed for those unable to come because they're sick or frail on the day,' he said.

"Plus live-streaming church is a great way for those that are thinking about coming to church as a way of discovering if it's something they may enjoy without that daunting experience of going into the building and not knowing what to expect."

Reverend Cox is keen to turn the Anglican faith from being a Sunday only activity to one that extends throughout the week.

"We want to become a community that meets together during the week so starting soon we'll have weekly fellowship, monthly picnics and things like that going on within the parish."

As for the sale of St Paul's in Carcoar, Rev Cox is honest in his assessment.

"I understand that the community is upset because it has great historical value and they want to preserve that, but we're not an historical society. We're here to put on church for communities and there isn't a congregation that meets there (in Carcoar) at the moment," he said.

"It's just not viable to run the church. The insurance costs are too high for the parish to afford and even without the reparation payments the church would probably need to be sold anyway."

HAVE YOUR SAY:

Send us your thoughts with a letter to the editor.