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Appointment of Rev Karl Przywala to St Andrew’s South Brisbane

We are delighted to announce that the Reverend Karl Przywala has been appointed as the new Priest-in-Charge, St Andrew’s South Brisbane. This follows an extended period of investigation, meetings, prayer and discernment by the Presentation Board (which includes we three Parish Nominators) and the ongoing prayers of the people of St Andrew’s.

The official Diocesan statement reads: “The Archbishop’s Commissary is pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Karl Przywala as Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of South Brisbane. Karl is presently Rector at Holy Trinity, Vancouver, in the Diocese of New Westminster, Canada. Karl’s commissioning date is still to be determined, but hopefully around May 2022. I know that Karl will serve the people of South Brisbane faithfully and well and that you will welcome Karl to the Parish.”

If you are wondering why Karl has been appointed as priest-in-charge and not rector of St Andrew’s, it is because our Diocese has a long-standing policy when appointments are made from outside the Diocese, that they be as priest-in-charge for an initial period. It does not affect the incumbent’s duties in any way.

Now, we’re sure you would like to know a little about Rev Karl Przywala.

Although he has a seemingly unpronounceable Polish name and is presently living and ministering in Canada, Karl holds dual British and Australian citizenship. (Actually, Karl’s family name is quite easy to say when you know how – Przywala is pronounced “Pr-vow-er”.)

After gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in politics from Durham University (1985), Karl worked in marketing first in the United Kingdom (UK) and then in Sydney, where he conducted research and planning for Anglicare and the Anglican Diocese of Sydney.

Karl undertook his theological training at St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Canberra, gaining a Bachelor of Theology degree with distinction through Charles Sturt University (2003). He has held lay leadership and preaching roles in both the UK and Australia, including at St Phillip’s Anglican Parish, Sydney, and at Moore College’s Centre for Cross-Cultural Mission.

After ordination as deacon and then priest in the Durham Diocese (UK), Karl took up appointments first in the UK and then in Canada. He has been Rector, Holy Trinity, Vancouver, Canada, since 2014. During this time, Karl has travelled widely, attending conferences and preaching throughout Europe and America.

Holy Trinity, Vancouver, has many similarities to St Andrew’s, South Brisbane. It is an inner-city church, drawing people from both the local area and across Vancouver, and from a diversity of Christian traditions and backgrounds. The parish has a vision statement with four descriptors: welcoming, relevant, traditional and evangelical. It has a strong musical focus.

Karl is a single man who has led the Parish of Holy Trinity with great energy, creativity and enthusiasm. However, given his appointment to St Andrew’s, Karl is very excited about returning to Australia and joining us here. Needless to say, we are looking forward to meeting him and welcoming him to his new “home”.

Here are a few words from Karl himself:

I first came to Australia on holiday over Easter 1993; I got very sunburnt on the Great Barrier Reef and shed a layer of skin on the Qantas flight back home via Hong Kong. As the nights drew in later that year, I found myself thinking that it would be good to be back in Australia; I phoned Australia House and asked if they were still taking people. I got my application in four days before my 30th birthday and so got five extra points. The actual move occurred in 1996.

I didn’t have a job on arrival and was prepared to stay until my money ran out – it never did. I soon felt very much at home and ‘embraced’ and had eight happy years in Sydney and Canberra where I was at theological college. I travelled to every state and territory and had memorable camping trips along the Gibb River Road (NT/WA), at Wilsons Promontory (VIC), and in NSW. When I left Australia in 2004, I had to state how long I’d be away. I didn’t know what to say but put down 10 years. It will actually be 18 years!

Back in the UK, ministering in the Church of England, it was good to be nearer to my parents who were now in their 80s (they had come to visit me while I had been in Canberra). My father died in 2008 and my mother in 2013, and after this I decided to travel once more. I understand that the joke in the diocese when my appointment to Vancouver was announced was, ‘Will Karl not be happy until he’s done the entire Commonwealth!’

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I’ve decided to forgo New Zealand in order to return to Australia – I am, after all, an Australian. I see St Andrew’s as a place of great potential, and I’m looking forward to the Queensland sunshine, this time with appropriate sunscreen! I’m also looking forward to learning from the Bible together, worshipping God, supporting one another through times of fellowship and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those around us.

You might like to join us in praying for Karl and the parishioners of St Andrew’s:

Father God, we give you thanks for calling your servant Karl to come amongst us as priest and pastor. Strengthen him as he prepares for this transition. Be with us as we welcome him into our midst, that we may faithfully minister together in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the One who said to his disciples: “I am among you as one who serves.”

Mr Bruce Wilson, Mr Ed Behrbohm, Dr Judy Salecich

(Parish Nominators)

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