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Rev Hugh’s thank you gift to St Andrew’s

On 31 May 2021, Rev Dr Hugh Begbie (“Hugh” to us) completes an 8-month term as locum priest-in-charge of St Andrew’s Anglican Parish South Brisbane. Last month, as a parting gift to our church community, Hugh launched our church’s annual appeal and made a significant donation of $500 towards the purchase and installation of two new video monitors in the church. In a personal message to parishioners, Hugh wrote:

As a mark of my appreciation for all that you have meant to me, for your support and encouragement and for the spiritual blessing you have been to me, I would like to lead the way in launching St Andrew’s South Brisbane 2021 Annual Appeal. 

Most parishioners will not be aware of how much background work Hugh has done during the past 8 months to ensure the ongoing ministry of our parish and maintenance of our church facilities. I can honestly say that Hugh has been a great team leader and team player, working well with Rev Ian McGrath, the churchwardens and Parish Council during his tenure. I praise the Lord for him and his ministry.

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Rev Dr Hugh Begbie (“Hugh”)

About the annual appeal

The St Andrew’s South Brisbane 2021 Annual Appeal is divided into two parts. Part 1 concerns building maintenance; Part 2 concerns ministry.

Part 1: St Andrew’s South Brisbane Conservation Appeal (“building maintenance”)

Our beautiful heritage-listed church building requires ongoing maintenance and, right now, some essential maintenance work is required. Firstly, the drainage around the church needs to be upgraded. We have a damp issue that is damaging the sandstone and is need of urgent attention.

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Rising damp is seriously affecting the brickwork of our church building

Secondly, some years ago well-meaning people painted the sandstone in the area between the Blue Room and Club Room but now the paint is preventing the sandstone from airing properly and damp is damaging the stonework. This also needs urgent attention.

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The painted brickwork of the wall between the Club Room and Blue Room

If you choose to give to this part of the annual appeal, through the National Trust of Queensland, your donation is TAX-DEDUCTIBLE. Click here to find out how to give to the St Andrew’s South Brisbane Conservation Appeal via the National Trust.

Part 2: Technology Appeal (“ministry”)

This part of the appeal is about enhancing what happens inside our church building – not only during 8:30 am and 10:30 am Sunday services, but also during Sunday evening services (hopefully recommencing in the not-too-distant future), at weddings, funerals, and special events.

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Interior, St Andrew’s Anglican Church South Brisbane

The large projection screen pictured here was installed in 2006 (15 years ago). Its installation was permitted in this heritage building on the proviso that it was retractable and didn’t detract from the church décor and surrounds.

Unfortunately, the screen mechanism has broken, and the screen is no longer retractable. It broke during our locum Hugh’s tenure. The cost to repair or replace it is exorbitant, and certainly not worth the spend. The churchwardens agree with Hugh that we can’t leave it as it is. Hence the proposal to replace the broken screen with two video monitors.

The present screen replaced a smaller removable pop-up projector screen that was used in the church for some years, in the days when the clergy used an overhead projector and acetate sheets during sermon presentations and for providing the words for contemporary songs not available in hymn books. That era has long passed.

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An overhead projector: No longer used

You may even remember using books, such as the Book of Common Prayer or hymn books, during worship services.

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Service books used at St Andrew’s in days gone by
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“The Property of St Andrew’s Church, Sth Brisbane”

During my time at St Andrew’s South Brisbane, I’ve seen the Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bibles that were available in the pews replaced by New International Version (NIV) Bibles. Now, due to COVID restrictions, the NIV Bibles have been removed from the pews (hopefully, only temporarily).

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Old RSV Bible, new NIV Bible
Taking advantage of advances in technology

Our church’s first data projector was purchased and first used in 2005. It replaced the overhead projector. So, for over 16 years, at St Andrew’s South Brisbane we’ve been using a data projector (a computer-based system) rather than an overhead projector (a light-based projection system). With the computer-based system we can use Powerpoint slides and at times videos to enhance services and events. Service sheets and event brochures are still made available at services and events for those who want them.   

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St Andrew’s current data projector

Come 2020. With respect to worship services, church activities, meetings, weddings, funerals, etc., a momentous change came about last year. The COVID-19 pandemic led us to commence livestreaming (and recording) these events, allowing not only those of us present, but also those who are watching elsewhere – in fact, anywhere in the world – to participate. It’s quite incredible. We plan to continue livestreaming into the future.

In this regard, I want you to know just how much work Rev Ian McGrath did – and continues to do – to make this happen. We should be so grateful for him and this ministry.

The proposed video monitors

The clergy and churchwardens recommend replacing the current large retractable (broken) screen with two much smaller, wall-mounted video monitors. Why? Because the monitors use the latest technology and provide a bright, sharp image – and no projection is needed. We will no longer need a screen and data projector (the current data projector would soon need to be replaced anyway). The proposed monitors will blend well into the décor and surrounds of the church and their placement will ensure that everyone (including the choir) will be able to see them.

Hugh has had an electrical engineer draw up very comprehensive plans so that the monitors will be placed in a position in keeping with the heritage nature and beauty of the church. The diocesan committee that manages the approval for such things has recommended that the Archbishop approves their installation.

Now, to clarify, this project is about enhancing our church’s visual presentations. If you are having trouble hearing during services, that’s a different matter – it’s due to the sound system – the microphones, speakers, and how the sound system is set up. Please let the churchwardens know if the sound is a problem for you.

Although I like to have a service sheet or event brochure in my hands to follow a service or event, scanning back and forth, I think the video monitors will be an asset to our church ministries now and into the future. Remember, they are used not only for Sunday services, but all events (particularly weddings and funerals) held in the church building.

In accord with diocesan regulations, on Sunday 16 May 2021, a notice about the video monitors and their proposed installation was placed on the church noticeboard. It will remain there for two weeks. Please take time to read it. We are close now to removing the broken screen and all the unwanted cables and hopefully in two weeks’ time Archbishop Phillip Aspinall will sign off on this project.

The simplest way you can donate to Part 2 of the annual appeal is via Tithe.ly (choose “TECHNOLOGY APPEAL” from the pull-down menu). Otherwise, click here to find out other ways you can give to the Technology Appeal, including a one-off Electronic Deposit with “TECHNOLOGY” as the reference.

Let us, in return, thank Hugh

Personally, I have given to both parts of the St Andrew’s South Brisbane 2021 Annual Appeal. If you are a parishioner, I ask you to consider prayerfully how you too can support this year’s annual appeal.

Indeed, your support for the appeal will be a great encouragement to Hugh, a way of you saying “Thank you” to him, for the work he has done in serving us during the past 8 months.

Dr Judy Salecich, Mr Bruce Wilson and Mr Ed Behrbohm are the current churchwardens and parish nominators, St Andrew’s Anglican Parish South Brisbane.

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