As part of its centenary celebrations, Bush Church Aid has republished an expanded edition of Leon Morris’ Bush Parson. Bush Parson is Morris’ autobiographical account of his service as the BCA supported minister of the huge and challenging Minnipa parish on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula during the Second World War.
Leon and his wife Mildred, a nurse, travelled around the parish in a large green van named the St Patrick’s Van by its Irish donors. The van served as an ambulance, clinic, bedroom, kitchen and study for Leon and Mildred.
“This…is my tribute to the big-hearted people I met in the outback,” says Leon in Bush Parson. “I want to acknowledge my debt to so many battlers in their very difficult situations. And with them I want to link those in our cities who are interested enough in what is done in this vast country to support with their prayers and their gifts, those who go out to minister to their outback cousins.”
Royalties from the book’s sales are being donated to Bush Church Aid by the Leon and Mildred Morris Foundation. Its Chair, The Revd Neil Bach, also Leon’s biographer, says: “Leon wrote over 50 internationally-acclaimed theological works, yet only one was autobiographical – the one describing his service with BCA. Whoever thought that this ministry would lay the foundations for Australia’s greatest theological scholar and writer?”
The book was originally published in 1995 by Acorn Press. However, when BCA Victorian Regional Officer, The Revd Adrian Lane, discovered it was unobtainable, new or used, he approached Acorn requesting a new edition. Acorn generously agreed to cover all pre-publication costs. The new centenary edition includes rare archival colour photos taken from glass negatives found in the BCA Archives and the Morris Archives in the Ridley College Library. A number of appendices from these archives are also included, including Leon’s original Application for Service with BCA.
The new edition was launched at the BCA Victoria Centenary Dinner on 4 May 2019 by Dr Kris Argall, Commissioning Editor of Acorn Press, Neil Bach and Adrian Lane.
The book is an interesting, engaging, and easy read. Copies are available for $19.95 plus postage from BCA state and National offices, bushchurchaid.com.au/shop and from Koorong Books.