BCA reconnects with Croajingolong   

Greg Harris
National Director

Jude & Andy Benton

Bush Church Aid is pleased to announce that it is supporting the ministry of Jude & Andy Benton in the Cooperating Parish of Croajingolong, in the Diocese of Gippsland, Victoria. The parish includes St Peter's Mallacoota and St John's Cann River.

Jude, who has been operating in a part-time capacity until recently, has now taken on the role of Priest-in-Charge on a full-time basis.

BCA’s link with Croajingolong dates back to 1921, when our founder SJ Kirkby first travelled there by foot. In 1922, Cann River became just the third location that BCA supported in both church ministry and through nurses who served in the surrounding area. St John’s Cann River was built in 1928 by funds donated by BCA Deaconess Edith Reece.

The Parish was hit hard by the devastating bushfires of earlier this year, with many houses lost and businesses which continue to struggle financially. “We were so grateful that our church buildings were untouched during the fires, and that the rectory remains liveable,” says Jude. “These blessings allow us to continue to minister now and in the years ahead.” 

Bishop Richard Treloar paid tribute to Jude and Andy’s leadership in the region during and following the bushfires.“The generous support of BCA at this time makes it possible for the Cooperating Parish of Croajingolong to reach out more deeply and widely into remote communities with pastoral care, practical support and Good News,” he said. “This will be of enormous benefit for those who have suffered the trauma of the bushfire crisis, now compounded now by the COVID-19 pandemic and its long term impacts.”

BCA is excited to be able to return to supporting a parish with such a strong historical link to our society. I pray that the Good News of the Gospel will continue to bring great hope to the people of this region so devastated in recent months.