Unifying the churches in Central Queensland

Jen Hercott, Field Staff Diocese of Central Queensland Registrar

Jen Hercott, who has been acting in the role of Registrar for the Diocese of Central Queensland for the past year alongside her ministry in the Parish of Emerald, has been formally appointed to the role, with BCA providing financial support.

The role of Registrar in our Diocese is a strategic ministry role. It includes looking after property, people and finance, but my role over the next few years is to try and enhance training and embed systems within the Diocese to equip and enable sound gospel ministry across our region.

The Hercott family, stand in front of a rock in a Central Queensland park. Son Lachlan is on the left of the photo in a shirt & slack, Jen is in the middle in a white clerical shirt, and husband Colin is to the right also in a white shirt and balck pants.Central Queensland is a ‘small’ Diocese, but in terms of land mass we’re one of the largest in Australia. We have a population of around 220,000 people spread across approximately 57 million hectares through the Centre of Queensland, boasting regions of agriculture, coal, gemstones, dinosaur fossils and the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

I came to faith as a young adult in north-eastern Victoria. I was challenged as to why Anglican, why Christian, why here and why now? I became Anglican by choice and conviction. I entered a period of discernment under the mentoring and support of some retired clergy however women were not being ordained in that region at that time, however the call to serve God in ordained ministry never went away. Over the next 20 odd years I enjoyed worshipping in local church, leading bible studies and working with families and youth. I did correspondence theology courses through Manchester University, Christian Counselling, alongside a raft of secular management and leadership training.

I’ve worked as a nurse, in manufacturing, in agriculture, in vocational education, and as an advisor to government in vocational education and industry. I entered full time ministry whilst living and working in Tasmania. I did a Graduate Diploma of Divinity at that point, was then ordained, and worked as a curate at Bellerive, and as the children’s chaplain at Royal Hobart Hospital. I’ve since also completed a Master of Religion, Theology and Ethics, and am working towards a Doctor of Ministry. I truly believe that through all this God has been building the skill, experience and resilience required to follow His lead through this next chapter.

Both my husband (Colin) and I are rural people having grown up in rural Victoria. We know firsthand the joys and struggles of living in the bush and of reaching people with the gospel in a rural context. We have always loved and supported the mission and work of Bush Church Aid, and both felt the pull to serve with BCA from the first deputation visit we encountered. My Mum too is a supporter of BCA having spent time as a BCA Nomad, and now as a prayer warrior.

I feel truly blessed by those who have mentored and supported me on my ministry journey. Dennis Quinn (former Regional Officer and Field Staff) was one of my mentors as a Deacon. Without his patient support and guidance (alongside others) I don’t believe I would be half the minister I am today. Colin and I became close with Dennis and Lois, and their friendship and support has left an abiding impression. I also enjoyed the mentoring and support of other retired and active clergy in Tasmania, and this is one of the things that I miss most about ministering in Tasmania. I served at St Mark’s Bellerive and Northside Anglican, before moving to Central Queensland in 2017 on health advice from our son’s doctor. I served on the BCA QLD/NNSW committee for a couple of years, however needed to step down from outside commitments to manage the workload of parish ministry and the role of Registrar. After a year of commuting and spending the working week in Rockhampton and the weekends in Emerald, my husband Colin and son Lachie are really looking forward to being a regular family again. Colin is commencing work at Rockhampton Grammar School and, whilst Lachie is still navigating health issues, we hope that he will be well enough to start university.

We are thrilled to be part of the BCA family serving God in Central Queensland. I’m looking forward to the challenges of enabling the parishes of Central Queensland to prosper. I would appreciate your prayers for Colin, Lachie and I as we settle into life and work in Rockhampton; and for all the Parishes of Central Queensland as they seek to reach their communities for Christ.

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