Posted on: December 19, 2019

Post-ACYF Update

Pilgrims sent letter, postcards

ONE of the initiatives put in place during Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF) was to ask the pilgrims to write a note to their parishes thanking them for their support. Many of our pilgrims have sent these notes and they are on the parish notice board. These are also published below. Please take a moment to read them. (FRR)

Posted on: December 5, 2019

1st Parish Volunteers In-Service & General Assembly

Parish affirms commitment to Safeguarding of Children and Young People

by Ronald Moss (Parish Historian)


The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne holds the care, safety and wellbeing of children as a fundamental responsibility of the Church. This commitment is drawn from, and inherent to, the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the dignity of each human person at the heart of the Gospel. A culture of safety within the Church ensures that children can actively and fully participate in the life of the Church and realise their potential in a faith community.

On 30 November some 170 of our volunteers gathered at CRC Performing Arts Centre to be inducted in line with the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne commitment holding the care, safety and wellbeing of children as a fundamental responsibility of the Church. 

The induction was conducted by Mr Martin West from the Professional Standards Unit for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Deacon Chris presented to the volunteers the Parish Safety policy. A Q&A followed the induction and volunteers were provided with the code of Conduct for review and signing by all attending volunteers.  

Mass was then presided by Auxiliary Bishop Terry Curtin and an appreciation dinner followed held in the CRC Hall.

Thank you to everyone that attended especially those volunteers that helped setup and pack up the hall.

Click here for photos of the Volunteer Induction.

Photos of the dinner are found on this link.

Posted on: November 14, 2019

Routine, Receivers, Resuscitation, Result The four R’s of our Pew journey

by Pat Gurrie

IN late 2018, Fr Richard and the Parish Finance Committee after consultation with the parishioners at large, decided to replace the chairs in the front of the Worship Space with pews the same as those installed when the Church was dedicated in September 2013. In addition to the pews, it was decided to install front kneeler panels on all sections apart from that of the choir.

The original aim of having flexibility to quickly reconfigure the areas adjacent to the sanctuary when necessary had only been fulfilled twice in our six-year Church building history.  However, some of the disadvantages of the chairs were impacting more than originally and the decision was taken to replace most of them. The choir area was to remain flexible to meet a variety of conditions and the removed chairs were to be retained to fulfill the need for seating in the meeting rooms for overflow Masses.

The original pew manufacturer, Clifton Fine Furniture, was contacted, requirements and measurements communicated and determined and the project was quoted at $41,850 + GST which was accepted and a 40% deposit paid with an expectation of an April delivery, or optimistically for Easter 2019.

Monthly updates on project status soon provided some reality with the March update advising that the earliest delivery would be late May for a variety of reasons not worth revisiting.

Early May, we were advised that the anticipated delivery had slipped to June, so we requested a slight delay as Fr Richard would have been on pilgrimage in the Holy Land at that time but everything still appeared to be OK.

On 26th June, I received an email from the principal of Clifton Fine Furniture advising me that the company has been placed in receivership. Essentially, that meant no pews and worse still a lost deposit as well as no potential solution. The principal of the company was very embarrassed about the situation and offered to find an alternative manufacturer from his list of contacts.

After a month of toing and froing, I was put in contact with Martin Bowen of Tall Timbers in Tasmania, just down the road from where Clifton Fine Furniture had their factory. Documentation on the project was forwarded to Martin and we worked through the details. We discovered after a month that the documentation contained some incorrect details and measurements.

Working without direct personal contact and long distance has its challenges but after dozens of photographs and an initial measure followed by four check measures, we were quoted $41,000 including GST to manufacture, deliver and install the pews and kneelers.

Once we confirmed that was acceptable and paid a deposit, we were on tenderhooks with fingers crossed because of the previous experience. Would lightning strike twice in the same spot? I maintained a frequent call contact with Martin and his responses indicated that things were finally underway. There were some more measurements and a few minor adjustments.

In early September, I received an email with attachments of pictures of the kneelers in the raw (wood that is). Was it real? I (We) had to believe so. Further discussions suggested a late October delivery was possible.

As a couple of weeks passed and it got closer to the deadline, we decided to push it back a couple of weeks rather than getting snarled up with Melbourne Cup week (which doesn’t impart Tassie too much, just the horses from there). We settled on 12th November as delivery day.

My heart missed a beat when I saw the name on my phone at 4.30pm on the 11th November – was there an 11th hour problem? No and yes! The pews and kneelers would arrive mid -morning on the 12th, installation was organised for then BUT the padded tops for the kneelers were not ready yet as they were coming from a different supplier in Melbourne. They would arrive next Monday or Tuesday (18th or 19th).

Delivery day dawned, chairs were removed, delivery truck arrived on time, installation crew arrived shortly after and the four of them and Victor and I got to work. The non-slip tape solution from 6 years ago still worked a treat, all the pieces had arrived and they all matched and fitted together, every assembled piece went exactly where the yellow tape was. It was fantastic to have the plan come together and I was ecstatic.

I hope that you will be pleased when you see the result.

Thanks Martin and crew and Victor.

As a side issue, we even got the storeroom tidied up, organised and a lot safer.

Pictures of the delivery, installation and result are on our gallery pages.

Footnote: The Parish is registered with the receiver as a debtor in respect of finalising the financial affairs of Clifton Fine Furniture and we will be advised of the outcome in due course.

21st January 2020

The padded kneelers arrived today and were fitted. Fr Richard and I have declared the JOB COMPLETE after a very long 15 months.