Parish of Northern Mallee
Archdeacon Colin
Archdeacon Colin
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Post Office Box 692, Mildura 3502, Victoria, Australia
Parish Priest: Archdeacon Colin Tett

Our Anglican Heritage

Off To Australia

The Anglican Church in Australia
The Church of England sent a clergyman to Australia with the First Fleet of convicts. Revd Richard Johnson preached on shore for the first time on Sunday 3 Feb 1788. His sermon was from Psalm 116, verse 12 "What shall I render unto the Lord, for all his benefits towards me?"
Mary, his wife, gave birth to a daughter on Weds 3 March 1790, christened Milbah Maria, and on Thurs 19 July 1792 to a son christened Henry Martin Johnson.
'The Church' is the community of Christian believers. This may refer to a group which meets at a certain time, say 9.30 a.m. on Sundays, or to all Christian believers throughout the world. Our common links as Anglicans give us a sense of fellowship with the Johnson family ministering to the settlers from the First Fleet, and now with Christians newly arrived in our parish from many parts of the world.


The Yelta Mission.
In 1854 the Church Missionary Society in Melbourne commissioned Mr Thomas Hill Goodwin to investigate the possibility of establishing a Mission Station somewhere along the Murray river. He selected Yelta, on the Victorian side of the River Murray, opposite the junction with the Darling River, downstream from Mildura Station. His proposal was accepted and, together with Mr J Bulmer, they left Melbourne on 21 May 1855, and travelled the 500 miles to reach Yelta on 3 Aug 1855
Thomas Hill found six tribes along the Murray River, each numbering from 100 to 200 individuals occupying different homelands between the Murumbidgee River and the South Australian border.
Bishop Charles Perry, the first Bishop of Melbourne, licenced Messrs Goodwin and Bulmer as Stipendary Lay Readers and they were to read the services of the Church to both native and white people in the area.
Bishop Barker of Sydney licenced Mr Goodwin to read the services of the Church at Wentworth. A canoe tree, with Barrie and Nigel Janson, John Fiddes
In 1862 Bishop Perry ordained Mr Goodwin, who became the first ordained Minister of the Church of England to be resident in this part of God's kingdom.

The town of Wentworth developed, and the hotel there became a constant menace to the well-being of the Aborigines, who decided with CMS to close the Mission in 1868. In 1961 two healthy date palms on the properety now owned by Mr Franz Treadwell mark this historic site. This Canoe Tree, beside the Murray River was photographed on 26 Dec 1996.


Bishop Linton of Riverina installed Revd Jacob Verso as Rector of Wentworth in April 1885. The Chaffey Agreement was signed 3 May 1887. George Chaffey and his younger brother William Benjamin Chaffey undertook with Government approval, to develop 250,000 acres of Victorian land centred on Mildura.
The Wesleyan Methodist Home Mission commenced ministry in Dec 1887 The Chaffey Brothers gave them a site at the corner of Ninth St and Orange Ave, Rev James Trathan arrived in April 1888 and preached first under a gum tree on 22 April. A bark church was used until the permanent church built by Messrs Dundas and Lock was opened 4 Nov 1888.
Ernestine Hill reports, in her book 'Water Into Gold', page 79 of the 7th Edition, printed 1946. Early in 1888, Bishop Thornton of Ballarat, paid the infant Mildura a visit, a tiresome coach journey of 170 miles from Kerang, and on Palm Sunday (25 March 1888) he held a service in Chaffey's workshop to a gathering of 85 all told. A few weeks later Mildura greeted a Wesleyan clergyman Rev J Trathan, who alighted from the coach with an umbrella hanging on one arm and under the other a bundle of sermons labelled "To be kept dry."
The first Anglican Church is established
Sketch of the first Anglican Church built in Mildura
The Chaffey Brothers gave a site next to the corner of Seventh St and Lime Ave and Messrs Dundas and Lock followed plans and specifications displayed at the offices of Clark and Sharland, Architects, Mildura. In a month the weatherboard building 20 feet by 30 feet, roofed with corrugated iron, lined with canvas and paper, and warmed by a fireplace with chimney was used - first on 14 Oct 1888 at 11am by Reb I J Sparling of Wentworth.
The building housed the first State School, with a church service held once a month until Rev Sparling left Wentworth for Wittlesea on 7 Jul 1889.
The Bishop of Ballarat agreed to support Mildura, and on 14 Sep 1890 Revd William Thomas Hancock arrived from Nhill and became the first Incumbant.

Bendigo Diocese.Worship Centres
Bendigo Diocese was reorganised on Sunday 13 Feb 1977 at 7.30 pm at Christ Church, Old Cathedral, St Arnaud. The clergy and laity of the former Diocese of St Arnaud officially recognised Bishop Oliver Heyward as our Bishop, and he formally accepted pastoral responsibility to his people on the western side of the Loddon River.
Our five worship centres were formerly each one of about 60 parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo. On 1 Jan 1998 we were incorporated into the Anglican Parish of Northern Mallee, under the leadership of Bishop David Bowden, and our new Rector is Archdeacon Russell Smith.

Australia is known for the tyranny of its distances, and our new parish has that problem. Modern roads and vehicles mean that the 28 kms from Red Cliffs to Merbein only take a cautious driver half an hour now. Our two most distant centres, at Meringur and Nangiloc are each over 50 kms from Mildura.
Pray for the safety of our parishioners as they cover long distances serving the Lord.

Our younger generation
Our parish
Nigel, Penny and Barrie Janson
Bishops of Ballarat with oversight of Mildura
1. The Right Reverend Samuel Travers Thornton D.D., 1875-1900.
2. The Right Reverend Arthur Vincent Green, M.A.,LL.D., 1900-1915.
3. The Right Reverend Maxwell Homfrey Maxwell-Gumbleton, D.D., 1917-27.
Creation of the Diocese of St Arnaud 1926
1. The Right Reverend Melville Charles James , D.D., 1926-50
2. The Right Reverend Allan Ernest Winter, M.A., Th.D., 1951-73
3. The Right Reverend David Hubert Warner Shand B.A., Th.L., 1973-76
Amalgamation of St Arnaud into Bendigo Diocese
1. Bishop Oliver Heyward 1976-1989
2. Bishop Benjamen Wright 1990-1993
Financial collapse - no Bishop for 3 years.
3. Bishop David Bowden 1996-2002
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