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  • Writer's pictureRobin Page

Visiting St Mary's and St Augustine's

We left damp Meningie behind us and headed into Adelaide where I had arranged access to two churches of interest.

The first stop was St Mary’s in St Mary’s, a lovely small stone church in a well-gardened graveyard where the gardener was busy pruning roses. A service was in progress and after getting some rose pruning advice from the gardener I saw worshippers leaving and went in to meet the vicar - Fr William Cheng - originally from South Sudan and at the parish, I think, 8 years. He quite clearly runs an active parish and the Op Shop was open and busy. A $3 croissant and salad lunch, and coffee and tea, were being served to folk in the hall. Fr William was very helpful and lit all the candles for my photographs of the interior of the church but was a bit skeptical as to whether the sun would deign to appear for an exterior image.

Time was not an issue for me and I loitered whilst the Good Lord, no doubt attending to problems in Ukraine, noticed me pacing back and forth and parted the clouds long enough for me to get my shot. You will not be seeing it here as all prospective calendar shots are embargoed, sorry about that but I do not wish to spoil any surprises.

Happy to have the shots of St Mary’s I wanted ‘in the bag’ we had our indispensable friend ‘Tom Tom’ lead us to St Augustine’s in Unley.

I walked in the front door and WOW what a huge and impressive church with large and simply wonderful stained glass windows at the Eastern and Western ends. The Archdeacon, The Venerable Mee Ping Lau, was busy but arranged for his secretary to light the candles for me and turn on the lights.

This is another busy parish, having a multicultural ministry, and probably the grandest Op Shop, in the original church, I have ever seen anywhere. Plenty of browsing customers and enthusiastic staff.

The following day, the cloud was heavy. Having kicked two goals in Adelaide, I decided to visit a dear friend whom we had travelled the outback with over the years, who now has mobility issues and is in care. My visit was a wonderful catch-up for us both. Covid restrictions, unfortunately, stopped Jenny from joining me.

We now look forward to the long haul to Alice Springs.

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