St Mary Magdalene's Church Hall is often called 'the church hall' or 'the mission hall', or 'St Peter's College Mission Hall'. Strictly speaking, we should say 'The George Jury Memorial Hall' as the beautiful brass plaque below attests…
GEORGE JURY MEMORIAL HALL
******* ******* *******
This hall is so named to commemorate
GEORGE RISCHBIETH JURY
2nd Lieut. - 7th Battalion
The London Regiment B.E.F.
Born at Glenelg S.Aust. 7th April 1895
Killed in action at the Somme. 18th Sep 1916
To whose dear memory his parents gave
the sum of 1,000 pounds to free these the
Mission Buildings of his old school from debt.
******* ******* *******
"Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier has welcomed a proposed
referendum on whether the country should allow same-sex marriages; but expressed
concern about the “tenor of the debate.” Archbishop Freier is the Anglican Primate – the senior
bishop of the Anglican Church of Australia elected from among our diocesan
bishops. In this context, ‘Primate’ is pronounced ‘PRY-muht’. “The proposed plebiscite on same-sex marriage has been one
of the more contentious topics in 2016,” Archbishop Freier said. “Individual
Anglicans have adopted a variety of positions taken in good conscience based on
their Christian understanding of the principles and issues, and this is right
and proper. “Personally, I welcome the plebiscite, though with strong
reservations that we must guard the tenor of the debate, and keep it positive.
“I am very concerned that the discussion does not become
harsh or vilifying – on either side, for it is not only Christians who have
sometimes failed on this score.”
He called on Christians to approach the question “with
prayer, confidence in the Church’s teaching as well as kindness in our speech
towards those with whom we disagree.”
Until this year Mary Magdalene – a highly recognisable name – belonged to the ‘optional’ group of saints. But something quite remarkable has been happening across the pontificate of Pope Francis. He has recently declared that it is “necessary to widen the space for more incisive feminine presence in the church."
In June 2016, the Pope began to put flesh on this intent, enabling St Mary Magdalene to claim her rightful and significant place as ‘apostle’. She has now been accorded the highest honour, the implications of which deserve pondering. Vatican Radio (10/6/16) has declared that “she has been raised from the dignity of an (optional) memorial to being on par with the apostles”. Those who have for years been honouring her day, believing she could inspire the current generation, are now rejoicing.
We now hear of another of the Pope's initiatives: a commission to explore the possibility of women being ordained deacons in the Roman Catholic Church. The Diaconate is a ministry of service, one very true to the Pope’s belief that all people called to minister need to be focused on service, not status, attuned to people’s suffering, reaching out to those on the periphery. It’s an ancient ministry, with considerable evidence in favour of its re-establishment.
Each Sunday, Roman Catholics proclaim in the Creed a Church that is one, holy, catholic and *apostolic*. Mary, the first of the apostles, stands alongside the twelve, as we acclaim with joy their co-foundational role.
Surely, then, the implication for us, just as for this gospel woman, is that the God of history will break into our time and surprise us beyond our current imagining; a new day is dawning for the leadership gifts of both women and men. The space is being truly widened. Mary Magdalene grounds our hope!