This parish of All Saints Ainslie celebrates diversity and has historically provided a safe haven and a warm welcome to Queer Christians, from the time of the 1980s AIDS crisis to the present day. As we work together as a community to become more Christlike, and to challenge one another to live out the Gospel values of compassion, mercy and love both among us and in the world, sexuality is perhaps the least important facet of our humanity.
Over the past week, the media has been reporting on the so-called ‘split’ in the Anglican Church, which has seen a small group of conservative Anglicans break away to form the Diocese of the Southern Cross, which has sexual ethics as its core focus. Many Bishops around Australia have responded to this situation, and our own Bishop Mark has sent out a pastoral letter, affirming that Canberra-Goulburn Diocese will remain firmly within the remit of the Anglican Church of Australia. Breakaway and division are sad, but the pain this has and will continue to cause to those who are already vulnerable is the greatest sadness of all.
At All Saints, we continue to welcome all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or race. We aim to live this out in all its complexity so that we can truly claim to follow the one we serve. At this time of disunity, and in the face of negative words among fellow Anglicans, we, the Parish of All Saints Ainslie, affirm those among us who identify as Queer, and all who have been hurt by these public words and actions. All Saints is committed to the full equality and participation of LBTQI+ Christians, in all roles and in leadership. Above all, sexually and gender diverse people will always be welcome with us and among us as we together, as the body of Christ in the world, seek to live out the love Jesus calls us to.
Mother Lynda and All Saints Parish Council, 20th August 2022
Meet The Team
Our Locum, Bishop John Stead
Bishop John was born on 11 March 1956 in Bexley Heath, Kent, England (he is a ‘Kentish Man’, having been born west of the Medway River); he is the youngest of three children. His first experience of living in Australia occurred in the early 1960s when his father was posted to South Australia. Having returned to England the family emigrated to Australia in 1967 and settled in Canberra, where John completed his secondary school education and attended what is now the University of Canberra being awarded a Bachelor of Education.
Bishop John studied for his Bachelor of Theology at St. Mark’s National Theological Centre, Canberra. He was ordained Deacon in 1995 and Priest in 1996 and served his curacy at St. Saviour’s Cathedral in Goulburn and was also the half-time chaplain at the Goulburn Correctional Centre and Warden of Wollondilly Retirement Village. He subsequently ministered in Tumbarumba/Batlow (South-West Slopes Ministry District), Hackett in the ACT and for five and a half years at St John’s Wagga Wagga as Archdeacon for Continuing Ministry Development. He was recently awarded a Master of Ministry (CSU School of Theology) focussing on Supervision.
Bishop John was consecrated Bishop in August 2009 and served as the Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst; this included the role of Ministry Development Officer and Principal of the Company of the Good Shepherd. In 2012, he was elected as Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Willochra which encompasses 90% of South Australia. On 2 July 2022, he ‘laid up’ the Pastoral Staff of the Diocese and retired to Canberra. John offers Professional (Pastoral) Supervision to clergy and is currently the locum of the Parish of All Saints, Ainslie.
Father James Butt, Honorary Associate Priest
Born in Sydney, Father James moved to Canberra with his family in the early 1950’s, when the population was approximately 25,000. He has therefore seen many changes to the city over the years.
From an early age he had a strong sense of calling to serve in the ministry of the church and was particularly involved here at All Saints, being confirmed in All Saints’ hall before the church was built in 1958.
He trained for the priesthood at St Marks here in Canberra in the late 1980’s and was ordained at St Saviours Cathedral, Goulburn in 1992, after which he was appointed as curate to St Alban’s Epping in the Diocese of Sydney for two years.
Father James then spent more than 22 years in Sydney at St Albans then as Rector of St John’s Balmain.
In 2014 he retired from full time ministry and returned to Canberra to serve as a honorary priest here at All Saints’. As Father James says, his spiritual journey has now gone full circle!
Father Brian Douglas, Associate Priest
Brian Douglas grew up in Sydney and worked as a teacher until ordination in the Diocese of Newcastle in 1992.
Brian began ministry at Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle and then moved to school chaplaincy (at Meriden School in Sydney and Newcastle Grammar School) before becoming the Rector of St Paul’s Manuka in 2008 and then Archdeacon of South Canberra in 2015.
Brian retired from Manuka in 2018 and then from the Archdeacon’s role in 2020. He continues to lecture at St Mark’s National Theological Centre in Anglican Foundations, sacramental theology and other systematic theology subjects.
He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.
In recent years, Brian has published several books and articles in the area of eucharistic theology. Brian’s doctorate from the University of Newcastle focused on an exploration of Anglican eucharistic theology.
Brian is married to Jane and they have two adult children, three grandchildren and two golden retrievers.
The Reverend Doctor Nikolai Blaskow, Honorary Associate Priest
Nikolai’s PhD in Philosophy and Religion from Bangor University Wales, UK (2022) drew on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and the theoretical insights of René Girard (1923-2015).
Father Nikolai is currently an Adjunct Research Fellow working under the banner of CSU at the Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra. His research interest focuses on the theological, philosophical, ethical, political, psychological, and social implications for metamodernity, especially AGI (Artificial General Intelligence).
He comes to his research role after a long career teaching Years 7-12 Ancient and Modern History (Greek and Roman history plus European and International Relations), English Literature in both public and private schools, and was the inaugural International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Trinity Grammar School, Sydney.
He was erstwhile teaching Chaplain at Radford College, Canberra Grammar and for the last five years, Head of RaVE (Religious and Values Education) and Chaplain at Gippsland Grammar School, in Sale Victoria where his wife the Reverend Susanna Pain was Dean of the Cathedral after previously serving almost ten years in the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese as parish priest at Holy Covenant, Jamison and as Archdeacon. Susanna is currently Senior Associate at Benedictus Contemplative Church and is also a Spiritual Director and Pastoral Supervisor.
Father Nikolai looks forward to serving the faith community at All Saints in such areas as running a Philosophy Club, preaching, pastoral care, and promoting the welfare of our University community by means of social and educative activities. Film, Drama, literature, the Arts, astrophysics, photography, and cooking list as some of his abiding interests. Family, friends, and entertaining, Annie his black Cathedral cat who adopted him, and Susanna, he counts as the joys of his life.
Mercy Jeremiah, Parish Administrator
Mercy Jeremiah was appointed as All Saints’ parish administrator in February 2017.
Born in Singapore, she is a Kiwi of Indian Tamil Heritage. She has worked as an Airforce Librarian and Hospital Administrator.
Mercy holds a MPhil in English Literature and a Certificate in Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care and has trained as a school chaplain. She hopes to further her Chaplaincy studies in the near future.
Mercy sees her role as parish administrator as a Ministry of Grace and firmly believes that God has led her to this role.
She loves road trips and enjoys music/dance and drama. She is happily married to Anbu and has three adorable children Meshach, Josiah & Lillian. The family worships at All Saints and are all dedicated altar servers.
Angela Brown, Baptism Co-ordinator
Angela is a retired teacher and librarian, spending the last 23 years of work at the National Library of Australia.
She has been worshipping at All Saints’ for the last 12 years, as well as a 5 year period in the early 1990s.
Angela is a volunteer in the Parish Office and currently works there on Wednesday mornings. Her main tasks include organising baptisms, preparing the weekly Fold and the E-news.
Angela is a widow who enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, working as a volunteer for the Lifeline Bookfairs, doing tai chi, reading and gardening.