Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School recently welcomed Reverend Anthea Haughain as its new school chaplain.

In this Q&A, Reverend Anthea shares some of her experiences and what she hopes to achieve in the role.

Q. Where were you based and what did you do before joining Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School?

Reverend Anthea Haughain

A. Before coming to Lakes Grammar, I did a two-year formation placement in the Parish of Gosford. I really enjoyed getting to know the parishioners and other partner organisations and was heartened and encouraged by their inclusive way of sharing the Gospel.

I had previously been employed as the Children and Family Minister at the Peninsula Parish. Being responsible for the youth programs and getting to know the families and the wider parish brought me joy. Under the caring encouragement of the then rector, Father Michael Davies, I entered discernment which led to formation and ordination. It was a journey of discovery, not only of myself but also of the diocese and what future ministry may hold.

Prior to working in the diocese, as well as tutoring high school students in German and Spanish language, I supported and taught English as a second language to refugee families. Hearing their stories about what they had gone through before arriving in Australia and the challenges they still faced was a reminder of the importance of Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:35, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me…’

Q. What are your goals or objectives at Lakes Grammar? How have you found the role so far?

A. My time at Lakes Grammar so far has been highly enjoyable. The staff are incredibly proactive and have been so welcoming and supportive of all newcomers.

My goal is to echo the diocesan ethos by offering spiritual care for the school community in an inclusive and accepting way. I have been encouraged by the value the staff place on empowering each student to be fully who they are so they can flourish and achieve their best in life.

I see the Gospel being lived out each day there, often by people who may be surprised to know that that is exactly what they are doing.

Q. You were ordained at Christ Church Cathedral in December. What was that experience like for you?

A. For me, ordination day at the Cathedral was a mixture of humid weather, anticipation, and thankfulness.

Being together with the group I had shared the discernment and formation journey with was a delight. We were well looked after by the Cathedral staff, with small acts of thoughtfulness being appreciated by us all.

Archdeacon Rod Bower, as Director of Mission, who had put so much hard work and care into our discernment process, looked gladly relieved that we had all managed to remember his instructions. We will all miss his humour and accessibility.

The nerves gave way to relief and, when Bishop Peter laid his hands on my head, with all the other clergy joining in, I felt a sense of belonging. Turning around to face our families and friends was an emotional moment, and I was glad of the support of my loved ones, as well as the Gosford and Peninsula parishioners who had made the journey north in support.

Knowing God has called me to ordained ministry is a privilege and I look forward to the journey ahead. Being a part of the mission of Newcastle Anglican gives me hope about ministering in an organisation that works and lives each day in the way of Jesus, the way of love for all.

As part of her introduction, Reverend Haughain was also asked a number of questions by the school community. You can read her responses in this fun little video.

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