Ch.15 – The Rev. David Bowden

Anglican Church Glen Innes

The Rev. Canon Edgerton relieved as minister in Glen Innes for three months until the Rev. David Bowden took up the appointment on 14th December 1974.

1976 saw the closure of Glencoe Church.

In 1977 Mr John Ogilve donated a flag pole to the Church and it is still in use in the centre of the gardens.

In that year Mr Sydney Williams, a Parish Councillor, oversaw the building of the new hall and ordered the necessary materials. The pledging of interest free loans ensured the speedy completion of the building that became a wonderful addition to Holy Trinity.

Mr Bert Hood, also on Parish Council, was the manager of the Bank of New South Wales and arranged the loan of  $25 000 at 10% payable over 15 years to cover the cost. Thirteen benefactors made interest free loans totalling $10 400.  By the 11th August 1980 the loan had been repaid and this unbelievable target had been achieved by further donations. The Church Ladies’ Guild raised nearly $21 000 under the leadership of Mrs Myra Hutton.  The Official Opening of the new Parish Hall occurred on the15th April 1978 by the Rev. Harry Taylor in recognition of his work.

It was in September 1978 that the new prayer book was first used in Church services. The older members of the congregation took time to adjust.  Regular, weekly bulletins and the birthday blessing were introduced by the Rev. David. Bowden.  His wife, Linda, who had a magnificent singing voice, formed a Church Choir.

Sunday School visiting began in the 70’s with a birthday party for an elderly gentleman who had no family to help him celebrate the day. The concept grew with monthly visits to those no longer able to attend Church.  The retirement homes of Roseneath and Glenwood were also visited.  Birthday cards (made by the children) were sent, homemade cakes and biscuits, posies of flowers, Easter and Christmas gifts were received and treasured.  Over the years there have been many wonderful helpers, supportive parents and caring children.  Friendships have been formed with mutual benefits.

Holy Trinity has lightened up many days for senior members.  In December 1978 the Rev. Clive Gerrard was appointed assistant and ordained to the priesthood on 30th November 1979. Two major happenings occurred in 1979 – the Church land at Graham’s Valley and at Glencoe were sold.

Yet another legacy left to the Parish is the Pancake Dinner. This popular event occurs on Shrove Tuesday each year to mark the beginning of Lent. Years earlier, while visiting the United States the Bowden Family experienced this occasion and Mrs Linda Bowden initiated the Pancake Dinner to Holy Trinity. Pancakes proved very popular and in 2008 the 25th Pancake Dinner was held with a record attendance and over 900 pancakes cooked.

In the latter part of 1979 the Rev. David Bowden was approached about developing a Chapter of the Order of Saint Luke in Glen Innes and was its formation Chaplain.

The Order of St. Luke is a movement founded in the U.S.A. in 1947 and granted autonomy in Australia in 1961.

The aim of the Order is to promote the understanding and practice of the healing ministry according to the New Testament teachings, and to help introduce this ministry to the normal stream of Church life.  It is open to all Christians of all denominations, offering a disciplined fellowship that focuses on healing as an essential part of the Gospel integral to the Church’s mission.

The Glen Innes Chapter continued for five or six years. Wonderful fellowship, physical and spiritual healing were experienced by the group.  The Bequest Committee was formed in 1980 to care for funds left to Holy Trinity and to make recommendations to Parish Council on ways to make best use of these funds.

The Rev. David Bowden opened the public appeal for a memorial window for Archdeacon Rothero. The Parochial Council had adopted the recommendation that a stained glass window be placed in the nave of the Church to perpetuate his memory.  The dedication took place on the 3rd May 1980. The memorial window was designed and installed by the Brisbane Studio Leadlight Company.

In December 1981 the Gerrards were farewelled and shortly afterwards on 7th April 1982 the Bowden Family were also farewelled with a Service at the Church followed by a gathering at the Town Hall.  The ‘Church Mice’ comprised a group of women formed from the 9am Wednesday Church Service during Rev. David Bowden’s time.  The name came about as Smeaton’s “mice” cakes were purchased for birthdays of communicants.

They helped in so many ways keeping the Church linen laundered, the porches swept and generally helping wherever necessary in their unobtrusive way. They set up a missionary fund that continued for many years.  They obtained white sheets, which were torn into bandages and sent overseas for leprosy sufferers.  They also made rugs for needy overseas countries and mended, covered and stamped the worn hymn and prayer books.  At one stage their outreach to seniors extended to lunches in the Parish Hall with the meal provided by the members. Over the years these humble ladies have contributed so much to the smooth running of the Church.

The grounds have always been a huge undertaking to maintain. Its trees and gardens bring very positive comments from locals and visitors alike. A dedicated band of volunteers have always performed this task with great love and care under the guidance of competent overseers.  Mr Sam Cave, the head gardener, has given countless years in preparing, planting and pruning the flower gardens.  His roses are a delight to behold.