Ch.17 – The Rev. Grant Bell

Anglican Church Glen Innes

The Parish was without an incumbent for five months until the Rev. Grant Bell, his wife Lesley and family came to Holy Trinity.  Heavy snow fell on their arrival on 27th July 1989.

In December of that year a Parish consultation took place.  This extended meeting was held to plan co-operatively the future direction of the Parish, identifying its aims and objectives.

In December 1989 the Rev. Grant Bell was given the pleasure of congratulating a loyal member of Holy Trinity who had taught Sunday School for forty- two years.  For her faithful and outstanding service Mary Lamplough was heartily thanked, presented with gifts and enjoyed a special tea.

To assist the Rev Grant Bell the Rev. Peter Harvey was appointed in December 1990. He and his wife Sue and family stayed for eighteen months until Peter enlisted in the R.A.A.F.

Trinity Club to cater for the youth of the Parish was started by the Rev. Grant Bell in 1990.  At this time a television and video machine were purchased for their use. In keeping up with technology the Parish Council authorised the purchase of a photocopier for $1 400.

By March 1989 funds of $40 000 were in hand for the commencement of the Vicarage Restoration, the full estimated cost being  $53 902 at that time.

By the Annual General Meeting in August 1990 the Restoration Fund had reached an amazing total of $59 179.  R.Munday was awarded the contract to upgrade the Vicarage and the work proceeded.

A Children’s Room was built at the back of the Church and commonly known as the ‘Crying Room’. It was planned as a convenient room for young families. The southern side under the gallery was glassed, carpeted and furnished. An installed speaker allowed the service to be heard. The parishioners raised the necessary funds for its construction.

In those days the Church was not locked until dark.  Late one evening in April a visitor arrived at Holy Trinity, not with the best of intentions. Deciding that he could benefit from the gathering all the Church’s silverware, he filled his sack full of booty.

Making his way from the Church along the quiet back lane he unluckily came face to face with a neighbour who recognised him. When asked what he was carrying he took off rather hastily.

The neighbour was suspicious of his strange behaviour and contacted the Police.  Investigations revealed that a robbery had taken place and the Rev. Grant Bell was duly informed.

Passing motorists early the next morning were surprised to see a respected clergyman wearing gumboots fishing amongst reeds in the local creek. As a result of his endeavours all the missing items were recovered and the intruder earned a change of address for a number of years.

Who says that God is not watching!  On February 9th 1992 Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AO Governor of New South Wales and his wife visited Holy Trinity. It was the weekend of the Inauguration of the Australian Standing Stones situated in Glen Innes.

Later in 1992 the Rev. Grant Bell was appointed Archdeacon of New England. The commissioning took place at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Armidale in a service conducted by the Rt. Rev Peter Chiswell Bishop of Armidale.

Heating of Holy Trinity has always been a challenge for Parish Councils.  In 1993 carpet, donated by Mr Brian Abbott, was laid in the Church and the Church was painted internally. The heating system of electric heater banks placed underneath pews and two large overhead gas heaters assisted by the carpeting, ensured a warmer Church during the extreme winter weather.

A cattle scheme was introduced to raise funds to support a second clergyman. This scheme saw graziers run cattle on their properties with the proceeds of the sale of the stock going to aid Church funds.

With the doubling of inmates at the Glen Innes Correctional Centre, The Department of Corrective Services allocated our Parish a day a week with payment to service the Centre with a Lay Preacher.

During the Rev. Grant Bell’s tenure the Rev. Martin Trotman with his wife Joanna and family was appointed to Emmaville/Glen Innes.

In 1994 the Rev. Martin Trotman started the Prison Chaplaincy while he was part time at Glen Innes and he was also appointed the Church Missionary Society Representative for the Armidale Diocese.

During the year a Regional Day called the “Year of the Family” was launched at Glen Innes by the Rt. Rev. Peter Chiswell Bishop of Armidale.  It was a day of rejoicing with lots of fun and frolic for the children and adults.  The highlight was the fact that Bishop Chiswell travelled by helicopter to every parish in his Diocese. At that time in July the Parish experienced “Mission ’94” entitled “God’s Mission, Our Mission.” Twenty-one young people from St. Ives Sydney visited schools, attended services and held evening meetings under the guidance of the Rev. Rob Smith, the team leader.

1995 saw the inductions of the Rev. John Page and the Rev. Richard Clementson at Holy Trinity. The Rev. John Page has proved to be a mainstay of the Church through its good and its difficult times, earning the respect of the congregations, and at times carrying on the full activities of the Church without assistance.

In that same year the Venerable Archdeacon Grant Bell notified the Parish that he would be taking up ministry as Chaplain to The King’s School, Parramatta.

After the Venerable Archdeacon left, the Rev. Martin Trotman was appointed to Holy Trinity in a full time capacity.  During his tenure the Rev. Mark Taylor arrived to assist.

The Annual Fete always held on the last Saturday in October remains a wonderful social occasion for Glen Innes. Since the Rev. L. Newby’s time the Gospel of Flowers has added yet a further dimension to the great variety of stalls and activities spread throughout the grounds. This outreach activity that involves the support of many people provides a welcome boost to the finances. Mrs Jan Sharman is the present co-ordinator.