Anglican Parish of Castlemaine

Anglican Diocese of Bendigo


Christ Church - ​The Anglican Church on Agitation Hill

St John's, Chewton​

We at the
Anglican Parish of Castlemaine
are committed to...

Nurturing you in your spiritual and faith commitment

Reflecting on, challenging, and acting 
on our understandings of God, ourselves
and our community

Providing diverse opportunities for
you to participate in parish life

Recognizing and valuing the diversity of
all creation, and our responsibility to
God in creation

Teaching, learning and reflecting on
Christ in daily life through prayer,
meditation and action

Offering pastoral care 
to those in need

Addressing issues of social justice



Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

“Now is the winter of our discontent” wrote William Shakespeare in his play, Richard III.   Shakespeare may well have fallen to the popular opinion of the King and portrayed him in a less than charitable way.  
However, winter reminds us that we follow the rhythms of nature in a way that God has declared.   Each season brings with it an opportunity for reflection, rest, renewal and rejoicing.   During these very cold days in Castlemaine we have a chance to do all four.  That is not trying to cheat nature of her measured pulse of time but more of a preparation for the coming spring.   Albert Camus, the French philosopher, wrote that “in the depths of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”.
The various canons passed into legislation at the recent Synod reflect the failings of the past and the safeguards for the future.   It is easy in troubled times to slip into the winter of discontent, but the seasons teach us that there is a new beginning.   That surely brings us solace, knowing that we are never abandoned to the treacherous ice or the biting winds but are invited to rest in a place of reverence.   During our winter respite, when the liturgical year slows between the great festivals, we have an opportunity to reflect on the past and to review our place in the future.   We are assured that, “as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest; cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

We thank God for this time of dormancy and we may each pray, “teach me wisdom in the secret places of the heart; purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow”.   Yes, those winter days bring us the hardy frosts, some things survive but others die down in a natural attrition of renewal.   The church is now in the wash of new life as we remember the love of God for all humanity, the sanctity of life and the glory of our risen Lord through new birth in the resurrection.  

May we value this winter sojourn as a source of refreshment and regeneration.   Reach out to scripture as you search for the invincible summer; reflect on the discontent; and pray for a clean heart and a renewal of the right spirit.   May the grace of God bless us as we work to replenish His voice on earth.  

Shalom, Anne