Several people have asked if I would post the text of my comments before the sermon last Sunday – so here they are….

Friends, I doubt that anyone here today has not been aware of the events at the royal commission over the past week, and, especially given the very strong connections that many of us here have with Knox, the news reports, and the testimony itself, has been disturbing and, for many of us, deeply distressing.

At a time like this we are challenged to behave like what we are – the body of Christ. And in particular, to care for, and look out for, one another. Please be aware that there will be some amongst us who are profoundly hurt by the present events, and look for ways that you can be supportive of them.

Please also feel free to come and talk to me, or one of the elders, or the pastoral care team at any time. In addition, Stephen and Beverly Matthews, ministers of the Uniting Church at Burwood, have kindly offered to make themselves available to anyone who would like to speak with someone outside of the congregation. They amongst the wisest and most experienced ministers I know, and I am grateful to them for offering themselves in this way. Contact details for them can be found in the narthex.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to assure the congregation that we here at St. John’s take child protection very seriously; this is why we have worked hard to meet and exceed the legal requirements of the new working with children check; to ensure that all relevant staff complete safe church training; and that in all our dealings with children their safety is not just paramount, but visibly and accountably so.

Again, if you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to come and talk to me or the chair of the Church Council, Kit Craig.