Popular Benalla Uniting Church Reverend Glenys Gill will retire from full-time service on January 27. Rev Gill said she would miss the role and serving all the people who had allowed her into their lives during the past 12 years.By Randall Johnston
‘‘They are a very generous, warm-hearted and supportive group of people,’’ she said of her parishioners.
‘‘I have really enjoyed working with the members of the congregations and the colleagues I’ve had over the years.’’
Rev Gill moved to Benalla from Broome 12 years ago, looking for a fresh start and new challenges.
During her time here one duty that she believes has been a great honour is conducting funerals for a large number of families in Benalla and the wider district.
‘‘For many families I came into their lives as a complete stranger, and I found it a real privilege and deeply moving, sharing with people at such a vulnerable time in their lives.’’
Another aspect of her tenure that she found enriching was the ecumenical activities shared with other clergy and churches at special times in the Christian year.
‘‘As Christians, we need to support one another so that we can more effectively support our community.’’
The church has four congregations, including Benalla, Devenish, Goorambat and Swanpool and about 250 people on the membership role.
‘‘We usually have between 70 and 80 people at our Benalla service every Sunday.’’
Some of the projects, initiated by church members, that Rev Gill has enthusiastically supported include helping to raise funds for an orphanage in Tanzania and a project to help vulnerable children in Mwandi, Africa.
Another community initiative she is proud of closer to home is the free Friday lunches provided to those in need in Benalla.
‘‘As many as 40 people come along on a Friday, and we provide them with a nutritious lunch,’’ Rev Gill said.
‘‘This has been one of our key projects; our church seeks to help people in this community and beyond in any way that we can.’’
Rev Gill has also taught Christian religious education at Devenish Primary School over the years.
Rev Gill is not retiring altogether and intends to commence part-time services at another parish at some stage in the future.
All members of the community are welcome to attend Rev Gill’s last service at 10.30
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