The prayers of the congregation of St John The Baptist Anglican Church in Mudgee have been answered, with the arrival of a new Rector after a two-and-a-half-year wait.
Reverend Canon Jono Williams will be ordained as the 21st Rector of the Mudgee Parish by Bishop Ian Palmer of Bathurst on Saturday, December 3.
Reverend Jono comes to Mudgee from Canowindra where he has been the Rector for the past six years.
During his career, Reverend Jono worked in youth ministry in Strathfield, Kurri Kurri and Canberra before he was ordained as a minister of the Anglican Church at Blayney, later moving to Parkes and Narromine.
Before moving to Canowindra, he worked in juvenile justice in Dubbo and was Chaplain of the Bathurst Jail.
Reverend Jono replaces Reverend Dr David Craig, who came out of retirement to serve as “transitional” priest at St John, a role which has extended to two and a half years.
“We have been praying for a Rector three days a week for two and a half years,” Fr David joked. “It took quite a while, but our prayers were answered.”
Reverend Jono said he was looking forward to meeting the people of Mudgee within the church and the wider community.
“I am very much a community-minded type of person and I want to build on the involvement already here with St John and other centres the ministry is linked with,” he said.
“St John’s is very much a part of Mudgee. A lot of people feel ownership over it even if they do not come regularly to the church.”
Reverend Jono said he was also looking forward to building the relationships with other churches in Mudgee and the surrounding region.
In his first weeks at St John’s, Reverend Jono will “hit the ground sprinting” with Christmas celebrations, which this year will include a children’s service on Christmas Eve, where the children will be invited to take part in a more information type of community service.