St George the Martyr, Goodwood
IN THIS JUNE ISSUE WE GIVE THANKS for the life and ministry of our seventh Rector, Bishop David McCall. Fr Bill McCall, as he was known during his time here, was the son of Bishop McCall of Wangaratta. He was made deacon in 1963 and priested the following year, working in the diocese of Riverina, before coming to St George’s in 1978, following the death of Fr Swetenham. He was rector here until 1987, arriving with a family in tow, fitting into the small rectory here: such a tight squeeze that Theo had to sleep under the staircase for a while. Thanks to the bequest of Mary Hogan, the widow of Fr Hogan, our 4th Rector, the Rectory was extended, giving room for the children. He was a gifted priest, well remembered for his pastoral care, with his wife Marion. He and Marion were gifted entertainers and established parish fancy dress dinners. He became pastoral chaplain at St Barnabas’ College during his time here. In 1987 he became bishop of Willochra – many of the parishioners travelled up to Port Pirie for his installation: it was such a hot day the tiles started to crack and pop under the expansion pressures. In 2000 he became bishop of Bunbury before retiring in 2010 and returning to Adelaide. He died on the 7th May, having battled with cancer for the last year. He is survived by Marion, and was the loving father of Theo & Alison, Alexandra & Cambell, John & Rachel, Elizabeth & Julian, Rachel & Mark, as well as fourteen grandchildren. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
During May the church was open on several days for our display of vestments and carvings. We are becoming increasingly well known for our collection and our Lady Chapel altar and some copes will be at the David Roche Foundation soon for a display. It’s always lovely to have people call in to see our church for the first time, often even locals, who are amazed at our beautiful and peaceful space.
We had two baptisms during May, of Jack Alexander Sutcliffe and Madeleine Elizabeth Bullock. It is such a joy to share these sacraments of welcome and the giving of grace.
Festivals in June
We have two feasts in June, the most important being Corpus Christi on Sunday, 6 June, when we celebrate the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the sacraments. We believe that Christ is present in the sacrament of the altar, inviting us to receive him as a way of deepening our communion. Nothing can be more holy than this – the presence of God inviting us to join him. That is why our worship revolves around the presence of the sacrament. St George’s was the first Anglican church in Australia to have the continual presence of the sacraments in the church by installing a tabernacle, now behind the high altar. This led to our great fight with the diocese, which Emily Harding relates below in her article on our second Rector, Fr Percy Wise.
Then on 13 June we will keep the feast of St Antony of Padua. We have a most beautiful statue of him by the pulpit, and he is also a very useful saint, for which many of the parishioners will vouch, for finding lost things.
New Look for Our Pewsheet
Our pewsheet has had a makeover and we have changed our logo to that similar to the design of Benedetto Pistrucci (1783 – 1855) used on the British sovereign coins.
Born in Rome in 1783, Pistrucci studied briefly with other artists before striking out on his own at age 15. He became prominent as a cameo carver and was patronised by royalty. In 1815, he moved to Britain, where he would live for most of the rest of his life. His talent brought him to the attention of notables including William Wellesley-Pole, the Master of the Mint. Pole engaged Pistrucci to design new coinage, including the sovereign, which was first issued in 1817 to mixed reactions.
On the accession of George IV, he created a new design for the king, who hated it as he believed it made him look bloated, and demanded a different designer. Pistrucci refused and was nearly dismissed. After Pistrucci’s death, the George and Dragon design was restored to the coinage.
I look forward to seeing you over the winter months at St George’s.
Percy William Charlton Wise
Born of this world 15 January 1870
Entered Eternal Life 13 August 1950
A Brief Biography
“We beg your prayers for the priest founder of this Church Percy William Charlton Wise Parish Priest from 14 Dec 1900 to 30 Sept 1940”.
Thus reads the inscription on the Holy Water stoup just inside the main door of St George’s Church. “Priest founder” aptly describes Fr Wise, for his long and devoted ministry at St George’s was indeed the foundation for our church as we know it today.
He was born in Devonshire, England, the son of David and Harriet Wise. It was assumed he would follow his father into the navy but this was not to be. He went up to Cambridge to Corpus Christi College to read theology. He then entered holy orders, being made deacon in 1893 and ordained priest in 1894 at the Cathedral of St Peter’s in Peterborough. The small ciborium still in regular use at St George’s was the property of Fr Wise, presented to him by the Cathedral in Peterborough on the occasion of his priestly ordination and then given by him to the parish on his 25th anniversary in 1919.
Fr Wise’s first post was as assistant curate at Oundle in Northamptonshire. Then there was a marked change in his priestly career. The newly appointed Bishop of Adelaide, John Harmer, whom Fr Wise had known in Cambridge, asked him to come to Australia. Fr Wise gladly accepted the invitation but with the intention of staying for only five years.
He arrived in Adelaide in September 1895, bringing with him his wife, Caroline (nee Lyon) whom he had married in her parish church of St Michael’s, Ilsington in Devon that same year.
After ministries at Christ Church, North Adelaide and at Crafers, where he was assistant curate and rector respectively, Fr Wise’s self-imposed “five years” were up and in 1900 he and his wife set sail for England. But it was to be a sad homecoming for Fr Wise. Caroline died suddenly at sea of a fever when the ship was just off Manila. Fr Wise arranged for her cremation there and continued on to England. On a further voyage to England five years later he returned to Manila and collected her remains. She was eventually reinterred in the churchyard at Ilsington where her remains were joined in 1950 by those of her husband.
Upon arrival in England in 1900, Fr Wise’s intended work at a mission in South London did not work out as planned, and when he received a request from Bishop Harmer to “come out to Goodwood, West Adelaide, Keswick and Plympton”, he accepted without hesitation.
On 14th December 1900 Fr Wise was inducted as rector of St George’s Goodwood and thus began his long and fruitful association with this parish.
The churches placed under Fr Wise’s care were in a parlous state. He worked hard to improve matters and oversaw the completion of the partly built church of St James’ at West Adelaide (later Mile End). In 1902, upon accepting additional duties as special preacher at the Cathedral, he gave up his pastoral charge at West Adelaide but retained Goodwood and the Church of the Ascension, Keswick, later re-named St Alban’s by Fr Wise in keeping with his belief that a church should be dedicated to a saint. He was also appointed honorary canon at the Cathedral in 1904.
Plans were now afoot to enlarge St George’s Church (now the Persian Carpet Gallery opposite the present church) which by now was not big enough to accommodate a growing congregation. But spurred on by a generous offer by Mrs Priscilla Bickford of an initial contribution of one thousand pounds towards re-building, it was decided to build a new church.
Fr Wise’s time had come.
He brought to his ministry at Goodwood the deeply held conviction that the church was much more than a gathering of like-minded people. In this he was influenced by the Oxford Movement of the mid-19th century which set out to recall the church to its true nature as an institution divinely inspired by God and catholic in the true sense of being universal. As such, in its liturgical life and surroundings, the church should reflect something of the holiness and beauty of God.
Ably assisted by the architect Thomas Henry Lyon (who was incidentally his brother-in-law), and with the continued generosity of Mrs Priscilla Bickford, Fr Wise was able to build and fit out a church in keeping with his Anglo-Catholic ideals and the present St George’s was consecrated and opened for worship on 1st September 1903. (Fr Wise would have preferred the new church to be dedicated to St Michael, the name of the church in Ilsington, but the bishop refused his request because St Michael’s Mitcham already existed).
With the Mass at the centre of its life, Fr Wise introduced to St George’s many practices and items with which we are familiar today – the use of incense, fine music and beautiful vestments, to name but a few. Some of the wood carvings were set in train by Fr Wise on a trip to England in 1905. These included the rood screen which he gave in memory of his wife.
Fr Wise was well-liked by his parishioners. In 1908 he had been offered, and refused, the parish of Christ Church, South Yarra, a refusal which prompted his parishioners to send him a letter of gratitude with a bound collection of signatures attached, and also to give a thank offering that was used to buy a stained-glass window. He had considerable gifts as a preacher, spiritual adviser and confessor, and had a keen sense of humour. When in 1923 his good friend Priscilla Bickford gave him a Citroen car to replace his motorcycle, he told his parishioners that while he was learning to drive, he sincerely hoped he would run neither over them nor their fowls. On another occasion, when chiding women for deficiencies in their head coverings, he remarked that “two geranium blossoms and half a dead bird are not a covering for the head”.
The reasons for any changes in liturgical practice were carefully explained to his congregation and introduced gently. When, in 1905, he wished to introduce incense, he first accustomed them to its presence by thoroughly censing the interior of the church on Saturday evenings.
He had a great rapport with the children of St George’s School whose spiritual welfare and general well-being he watched over with great care. Many students remembered him with much affection years later. He took the children on excursions and helped to arrange picnics. He also enjoyed sport, especially cricket and golf.
Unfortunately, Fr Wise’s ministry at St George’s was overshadowed for many years by a long-drawn-out conflict with then Bishop, Arthur Nutter Thomas. Suffice it to say here that many of the Anglo-Catholic practices in ritual and ceremonial introduced by Fr Wise did not sit well with the Bishop who considered them as deviating from the usage of the Church of England as set out in The Book of Common Prayer. There were moves to institute legal proceedings against Fr Wise through the Diocesan Courts for “breach of ritual”, but matters dragged on and these proceedings never transpired. Many difficulties faced Fr Wise, one being that from about 1910 the bishop would not come to St George’s to conduct confirmations, necessitating taking candidates to other churches. Through all this sad episode Fr Wise had the support both of his parishioners and of well-wishers in the wider church but it took its toll on the man who served St George’s with such devotion and constancy for so many years.
Fr Wise retired in 1940. Apart from a trip to England in 1921, he had in the last two decades of his ministry taken very little time off. He was not at all well and one senses from his pastoral letters that he was very tired. He was worried about the future of St George’s and whether or not it would be able to pay for a full-time priest. He himself had, for the last twelve years of his ministry, supported himself from his own funds rather than by payment of a stipend.
He died ten years later at Highgate, Adelaide and, as mentioned earlier, his cremated remains were taken to England to be laid beside those of his beloved wife.
Fr Wise never swerved from his Anglo-Catholic convictions and by the time of his death had gained the reputation of being a leader among Anglo-Catholic priests in Australia.
And today The Church of St George the Martyr, Goodwood, stands as the inheritor of his vision and dedicated ministry of forty years and holds a pre-eminent place among Anglo-Catholic churches in this country.
8.00 am Mass
10.00 am Solemn Sung Mass
Monday Fr Scott’s Day Off
Tuesday 10.00 am Mass,
followed by gardening
Wednesday 8.00 am Mass
Thursday 12 noon Mass
Friday 8.00 am Mass
Saturday 8.00 am Mass
Consider giving to the church; our bank details are
BSB 105033 account 0151992640
1 Joan of Arc, Visionary, 1431 (from 30)
1 Laying of Foundation Stone of Rectory 1907
3 Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 & Janani Luwum, Archbishop of Uganda, 1977
3 John XXIII, bishop of Rome, reformer, 1963
5 Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, Archbishop of Mainz, Apostle of Germany, Martyr, 754
6 CORPUS CHRISTI
8 Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, Non-Juror, Hymn Writer, 1711
9 Columba, Abbot of Iona, Missionary, 597
9 Ephrem of Syria, Deacon, Hymn Writer, Teacher of the Faith, 373
11 SACRED HEART
12 BARNABAS, APOSTLE AND MARTYR (from 11)
13 Antony of Padua, Priest, Teacher of the Faith, 1231
14 Richard Baxter, Puritan Divine, 1691
15 Evelyn Underhill, Spiritual Writer, 1941
16 Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253
18 Bernard Mizeki, Apostle to the MaShona, Martyr, 1896
19 Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu (holy man), Evangelist, Teacher of the Faith, 1929
20 PENTECOST 4
22 ALBAN, FIRST MARTYR OF BRITAIN, c209
24 THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
27 PENTECOST 5
28 Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, Teacher, Martyr, c200
29 PETER and PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS
29 Consecration of Augustus Short as first bishop of Adelaide and inauguration of the See of Adelaide 1847
1 Coming of the Light, First Missionaries to the Torres Strait, 1871
1 Henry and John Venn, Priests, Evangelical Divines, 1797 and 1813
6 John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and Thomas More, Scholar, Martyrs, 1535
4 PENTECOST 6
11 BENEDICT OF NURSIA, Abbot of Monte Casino, Father of Western Monasticism, patron of Europe, c550
13 Sydney James Kirkby, bishop, pioneer of outback ministry and the Bush Church Aid Society, 1935
14 JOHN KEBLE & THE FOUNDERS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT
15 Bonaventure, Friar, Bishop, Teacher of the Faith, 1274
18 CATHOLIC RENEWAL SUNDAY
19 Gregory of Nyssa, and his sister Macrina, Deaconess, Teachers of the Faith, c394 and c379
20 Margaret of Antioch, Martyr, 4th Cent.
20 Bartolmé de las Casas, Apostle to the Indies, 1566
22 MARY MAGDALENE
23 Bridget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena, Patron of Europe, 1373
25 JAMES, APOSTLE AND MARTYR
26 Anne and Joachim, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
27 Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher of the Faith, 1901
29 Mary, Martha & Lazarus, Companions of the Lord
30 William Wilberforce, Social Reformer, Olaudah Equiano and Thomas Clarkson: Anti-Slavery Campaigners, 1833, 1797 and 1846 & all Social Reformers
31 Joseph of Arimathea
31 Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus, 1566