Last month, staff and students from Penleigh and Essendon Grammar gathered for a morning of celebration to say farewell to one of their beloved chaplains and induct a new chaplain into the role. Rev Evelyn Payne –affectionately known as ‘Rev Ev’ – was farewelled and Janet Munroe, former chaplain at MLC, was inducted into the role.
Rev Mark Dunn, minister of St John’s Uniting Church Essendon, and members of the Port Phillip West Presbytery team also attended. The induction service and the cutting of ties service were led by current school chaplain Dave Hall.
During the service, former student Nicky Haslinghouse paid tribute to the work of Rev Ev.
“You know when an agnostic like me cites a Uniting Church reverend as one of her most influential mentors, that mentor must be an incredibly special individual,” Ms Haslinghouse said.
“In a year we would celebrate Easter, Lent, Ramadan, Hanukkah, and Diwali. Rev Ev’s clear message is that, in the end, subscription to any given faith is meaningless if an individual lacks compassion, patience, generosity and love. “By offering her students a broad religious education she fostered tolerance and fought ignorance. Those of all faiths and none felt included and engaged.”
The formalities of Evelyn Payne’s farewell and Janet Munroe’s induction services were led by Rev Paul Blacker, with Janet spending some time being interviewed
by two students in a Q&A style panel.
It was a wonderful morning of celebration shared by the school community and wider church representatives.
By LAURA CREGAN