In what has become something of a tradition, Rev Cynthia Page and Rev Claire Dawe have enjoyed a friendly op shop rivalry for some years.
Claire is the minister for the Chelsea Parish, made up of Carrum, Edithvale and Chelsea Uniting Churches and Cynthia is the minister at Eaglehawk and Marong Uniting Church, just outside of Bendigo.
At Synod 2016, they attempted to outdo each other with gifts from their respective op shops, resulting in the women dressing in fashion chosen for them by the other.
A Facebook post earlier in the year gave the ministers the idea to present a unique gift to moderator Sharon Hollis.
According to the Facebook post, the moderators of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland always wear something made of lace.
The tradition dates back to the days when heads of churches had to wear lace to ensure an audience with royalty.
Claire suggested a lace item would make a perfect 2017 op shop challenge.
Cynthia accepted with: “Bring on the op shop lace rivalry and let us adorn our beloved moderator with lace!”
“We had a lot of lace at Eaglehawk and decided to fashion the lace around a vintage brooch,” Cynthia said.
Coincidentally, when she searched online, Cynthia found that the traditional ‘jabots’ are often fashioned around a brooch.
Claire said that for Chelsea the challenge proved to be unusually difficult.
“Normally we would have enough lace to sink a ship, but would you believe we couldn’t find any in the op shops?” she said.
“In the end we found a beautiful heart made of lace which we presented to Sharon.”