Tell Andrew Delbridge that he has to get on his bike for the new role of Alpine Regional Resource Minister and he couldn’t be happier.
The role, created by the Presbytery of North East Victoria, calls on Mr Delbridge to develop resource networks and provide ministerial and pastoral support for a region that extends just over 300km from one end to the other.
However, by climbing on his trusty V-Strom 650 he has the means to do it having got back into the habit of motorcycle riding that he first developed as a university student.
“It’s good bike-riding territory,” Mr Delbridge said.
“There are worse places to work than the most beautiful presbytery in the state.”
Mr Delbridge, whose previous placement was the presbytery’s pastoral care minister, said he is looking forward to helping lay people blossom into leadership and ministry often in the context where there are no fulltime or ordained ministers available.
“My job is to walk beside the people, to train them and equip them, but also to be there as support when major things happen,” he said.
The role is funded in partnership with the Rural Presbytery Ministers’ Leadership Fund and the Presbytery of NE Victoria, along with the parishes of Bright, Beechworth and Wangaratta.
Mr Delbridge said that shaping the new ministry would be a challenge.
“Everybody has an opinion of what the role is, so the challenge will be keeping as many people happy as I can,” he said.
He believed that working with such diverse and widely spread congregations will require adaptability.
“There will be some similarities across the board but each congregation, like each family, has its own particular style, its own nuance, its own way of being and relating,” Mr Delbridge said.