Top Centre 22.4

The latest issue (22.4) of Top Centre, the magazine of the Diocese of the Northern Territory, is now online.

Download it for your encouragement and to inform your prayers. (PDF file.)

The oldest parish in the Diocese helps the youngest

“Marsden Park is the newest parish in the Diocese of Sydney. So when its senior minister, the Rev Mark Collins, got a series of messages from the oldest parish in Sydney, he wondered what they might mean. …”

– has an encouraging story of gospel partnership.

The only qualification you need to speak about Jesus

“This Christmas, various officially qualified people will have messages for the season. Bishops and archbishops will get some airtime on the news channels and social media feeds. Preachers in churches nationwide will give sermons, reflections, messages, and kids’ spots. I thank God that in our nation, these great opportunities still exist every Christmas for people to hear about God’s grace in Jesus.

But what about you? Do you have any qualifications to speak about God’s grace this Christmas? …”

Encouragement from ACL Communication Secretary Lionel Windsor – at The Australian Church Record.

Hugh Latimer: Gospel Ploughman

For preaching of the gospel is one of God’s plough-works,
and the preacher is one of God’s ploughmen

“So proclaimed Hugh Latimer (c. 1485-1555) on a rainy eighteenth day of January during the winter of 1548. This sermon – the famous ‘Sermon on the Ploughers’ – was preached at Paul’s Cross in London, where renowned preachers drew huge crowds and prophetically proclaimed the word of God to the hearts of the hearers. Latimer had Romans 15:4 as his scriptural text, and having preached in the previous weeks on the subject of the seed which is sown in God’s field, he turned to the subject of the sower of the seed, the humble ploughman. …”

The Australian Church Record has published a most informative and encouraging short biography of Hugh Latimer – written by Dr Mark Earngey.

Yarning the Bible in the bush

“There was no sandstone, either of cathedral or parish church, but ghost gums and a rainbow looking over the twilight ordination service for the Reverend Michael Duckett.

The unique service took place at the Indigenous Ministry centre at Wedderburn in South West Sydney, home of the Macarthur Indigenous Church. …”

A really encouraging report from Russell Powell at

(See the report for a lovely photo of a heavenly reminder of God’s promises.)

Fight For Your Pastor

“Sometimes a preposition makes all the difference. We do not need to look far to find examples of Christians who fight with their pastor. If you speak to just about any one of them I expect he will be able to tell you of people who have fought him tooth and nail over some peeve, some cause, some perceived slight. But much rarer are those who fight for their pastor, those who honor him and his position by battling for his success, for his joy, for his encouragement. …”

Tim Challies reviews Peter Orr’s book “Fight for your Pastor”.


How to Change Your Church

“Pastors often ask me, ‘How do we get our churches to change?’ Too many ministers have alienated their churches trying to bring change. Some have even been fired.

Still, as shepherds, we must lead our churches to change, even though such change will often be difficult. Here’s a few suggestions about how to bring change: teach, stay and love. …”

– In this brief article at 9Marks from 2010, Mark Dever writes about long-term change in a church. Much encouragement.

Interview – Bible Reading with the Colgans

“Family devotions have been constantly evolving over the years as our family has grown. When our son was born we began by reading him a children’s Bible when he went to bed at night. When all the children were younger we found bedtime was a good time to read the Bible together and it was a good routine and developed a habit or discipline of reading the Bible and praying together. …”

The Australian Church Record asks Victoria and Phil Colgan about family Bible reading in their household.

Christianity: Weird and Wonderful — Rory Shiner on ‘The World Next Door’

Recorded in August 2022, Glen Scrivener from Speak Life in the UK speaks with Rory Shiner about his new book, ‘The World Next Door: A Short Guide to the Christian Faith’, which he co-authored with Peter Orr.

It’s a fascinating interview with very helpful insights into sharing the gospel in our culture.

Watch here. The book is available from Matthias Media.

Southern Cross November — December 2022 out now

The November – December 2022 issue of Southern Cross magazine will be arriving in parishes shortly. Be sure to get your copy!

If you can’t wait, you can download a copy (12MB PDF file) or read it online at

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel’s column is on page 19.

New song for Christmas from Emu Music

Emu Music has released a beautiful new song for Christmas – Jesus is His Name.

Watch at the link – and audio tracks and sheet music are also available.

Our missionary faith – Matthew 28:16-20

Last week, Moore College Principal Dr Mark Thompson spoke about The Great Commission as the College comes to the end of the academic year.

It’s not only Moore College students who need to be reminded why we’re here.

Watch or listen at the Moore College website. Most encouraging.

Latest news from George Whitefield College, Nov 2022

Here’s the latest newsletter from George Whitefield College in Capetown.

As many of our readers will know, the college has historic and strong links with Sydney.

Read online or download the PDF version.

Bathurst newsletter November 2022

Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder writes:

“Please find attached the first of a semi-regular newsletter from me as a way of increasing communication around the diocese – and beyond!”

Download the newsletter here as a PDF file. Food for prayer.

How do we get the whole church engaged in evangelism? — with Gavin Perkins

From The Pastor’s Heart:

“How do you grow your church’s evangelistic ecosystem?  Is that possible?

83% of Gavin’s church members see personal evangelism as an individual responsibility.

And yet most 60% of them had at maximum of two spiritual conversations with non Christians in the last six months.

Gavin Perkins has been researching what are the blockers to personal evangelism? How might we overcome them?

How could we create a congregational ecosystem where individuals take personal evangelistic initiative? …”

Watch or listen at The Pastor’s Heart.

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