Bathurst Diocesan Prayer Diary 2023

Please be encouraged to pray for the churches and people of the Diocese of Bathurst using their 2023 Prayer Diary.

Downloadable here as a PDF file.

One of the prayer requests for Day 15 –

“Please pray for the financial sustainability task force, that you would give them wisdom as they seek to lead our diocese to a better financial position. …”

A weary pilgrimage

“I remember going to a weekend conference some eighteen months after I was converted, and a girl there asked me if I was a Christian. I answered, ‘Yes’.

‘Tell me’ she said, ‘what I have to do to become a Christian’.

I didn’t have the faintest idea where to begin.

As I write this now, I remember well the mixed emotions that swamped me. First, joy—because more than anything else I wanted to see people converted. Second, shame—because I didn’t know what to say. Third, anger—(with myself) for allowing such a situation to arise. All these emotions muddled together produced the only possible answer: ‘I’ll take you to someone who can tell you’.

So I did that, and she was converted—but not by my words or witness.

That incident left an indelible imprint on my memory, and that day I vowed that such a situation would never happen again. In the future I would know exactly what to say.

So I set out to learn the gospel. Which I did. …”

– from John Chapman in his book Know and Tell the Gospel. Extract published by Matthias Media.


“Predictions about the global economic outlook for the new year are not encouraging. Nor is the news of the ongoing aggression by Russia in Ukraine. Given the rise of powerful despots and divisions within western democracies, is there anything that we can do?

Two and a half millennia ago the Jewish people were in exile. In 586 BC Babylonian forces had rampaged through Judah, conquering Jerusalem, razing its walls and its temple to the ground. Political obliteration seemed inevitable as the cream of the population was taken to Babylon.

Yet the extraordinary thing was this:…”

– At The Anglican Connection,  John Mason continues to remind us that our needy world waits to hear the truth about God.

How a man reading the Bible revolutionised my Bible reading

“For most of the time I have been a Christian, talking about personal Bible reading has made me uneasy.

I usually regarded people who talked about their deep quiet times (often early in the morning) as spiritual skites. That was simply jealousy, because most of my attempts at quiet times could be likened to the Wright brothers’ experiments with flight. A lot of effort, airborne for a short time, then a crash.

Weirdly enough, it was a combination of the pandemic and technology that came to my rescue. …”

– Anglican Media Sydney’s Russell Powell shares some great encouragement for you.

‘Amazing Grace…’

“A close source pointed me to an article by Marylynn Rouse in Christian Heritage London, about the 250th anniversary of Amazing Grace. She comments, ‘It’s not often that a pop song in the charts can claim to have been around for 250 years. John Newton’s hymn Amazing Grace featured in hit parades all over the world in the 1960s and 70s, but was written for New Year’s Day 1773. …”

– John Mason writes at The Anglican Connection.

Bishop of Tasmania’s Training Event 2022

From the Diocese of Tasmania:

“On 17 and 24 September, over 500 Anglicans from across Tasmania gathered in Hobart and Launceston to attend the annual Bishop’s Training Event.

In its 6th year, it was our biggest year yet, and we enjoyed encouragements from Bishop Richard and Wei-Han Kuan (the State Director of CMS Victoria). We are making the videos of the keynotes available and you can watch them below.”

Most encouraging.

Don’t Check the Boxes

“Over the years, as far as I can tell, perhaps the single most significant ‘breakthrough’ for me in daily Bible intake was learning to ignore those little boxes next to each of the daily readings.

If you’re a box-checker, I cast no stones. I simply share my own weaknesses and flaws by testifying to the breakthrough. Silly as it may sound, when I stopped checking the boxes, something started to change in my attitude toward God’s word. …”

– Here’s some encouragement from David Mathis at Desiring God.

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.

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