THOMAS Leslie was last Thursday – Saint Andrew’s Day – inducted as priest of Beechworth-Eldorado Anglican parish at Beechworth’s historic Christ Church in a service brimming with the ritual and tradition that comes with two millennia of Christian history.
The former priest at Yea and Molesworth, team minister and at one time chaplain of Wangaratta’s Cathedral College was joined by his parents, 15 of his peers and a congregation of parishioners and visitors as he was commissioned in the post by Wangaratta bishop John Parkes.
He was welcomed formally to Christ Church and to the diocese by Anglican archdeacon of the Hume Peter Macleod-Miller, robed in ceremonial vestments, before Fr Leslie was commended by Yea parishioner John Anderson to the bishop.
The bishop then preached a sermon in which trout fishing featured – a favoured pursuit of the senior cleric – but symbolic of the saint’s day on which the induction took place.
According to the Bible’s new testament, apostles Andrew and his brother, Simon Peter, were charged by Christ to be “fishers of men”.
The bishop later commissioned Fr Leslie and delivered to him his licence bearing the waxed seal of the diocese.
He was also presented by his new parishioners with symbols of Christian ministry and priesthood – a Bible, prayer book, ewer of water, purple stole, a vial of holy oil, communion elements of bread and wine, a towel and parish registers.
Christ Church music director Sandra Williams performed at the church’s historic William Anderson pipe organ for the service, which she ended with Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s ‘Te Deum’ prelude as the recessional.
Parishioners and clergy later gathered in Quercus Beechworth’s Oregon Hall for a celebration.