Suzanne Stanton on Rural Placement

Grenfell Uniting Church outdoors

In December 2012 I spent two and a half weeks enjoying my Rural Field Education placement in the town of Grenfell in Central New South Wales, part of the Macquarie Darling Presbytery. My time there included the opportunity to lead Christmas morning worship for the first time. Other highlights were visiting the Men’s Shed and Community Carols in the park. After being welcomed by members of the congregation I found out for the first time what it feels like to arrive in a new place, settle into the manse and get to know the congregation. I found that the farming language of the Bible came alive for me in a new way as I lived in a place where the harvest is so central to life. Seeing how the rural church has adapted in times of change was inspiring, and the co-operation between the Christian denominations was also wonderful to see and experience. Not only was I blessed to enjoy the wide open spaces and friendly welcome, but as it turned out I also experienced the compassion and care of the congregation after a death in my family took me home earlier than I hoped. Even in my shortened time in Grenfell I managed to experience so much, and was very sorry to leave the beauty and peace that I found there.

Suzanne Stanton

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