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St Barnabas Church

Lenton Abbey

Part of the Church of England

Down Under

The Revd Ian Lambert died on Saturday 9 September 2017 after being diagnosed with cancer. It was a privilege to know him and he will be sadly missed.

Ian Lambert

2nd February 2015

St Barnabas are in prayer and support of Ian Lambert who is spending a year in Australia. Part of it will be providing locum support for a parish in Sydney where he has worked before but then he will venture into new pastures to work with Aborigine peoples in the more remote parts of the land. Check back here for updates.

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4th February 2015

Ian Lambert: "May I commend the Australian Men's Shed movement to your prayer group. These photos are of our local hospital where I visit and they have a "Mens Shed". The movement started some years ago to give a place for men to socialise often over some practical activity with no alcohol. It is a successful movement and clearly meets a need."

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12th February 2015

Ian Lambert: "It's so hot I need an umbrella to keep off the sun between the rectory and the church! Say Hi to all in St Barnabas and we remember you all and the HOPE project each Sunday "

Ian Lambert

2nd March 2015

Ian Lambert: "Greetings to St Barnabas, from St Mary's. Even the church Palm tree was wilting as the last day of the Australian summer brought temperatures of 37.8! A storm after Sunday services brought a change to 21.5! Was it my sermon?! "

Ian Lambert

9th April 2015

Ian Lambert: "The Sydney parish has been incredibly busy but my locum position is ending as a permanent new minister arrives next week. I am off to a community in the blue mountains called lawson (named after the explorer) which will be quite a change and a lot cooler! It's all very convenient as I have signed up for some training to become a facilitator for a bibliotherapy programme sponsored by the government called " Reading NSW". The idea originated in UK where using imaginative reading with disadvantaged groups with a qualified facilitator has evidence based success. This qualification will be useful in my more remote locations and I would love to use this approach for bible reading."

16th April 2015


St Mary's church Waverley

As the first part of my 2015 sabbatical in Australia draws to a close this seems a good moment to pause and reflect briefly on my experience so far.

On my arrival in January I was asked by the diocese of Sydney to provide a locum ministry for the city church of St Mary's Waverley whilst a permanent rector was selected and appointed. The previous minister had retired after a period of stress related illness so my pastoral work focussed on healing and encouragement. I certainly found my training in family counselling very useful as congregations are remarkably like families!

Shared Reading NSW

I have always been fascinated by Narrative Theology and Narrative Therapy so it came as no surprise to find myself selected for Facilitator Training for a government sponsored project called Shared Reading NSW. Drawing on the success of collaborative reading projects in the UK where participants have reported noticeable positive effects on mental and physical health a similar project is being started here in Australia.

Such projects have also improved social connectiveness from the very young to the very old. I am part of the first cohort of facilitators to undergo the training and I foresee the possibility of setting up such groups in the more remote locations I will shortly move into.

The outback

The next period of my ministry here will be to offer short term support to Anglican clergy in remote locations under the auspices of the Bush Church Aid Society. I have also been asked to write up my findings about the effect of stress and social isolation so as to develop further support services for clergy serving in such remote locations.

A highlight of my time in the outback will, I am sure, be time spent in and around Uluru as well as time in the township of Alice Springs which is somewhere I have wanted to visit since a child.

King island

From the extremes of the outback I travel down to Tasmania for a locum ministry starting in early July. I have been invited to go to one of the most remote islands in the world! King island, while part of the state of Tasmania lies in the roaring forties in bass straight! This will be both an exciting and challenging posting especially as I will be there in the depth of the southern winter! Social isolation and serious economic hardship are a feature of life there so I know I will be busy!


I plan to return to UK in late December which will give me a few weeks to write up my report to Australian bishops and the director of the Bush Church Aid Society on the importance of ministerial support as part of episcopal oversight.


I will send photos and details for your interest about Shared Reading NSW as and when appropriate. With Best Wishes. Ian

2nd May 2015

Ian Lambert: Below are photos of the Bush Church Aid Society churches Ian is visiting. Very loyal congregations maintain these simple but attractive buildings.

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7th May 2015

Ian Lambert: "Hi All This is the church in Alice springs dedicated to The Reverend Flynn who founded the Royal Flying Doctor Service. His aim was to provide a "mantle of spiritual and bodily care" for all the people of the outback. The work continues!! X Ian"

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11th May 2015

Ian Lambert: "Just travelled by bus from Uluru to Alice springs by coach. It's 600 kilometres and we only saw two road trains, never turned a bend and saw nothing but desert. Outback people are hardy but the continuing draught means the Northern Territory government are funding "draught counselling " for stressed rural families!"

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13th August 2015

Ian Lambert: "Hi All at St Barnabas, We are developing bible study groups in different locations on King Island some with views as nice as this! People are very responsive to study & prayer groups & they are all very ecumenical in style. It's mid winter here in Tasmania but it's "cool rather than cold" so life is not disrupted apart from the occasional blow from the roaring forties! Greetings from all at All Saints King Island Ian "

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16th August 2015

Ian Lambert: "Please pray for us on Wednesday as we try to renew a church presence in Grassy which since the closure of the scheelite mine is a sad place. X Ian "

Ian Lambert

1st September 2015

Ian Lambert: "We celebrated St Aidan's Day and the view from the east of king island is so reminiscent of the northern isles I quite expected to bump into him fishing for salmon like me! Please thank all at St Barnabas for your prayers and I am glad to tell you that we are indeed re starting a Christian presence in Grassy so THANKYOU and well done! I mentioned your prayers and of course some with Internet access promptly googled you! People here are thrilled that a Nottingham church nearly 12,000 miles away is praying for them! With love and blessings Ian "

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26th November 2015


Sabbatical leave

What an adventure 2015 has been! I was privileged to work for the Bush Church Aid Society of Australia as a locum minister when and where required and draw up some suggestions as to how further strategies for ministerial support could be developed especially for those serving in remote locations. As well as a three month locum in a city church in Sydney my travels took me as far inland as the " Red Centre " including Uluru and Alice Springs and as far south as King Island in the roaring forties of Bass Straight where once again I served as their locum resident minister. Wherever I went the churches made me most welcome and I have been impressed by their commitment to church life as well as to routine study of the scriptures. People were prepared to travel considerable distances often on unmade tracks to join a bible study group and I learned a great deal from them all.

Home news

My son Stuart and his wife Claire have also had an eventful year. Stuart has a new job at De Montfort University in Leicester which allows him to use his considerable experience as deputy stage manager at Nottingham Playhouse in a new context. His wife Claire continues to work at Harrow School and they have now moved house from Claypole in Lincolnshire to Rugby so that they can both commute daily to their respective places of work.

My daughter Claire still enjoys life in Dubai with her husband Ismail and they too have experienced changes. Claire decided to move on from her job as Art Director for Harpers Bazaar to set up her own business as well as do free lance work as required. Ismail continues to work in the Dubai finance sector and between them they are developing a "Cat sitting" business for the many expatriates who need to leave their pets behind when they travel overseas.

On a personal note: As my sabbatical year was drawing to a close I was been diagnosed with bowel cancer and am receiving first class treatment here in Australia, which is why I am sending these greetings a little earlier than usual. I am cautiously optimistic about the outcome of the chemotherapy and hope to fly home before long.

In spite of my health issues It has been a wonderful year and I look forward to continuing my post retirement ministry in whatever way is appropriate in 2016!

I hope these greetings find you well,

With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Ian lambert