New priest keen to work alongside the community
St Brendan’s Anglican Church in Warnbro has welcomed a new parish priest who is looking forward to working alongside the community.
For David Lord, being a priest is not just about his work in the Church but also in the community.
He has been ordained for close to three decades and is passionate about helping those who are marginalised and “moving alongside the people”.
Born in the UK, David joined the police force when he left school.
“I worked for the West Yorkshire Police, which included dealing with the Yorkshire Ripper,” he said.
“It turned out he lived about a kilometre from where I lived.”
Having moved to Australia in 1980, he worked in retail for a few years before returning to the police force.
David spent his last few years as a police officer working in traffic.
“Unfortunately, I had to knock on the door of someone whose daughter, brother, wife, son — whoever it may be — who had died in a traffic accident, often in the middle of the night,” he said.
“What I would be trying to do is sit down, talk to them, make them a cup of tea and try to reach out to them.
“You don’t often see that side of the police force.
“People often say there is a big difference between the police and being a priest but in many ways it’s not, because you’re dealing with people and humanity.”
Having been involved in the Church all his life, David said he realised God had always been in his life and had been calling to him.
“God has this wonderful way of tapping me on the shoulder, the hound of heaven, they say,” he said.
David studied theology at Murdoch University and at Wollaston Theological College.
He then spent eight years in rural parts of Australia as a parish priest and, when he returned to Perth, worked at schools.
“My time in school ministries often involved taking young people to work overseas in missionaries,” he said.
“Places like Calcutta, an orphanage in Fiji, and working with young people in Nepal who had been rescued from the sex industry.
“The amazing thing is, often I would take young people with me who were anti-God and anti-Church.
“The reality is, people may not want to know about the established Church but they have this inherent desire to do good for humanity.”
David started at St Brendan’s earlier this month and his attrac-tion to the church came as a result of the work it does in the community and with people of “all walks of life”.
He said one of the reasons he was drawn to St Brendan’s was the work it did providing homeless respite, which includes providing a cooked meal at Guide Hall on Fridays.
“I’ve always believed being a priest is about community, it’s not just about the people inside the church but everybody,” David said.
“I work with an open-door policy and try to get out and about and move alongside the people.
“Christ didn’t just keep himself in the Church, he was out and about mixing and meeting with people from all walks of life.
“I try and model that.
“My work here is to help and guide people.”
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