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Powerful Words


Powerful Words

September 26, 2015
Saturday 26 September, 8:30am-3:00pm

Venue: New College, UNSW, Kensington

Chaplaincy is a prayerful cross-cultural ministry that focuses on the needs of others. Chaplains meet people at times of special need, loss and vulnerability and offer a safe place to explore issues of meaning and belonging. This conference will explore how faith, love and hope inform pastoral relationships.

Keynote Address - Our Days and God’s Years: Pastoral Care in Times of Change

In Psalm 102, the fleeting days of human life are set in the context of God’s timing and his power to make a difference. With reflection on the importance of individual care in the course of Christian history, in this talk from Rhys Bezzant we will learn how to value our opportunities to serve our neighbour in pastoral settings.

Keynote Speaker - Dr Rhys Bezzant 

BA (Hons) (Melb.), MA (Melb.), BTh, MTh, ThD (ACT).

Rhys is Dean of Missional Leadership and a Lecturer in Christian Thought at Ridley College. After being an Anglican Chaplain amongst tertiary students at Latrobe University and then at the University of Melbourne for several years, Rhys remains passionate about mentoring. 

Rhys' chief responsibilities at Ridley are to teach Church History, Theology and Christian Worship, to lead a cohort of students in the Missional Leadership learning community, and to oversee daily Chapel services. His doctoral thesis investigated the ecclesiology of Jonathan Edwards. He has been a Visiting Fellow in the Yale Divinity School, and leads the Jonathan Edwards Center for Australia, housed at Ridley, which sponsors the study of evangelical history, and the texts and thought of Edwards. Rhys counts amongst his other heroes Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Billy Graham.

Seminar Information

Seminar 1 - David Pettett

"A Captive Audience - Christian Ministry to people in prison"

  1. What does a prison chaplain do?
  2. Questions prisoners ask.
  3. Prisoners of other Faiths and none.

David is the Head of Chaplaincy at Anglicare Sydney, managing the Sydney Diocesan chaplaincies in prisons and hospitals. He has ministered in various parishes in Sydney, been a church planter with OMF in Japan and has been a chaplain in the Royal Australian Navy, hospitals and prisons. David has qualifications in theology, pastoral care, counselling and pastoral supervision. He is currently researching how the preaching of Samuel Marsden challenges stereotypes of the “Flogging Parson”. David has two adult children, two daughters in law, two grandchildren, one dog and one yacht. And loves them all.

Seminar 2 - Peter Ellem

Chaplaincy at the Crossroads

Chaplaincy happens at the crossroads, it's where suffering crosses into people's realities as an unexpected and unwanted guest, but there, God can be found. The cross tells us God is there, the cross tells us how He is there, and the cross points to hope when everything might seem hopeless. Chaplaincy helps people encounter God in the harsh realities of everyday life, in the anguish of their suffering and in the public space where private agonies are borne.

Peter grew up in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK. Was a youth and community worker in East London, then trained for ministry at St John's Nottingham where he received a B.Th. Then followed by ministry  in London, church planting and community development work in inner city Leeds and an M.A. in Religion and Locality from Leeds University. Peter returned to Sydney with his family and became Rector of Yagoona Anglican Church. From there he moved into Chaplaincy at Westmead Hospital and is now at the Children's Hospital, Westmead.

Seminar 3 - Peter Frith (Mental Health Chaplain & Disaster Recovery Chaplain)

"Chaplains in the firing line: The Lindt Café siege"

  1. When terrorism came to Sydney
  2. Christ in the chaos
  3. Would I do it again?

Peter Firth is husband, father of three and grandfather of one; Anglican minister previously involved in parish ministry including church planting, rural, suburban and inner city. Of late an Anglicare chaplain to the mentally ill.

A radio-play performed live 'The Job Verbatim: What not to say' based on The Bible – Book of Job

Written and produced by Kate Bradford

The radio play explores Chaplaincy themes of loss, blame, retribution, minimization and theodicy through the scriptural lens of the Book of Job.

Kate is an Anglican Lay Minister and has served as a chaplain in Paediatric Hospitals since 2007. In addition hospital chaplaincy work, Kate is involved in developing and teaching Anglicare training materials for chaplains and pastoral care ministers. Kate is also a visiting chaplain to theological students at Moore College. Kate and a Certified Advanced Member of Spiritual Care Australia. Prior to chaplaincy, Kate was involved in cross-cultural mission in Tanzania, where she and her husband Steve, worked at a remote rural hospital and Bible training centre. Kate and Steve are members of Darling St Anglican Church, Balmain.


  1. Coffee & tea on arrival
  2. Welcome
  3. Keynote Address - 'Our Days and God’s Years: Pastoral Care in Times of Change' presented by Rhys Bezzant
  4. Morning Tea
  5. Seminar 1 - David Pettett (Prisons)
  6. Seminar 2 - Peter Ellem (Hospitals)
  7. Seminar 3 - Peter Frith (Mental Health Chaplain & Disaster Recovery Chaplain)
  8. Question Time
  9. Lunch
  10. A radio-play performed live 'The Job Verbatim: What not to say' based on The Bible – Book of Job and produced by Kate Bradford
  11. Discussion Groups
  12. Closing Session - Kate Bradford

Booking Information

Cost: $65 per ticket 

Your ticket gets you:

  • Admission to all sessions of the conference
  • Coffee on arrival, morning tea and lunch
  • Conference Booklet

To make an Individual or Group Bookings click on the Book Now button. Bookings close on Tuesday 22nd September.

For more information email case@newcollege.unsw.edu.au or phone the CASE Office at New College on 02 9381 1999