History of St John’s Mission, Toowoomba

Our community began in September 2014, when the then-Rector of Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church in Brisbane, Fr Alexander Borodin, visited a small group of Orthodox Christians who live in Toowoomba and served a Vigil service at the University of Southern Queensland. From that point, this group committed to serving Vespers services twice a month, as an outreach from Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church.

In July 2015, we celebrated a milestone, with the first Divine Liturgy being celebrated by Fr Andrew Smith, and a schedule was established to celebrate Liturgy once a month, in addition to regular Vespers services led by laypeople in the community at USQ.  In November, the Vespers services were replaced by regular Typika services at All Saints’.

This schedule continued through the first half of 2016 when, due to clerical changes in Brisbane, we transitioned to monthly services led by laypeople in the community, with additional visits from Fr Andrew to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.

In March 2017, we received the joyful news from Bishop George that we were made a Mission of the Diocese, being placed under the patronage of St John the Baptist, with Fr Andrew assigned as our inaugural Rector (‘parish priest’), along with his pre-existing assignment at Holy Annunciation.  Later in the year came another milestone, when one of our faithful parishioners was ordained by Bp George to be a Reader for our Mission in August. Rdr Erich had been leading Readers services since our community began, and we were overjoyed to receive his assignment to our Mission.

Between 2017-2019, we held regular monthly services at All Saints’, welcoming people into our community – both Orthodox Christians from interstate and those from Toowoomba who wished to become Orthodox Christians.

parish photo 201901

Just as it was for most of the world, 2020 was a challenging year for our Mission, and we were not able to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for most of this year.  This provided the opportunity for a consolidation, with our Sunday School starting for the children of the parish.  Great joy came at its end, however, when our Reader was ordained through to the priesthood.  Fr Erich’s ordination and assignment to our Mission means that, for the first time in history, an Orthodox priest is resident on the Darling Downs – which has meant local pastoral care, features of parish life, and fortnightly services in Toowoomba.

We are grateful for all that God has given us.
In a community of our size and age, our history is still being written.
We invite you to become a part of this history.

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