Commissioning of Reverend Jon Cornish, St Columba Anglican School Chaplain

On Friday 18th February 2022, we had the pleasure of Commissioning our School Chaplain, Reverend Jon Cornish. This was a significant day not only for our School, but also for Reverend Cornish, and we feel very fortunate to be welcoming him to our school community.

In a beautiful service, attended by The Right Reverend Dr Murray Harvey, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, as well as current and former Chairs of School Council, our Foundation Chaplain, Rev. Duncan McArthur, and special guests, Rev. Cornish was commissioned as the third School Chaplain at St Columba. Guests also had the pleasure of hearing musical pieces from the Secondary School String Ensemble, the School’s Chapel Band, the Combined Choir and various soloists.

Following Bishop Murray’s formal commissioning, Principal Terry Muldoon noted in his address that “We believe the gifts Jon brings will enrich the life of the School, its students and staff.” Rev. Jon then gave his response, which is reproduced below.

Response to Commissioning – Reverend Jon Cornish

I am very thankful and grateful for the invitation to serve at St Columba Anglican School. This opportunity was offered to me by the Principal Mr Terry Muldoon and The Right Reverend Dr Murray Harvey of the Grafton Diocese – my heartfelt thanks. It is a great honour and a privilege to be given this opportunity to share the Good News of the life of Jesus with everyone in the community.

It’s always better to share Good News, rather than bad news – isn’t it!

To offer faith over meaninglessness. To offer hope over despondency. To offer love over fear. To offer truth over ignorance.

To be commissioned is to be asked under orders to go to a place to serve the Lord in his mission to bring a little more heaven to earth. This is my job.  What a joyful job that is!

St Francis of Assisi said to future leaders in his flock – ‘Go – Preach the Gospel – use words if you have to!’

I hope that I too can not only speak of the Good News, but walk with St Columba Anglican School Community in allowing all the Good, the True and the Beautiful here to flourish and grow. To allow the gifts of everyone to be identified, nurtured and revealed. To ensure that no matter what faith, gender, or background – that all feel safe, included, respected and cherished.

I’d like to thank all of you who have been able to attend this commissioning. To the Year 11 students, musicians, all the staff and other visitors for taking the time to honour this occasion and the importance of God’s mission. It does mean something to me – your generosity is gratefully received.

Finally, I’d like to thank my parents, who are no longer here. Today I wear my father’s black stole for this commissioning service – memory was everything in education in the Ancient world – the truth of that is this – we all have a memory of God and Jesus has come to shake our cage – to wake us up – and open our hearts to that truth. Amen to that!

Reverend Jon Cornish
18 February 2022

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