On Monday, 27 February, Bishop Andrew Curnow inducted the Revd Brendan McDonald as the new Rector of the Parish of Eaglehawk. Brendan was also commissioned as the Team Leader of the newly formed Harvey Town Cluster comprising the Parish of Eaglehawk and the Anglican faith community of ‘Common Ground’ in Maiden Gully.
Why the name ‘Harvey Town’ Cluster? As Bishop Andrew explained, the previous settlement of Harvey Town, more or less forms the borders of both Eaglehawk and Maiden Gully. Harvey Town was once a 3000-strong community during the peak of the gold rush, but its strong cultural and historical identity remains. Just four of the Harvey Town’s original homes are left, including one which was the former home of the grandfather of one of Eaglehawk’s parishioners, Elaine Bull. The church, the general store and other specialty shops of its heyday no longer exist. A few years ago, the Bendigo Advertiser reported that there are now nine new interpretative signs at Harvey Town allowing the community and visitors to take a step back in time.
Brendan and his wife Virginia and their three children – Bethany, Faith and Daniel uprooted themselves from a Melbourne suburb, arriving in Bendigo in 2012. They felt called to work alongside the Revd Roger Rich and his wife Regina in what was then a fairly new church plant in Maiden Gully.
Subsequently, following theological study, Brendan was made a deacon, then a priest and became the leader of the Maiden Gully faith community and now team leader of the Cluster.
The two faith communities look forward to exciting times ahead under the leadership of Brendan.