By Brendan Rees
Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon has paid tribute to Reverend David Powys of St John’s Anglican Church in Cranbourne for his “outstanding service” following his resignation.
The vicar is leaving the parish after 10 years, but conceded it “wasn’t my plan.”
“I had planned to stay another two years but others thought not,” he said.
“The parish, almost to a person, didn’t want me to go.”
Rev Powys, who was Star News person-of-the-year 2018, says he will enjoy some time off overseas before starting with his new parish in Bentleigh on 31 July.
Cr Stapledon read a letter of high commendation for Rev Powys and Penny Powys for their service to the church and wider community during a council meeting on Tuesday 21 May.
“Their Service included growing a church from a small parishioner base to a large multicultural congregation,” she said.
“Overseeing and driving fundraising to build a stunning addition to the church building, allowing it to grow and develop,” she added.
Cr Stapeldon said the pair embraced teaching children and youth as well as enhancing the work and talent within Cranbourne.
“I, along with the City of Casey are grateful for their outstanding service and wish them God’s blessing now and in the future,” she said.
Rev Powys sent a big message to political parties in the lead up to the state election last year by displaying a protest painting outside his church that depicted an abandoned stretch of rail track to Cranbourne East.
He was passionate about cultural diversity, and was instrumental in organising six different cultural groupings within St John’s who ran a night showcasing their culture, food and history.
Rev Powys said his time in Cranbourne was “incredibly warm” and was grateful for the 240 people who attended his farewell at the church recently.
“This wasn’t my plan but I’ll do my best there (Bentleigh) and there will be new challenges,” he said.