St Thomas Anglican Church, Howrah & St Barnabas Anglican Church, South Arm, Tasmania

Affirming lives, reflecting the hope we have in Jesus

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The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalms 18:2

Greeting everyone,

We are now in our fourth week of restricted movement around the community and I trust that all is well with you and that you have all the support you need. Heather and I continue to pray for your well-being and safety during this time.

This week I thought I might talk about Hot Cross Buns. There seems to be confusion about their mysterious appearances in our supermarkets as early as Boxing Day which has no connection to Good Friday or Easter. So, do we know what the symbolism of the Hot Bun at Easter really is other than they are delicious to eat. By the way do you buy and eat them before Good Friday? Well I have done some research and here is what I found. The origins of Hot Cross Buns may go back as far as the 12th century. The Buns are spiced and sweet and are usually made with fruit, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday. The buns marks the end of Lent and different parts of the Hot Cross Bun have a certain meaning, including the cross representing the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spices inside signifying the spices used to embalm him at his burial. The sweet fruits in the bun show that Christians no longer need to eat plain foods. In your package this week there is a Good Friday Liturgy and sermon.

There is also Prayer Points, Readings and a sermon for Easter Day. As part of your time of worship on Sunday you may like to use the sheet with the symbols of the Resurrection.  I wonder whether Jesus knew there would be a glorious resurrection when he hung there nailed to cross? Through all that pain and sadness and suffering, did he know things would be all right in the end? Was there a hint of resurrection to come? Or was the agony of it all made even worse by the conviction that this was the end, that even God had deserted him - "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

It seems to me that human beings can never be absolutely sure that things will be all right in the end. We may believe they are going to be all right, we may have faith in the future, but there's always that nagging doubt. And there are times that are so awful that we may be convinced things will never be all right again. So much of our faith is about us! We want Jesus to live in order that he may give us what we want, or keep us safe, or heal us. Even if we believe in heaven and that we will have a life after death, our belief is, at best, vague. We can be like the people in Jesus’ day who go through the actions of religion with some hope of being rewarded now. Peter and John ran from the empty tomb saying nothing! Perhaps they were as embarrassed as we are to blurt out about our faith that “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

We talk about justice, and good works, and piety, and the outward signs of the Christian faith. We become experts on how the service should be taken or how the parish spends its money. Yet we often say nothing at all about the heart and core of Christianity. That Christ is risen! Yet without the presence of the Risen Christ in our hearts, we are, as St Paul wrote in Chapter 13 of his first letter to the Corinthians: “… If we do not have love, we are noisy gongs or a clanging cymbal.

And if we have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if we have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, we are nothing. If we give away all our possessions, and if we hand over our bodies so that we may boast, but do not have love, we gain nothing.” 1 Cor. 13.1-3 (edited).

So, after the agony of Good Friday, may you rejoice in the joy of the resurrection and tell someone the Good News that “Jesus Christ is risen indeed!” Heather and I extend to you Easter blessings and may you know the love of the Risen Jesus in your life now and always.

Neil and Heather

COVID-19, the coronavirus


There will be no services at the churches in the parish until further notice.  

Please pray for fellow parishioners and their good health as we struggle to understand these new challenges.

Our Mission

We exist to be a Christian Church of influence and significance in our community, making Jesus known and bringing abundant life and hope to the people of our communities and beyond as we:

  • Love God and his people through our thoughts, words and actions, sharing in worship and praise which is worthy of the God we adore, who has showered us with his unfathomable grace, and by demonstrating the teachings of Jesus every day in our own behavior;
  • Grow to be more like Jesus praying that the Holy Spirit will guide and empower our lives; and
  • Share the message of Jesus’ love from God’s Word, with people in our communities and beyond.  

To navigate these pages choose from the menu across the top of each page or simply choose:

To get in idea about our church, there is brief information About Us here.

We are looking for A New Minister.  Click here to learn more.

This page lists the range of Services we hold throughout the year.

For this week's Good Friday service, click here.

For the Paschal Meal Service click here.

For this week's Easter Day (Sunday) service, click here.

Select this page to learn more about our Teaching.

We have a range of Activities and Events.

Select Contact Us if you have any questions or would like additional information.

ABOVE: The Curry Night raised over $500 for the Anglican Bushfire Relief Appeal.  Click here  to see more photos of the Curry Night on the Activities and Events page.

BELOW:  An international ceremony -  a wedding at St Thomas and further celebrations in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong for Nick and Rebecca.

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