Annual Report for 2017

The following is the Annual Report except for the Report of Life and Witness and the Financial Statement, which may contain information inappropriate for viewing beyond the membership of the congregation.


  • Church Council Report
  • Pastoral Care
  • U.C.A.F.
  • U.C.A.F. Financial Statement
  • Church Choir
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Worship Committee
  • Op. Shop
  • Op Shop Plant and Garden Sale
  • Out There


Ministers: Supply: Rev Bob Thomas (from May) & Mr Victor Buhagiar.

Members: Don Barber, Beryl Chappell, Kathleen Cummings, Ken Flavell, Elizabeth Hines, Dennis Mitchell, Keith Mitchell, Liz Smith and Elsie Stokie.

Retiring 2018 Kathleen Cummings, Keith Mitchell, Liz Smith, Elsie Stokie.

Retiring 2019 Don Barber, Dennis Mitchell.

Retiring 2020 Ken Flavell.

Co-opted Beryl Chappell & Elizabeth Hines.

Church Council meets on the 2nd Tuesday each month at 7:30pm. This year Church Council decided to meet for dinner (at their own expense) prior to the August meeting. This was a very successful venture and provided a worthy time of fellowship together.

We were finally relieved of the failed second placement position in May and were indeed fortunate that Rev Bob Thomas joined us as a part-time supply Minister. Bob and Victor worked well together as a ministry team and shared the worship services and pastoral needs of the communities of East Geelong and Leopold.

Mr Victor Buhagiar completed his supply appointment with us in December. Victor was a wonderful asset to the life of the church at Leopold. Victor’s ministry extended into the wider community; the video he made showing church members sending greetings to individuals in nursing homes, was received by the residents of the nursing homes with great joy and happy memories of the church.

Improvements have been made to the external appearance of the church and it is now more visible to the public. Overgrown trees and shrubs have been removed. A new garden along the eastern wall of the church has been planted with small evergreen shrubs.

The vestry has been cleared and sorted; unwanted goods have been disposed of. Some items have been boxed, ready to be sent to the church archives. Church Council policy and procedures have been recorded in a booklet to ensure consistency in management of these issues.

To members of Council I wish to say “Thank You” for your commitment to serving the administrative needs of our church throughout another challenging year.

Kathleen Cummings, Chairperson

Pastoral Care

The Pastoral Care committee is comprised of Heather Lochhead, Marj Snell, Kay Walsh, and Ruth Mitchell together with our Supply Ministers, Victor Buhagiar and later in the year Rev. Bob Thomas was also appointed as a Supply Minister. Both took part in our meetings when able.

The Visiting Team includes the committee members and Don Barber, Beryl Chappell, Kathleen Cummings, Evelyn Gaynor, Ken Flavell, Allen Wilson and Ron Wilson.

In June there was a meeting for the team led by Victor to assist us in our task.

It is important that the entire church congregation take part in caring, sharing, welcoming,listening, praying, communicating and following Christ’s example whenever possible.

In August and September we marked the 80th birthdays of Marj Snell and Fred Smith with cake.

During the year we were pleased to welcome Jean Lockman, Lou Dumesny, Marie Louise Terrill, Pat Tyler and Mark Ballantyne to our worshipping community.

Victor led regular services at both Estia and Kensington Grange Nursing Homes.

Heather Lochhead maintains the church rolls.

Friendship Group meets bi-monthly and the committee provides afternoon tea for any interested older members who come to enjoy fun and fellowship.

Sadly Ron Drayton died in August. Victor led his funeral in our church

As a result of poor health Valerie Shaw has had to move to Melbourne to be near her family.

Ruth Mitchell.

Leopold Uniting Church Choir 2017

I’d like to report that I felt the choir had a very good year. Having some extra voices made a big difference.

Many thanks to all the members and our excellent musicians for all the good work they have done. Hopefully we made a difference to the church service each week.

Members- Mary Dawson, Lena Halliday, Rev. Bob Thomas, Ruth and Dennis Mitchell, Kathleen and Rob Cummings, Shirley and Allen Wilson, Joan and Ron Wilson with musicians Marion Powell and Thomas Gawith.

Joan Wilson Choir Leader


‘It is with pleasure that I submit the Leopold UCAF Report for 2017.

During 2017, we remained affiliated but operated as a Social Club, to keep continuity.

We have enjoyed fellowship, together, at different social events throughout the year’.

Beryl Lewis

Op. Shop

Friendships have been formed both within the volunteer list and our customers.

Many thanks to Val Flavell for keeping the roster in such good order. Val is one of the volunteers that go unnoticed and is such a big part of our organisation.

Also many thanks to the people who take rubbish, end of month items, and supply preserves, which customers are always asking for.

In excess of $78,000 was made and I know it must have brought a smile to the treasurer’s face and more people.

There is a good community spirit as we give cards, goods, and warm greetings to all, and to those who are ill and in need. We have given to many charities donations and goods to people in need.

Our volunteers have so many hidden talents that we utilise and that go unnoticed, and I appreciate the thanks and support that I receive from many people.

Thanks to Marie Louise for organising the plant and garden sale days.

Thanks to all from Liz. Op Shop Manager.


On being appointed as the Church Treasurer I have just completed my first year. It has certainly been a learning curve and I am thankful for the help I received from various areas of the Church.

We have shown a profit for the year of in excess of $32,000, but at the same time have tried to keep up the maintenance of the buildings and surrounds.

We have supported the Uniting Church Appeals, Mission and Service plus supporting local community needs, through donations to various community groups. .

We were able to support .50 (Victor Buhagiar twelve months) and .25 (Bob Thomas since 21st May 2018), which shows a lower stipend this year, compared to having a full time Minister.

I am pleased to report both envelope/direct debit and freewill offering were slightly up on last year, which is pleasing.

Although we did not have a Fair this year the Opportunity Shop did run a successful Garden Show under the leadership of Marie Louise Terrill making excess $2500

Many thanks to Liz Smith and her team in the Opportunity Shop who had an extremely good year, contributing $78212.00 to the Church Funds, without their dedication and hard work we would not have a Church who could pay their bills.

This year the Branch Manager of the Bendigo Bank Leopold Craig Taylor has examined our Financial Accounts and we thank him for donating his time and expertise to reviewing our books.

Looking to the future the council will have major expenses of roof repairs and new signage that I have allowed in the budget.

Many thanks to Ruth Mitchell for banking our Offerings/Rents received and to Liz Smith for banking the Opportunity Shop money.

During the year the Council set up Internet transfers for paying our accounts, for which I am grateful.

Look forward to another financially successful year.

Heather Lochhead, Treasurer

Worship Committee

The worship committee was not called upon to organise worship other than the carol service held on 14 December 2017. Ron has acted as co-ordinator for those members who take part in the worship.

Ron Wilson

OP Shop Plant and Garden Sale

The month of November saw the first Op Shop Plant and Garden Sale held with the aim of drawing the church community and the wider community closer together. The Sale provided away for our members and friends to work together to further friendships, and of course, to hopefully raise some money. The enterprise was successful in achieving all its aims.

A wide range of helpers and customers mixed over the days of the sale and many people were involved in the set up, running and clean up of the sale. Our thanks to all who helped but especially to Marie-Louise Terrill who had the original idea and drove the project from beginning to end.

The Sale raised over 2500.00 and was a magnificent effort. It was a good replacement for our Spring Fair that had become too hard to run with the resources available.

Marie-Louise spent a great deal of time and effort organising things to sell, people to help and donations to make the sale interesting and a fun place to visit.

Dennis Mitchell, Council Secretary


Projects undertaken in the Leopold community throughout 2017 in the name of the Uniting Church have been strongly supported by our church people – Church Council, Op-Shop the church congregation and associated people.

UnitingCare Pancake Day:

The 2017 Pancake Day was undertaken in two parts. We held as Pancake Luncheon after church on the 26th February and a Shrove Tuesday event at Leopold Primary School on 28th February. The combined total raised for UnitingCare Pancake Day was $1,126.30.

The school event is very much a community event with nearly 800 children, parents and great support from the Lions Club of Leopold along with the Men’s Shed, all involved in this early morning event. The assistance of those Community organisations and our congregation in providing the people and equipment to prepare, cook and serve over 1000 pancakes before school, was greatly appreciated.

Kokoda Youth Program

With the assistance of many people, another $6,000.00 was raised to ensure the participation of a person on this program. This brings the total to $30,000 that we have contributed since its establishment five years ago.

The Geelong Kokoda Youth Program is an early intervention program to provide an avenue to assist young people to re-engage with school and break a pattern of anti-social behaviour. It also provides an opportunity for police and local people to have more involvement as a positive role model with young people who have had or potentially will display anti-social behaviours.

The program has given us the opportunity to be part of an experience that has the potential to bring about a remarkable change in the behaviour of a young person through this positive involvement.

The Uniting Op-shop, the Church Council and many individuals made substantial donations to assist the fund-raising efforts. The support of the church people and the availability of the church facilities have enabled information evenings and video presentations to be undertaken in comfortable surroundings at minimal cost.

The major event, a Trivia Night, was conducted at the Leopold Sportsman’s Club. The Sportsman’s Club provided the facilities free of charge as part of their Community involvement These events have shown that our church is out there, operating in the wider community. Thank you to all who assisted.

Ken Flavell