As we continue to go around the nation hearing stories of what led people into Anglican school chaplaincy we head to Western Australia and thank David Deeny for supplying the following article from Linda Pilton
I am one of the chaplains at an Anglican school in Perth. I am currently a Deacon, hoping to be ordained as Priest later in the year. My journey, following God’s call has been a lifelong one, but for the purposes of this article I will focus more on the future, with a little contextual background
Following ordination as a Churches of Christ minister in Melbourne in 1995 and a short time serving a parish, I began to discern a sense of call to chaplaincy. I completed a teaching qualification and began working as a religious education teacher with some chaplaincy duties in an Anglican school in Melbourne.
On arrival in Perth some years later, and again working in an Anglican School as a religious education teacher with a chaplaincy role, people began to suggest to me that I should just become Anglican. At that time I did not sense a call for this and was happy to be part of the Anglican Church on the “sidelines”. After a number of years, I had a growing sense of not being able to be fully me in my service of both God and Church, in that while I could perform most duties as a chaplain, I was not able to offer communion in this setting. So began a time of questioning whether this was a call into the Anglican Church and Priesthood.
Following discussions with my Principal and other relevant leaders in my school I was encouraged to apply for the Enquirers’ Programme run by our Diocese and to be received into the Anglican Church.
My completion of the Enquirers’ programme and subsequently the Formation programme at Wollaston Theological College happened in large part due to the support I received from my school community, who saw that their investment in my formation was an important way to develop the chaplaincy team here, and to contribute to the wider diocese. This was no small commitment on their part. It meant providing time for me to attend Wollaston weekly and now monthly, time to attend retreats and other development days and completion of CPE in a hospital setting (mostly over summer). This had impacts on timetabling and budgets.
I am grateful for their support in time and development and in a sense helping me to following my call by listening to their own call about what type of school we should be and how we participate in the broader community of the Diocese.
Rev Dave Deeny was born and grew up in South Africa. He spent 24 years working in the City of London for a major Swiss bank. Dave and his family emigrated to Australia in 2011 when he was appointed Chaplain at John Wollaston Anglican Community School. In 2016 Dave moved to Peter Moyes Anglican Community School. He enjoys and is in awe of nature which he views as the marvellous work of God’s hands. He enjoys walking his dog, a Ridgeback called ntombi – which is a Zulu word meaning ‘lady.’ He also enjoys gardening and kayaking on the Swan River.