Reverend Andrew Cooper
I was commissioned as Priest-in-Charge at St John’s in August 2021. Most of my working life prior to ordination has been in education and faith formation. I’ve taught primary and secondary school, worked in the community sector in Youth and Education programs and spent some time exploring life in intentional religious communities – the Passionists and the Anglican Benedictine community in Camperdown, Victoria.
I did most of my formal theological education at Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne and my ordination formation at St Francis College here in Brisbane. I have blessed to pray and work among the folk of St Clements, Stafford and the Anglican Church of Gympie and Region. In 2017 I was appointed as Priest in Charge of St John the Evangelist Scottish Episcopal Church in Jedburgh, an hour south of Edinburgh in the beautiful Borders of Scotland.
I was born and raised in Tasmania although mum and dad both had roots in Western NSW. I’m one of eight kids and possibly still have the scars literally and figuratively from the ‘first in best dressed’ ethos of our place. I enjoyed looking up the ancestors when I was in the UK and was chuffed to find that one lot was from Bushmills in Northern Ireland, home of the famous Irish Whisky distillery and another lot who come from 20 minutes away from Jedburgh in the Borders. While those particular ancestors came to Oz with ‘assisted passage’ from Queen Victoria (ok… convicts) I was proud to claim I was a true Borderer!
I like exploring back roads, staring at the sea, mooching on moors and mountainsides and I’ve watched way too many home renovation programs. I will be deeply distracted if you have a dog handy and will expect a pat.
I have a deep faith that the Holy Spirit is moving and working in our world and here at St John’s and while how we gather as church may have changed over time, I am confident that we have a treasure of faithfulness to share for many years to come. I am moved by the beauty and care I step into here and excited by the possibilities God has in store for us.