THE ANGLICAN Parish of Wingham has a new family living on the premises, with the appointment of the Reverend Brian Ford as the new rector.
The Fords drove for days to get to Wingham in their move, and arrived in town on Tuesday October 14.
It was a big move for the family, as their departure point was Broken Hill, where the Rev Brian Ford was the Archdeacon for three years of the Broken Hill/Far West Parish, which is the largest parish in NSW and covers over 250,000 kilometres.
Previous to being responsible for the Broken Hill Parish, Rev Ford was based in the Bathurst Diocese, spending 6 years in Narromine and four in Bourke/Brewarrina/Cobar.
Rev Ford is very experienced in being involved in rural and outback parishes, and loves the outback and its vastness.
However, despite Brian's love for the outback, he and his family are more than happy to be situated in Wingham and are hoping to stay put for a while.
Apart from the outback postings, the family have always been living in river towns.
"It's good being back in a river town," Brian said. "The kids enjoy swimming at the Brush, and the views we have of the river are the best we've ever had".
Brian's wife Kara agrees. She said that the move, while tiring, was refreshing.
"The friendliness of the people is lovely. And it's good because we're only on one time zone." Kara said.
And the couple are entranced at "just hearing birds!"
Brian and Kara are long-term foster parents to two boys, Braithe, 11, and Bronson, 7.
The boys are attending the Manning Valley Anglican College, and they are also delighted with the move.
Both boys love fishing, and spending time kayaking on the river.
In fact, Braithe says the best thing about the move is that he gets to go fishing. Bronson's mind, however, is currently fixated on trying out for the representative soccer team.
More options for education for the boys was one of the reasons the move was attractive to the Fords.
"The move has bought us a lot closer to our families", said Brian, whose parents live at Swansea. "And we're a lot closer to everything.
"It is quite clear that God has called us to be here. Even once arriving, it was made even more clear."
Brian is very encouraged by the desire of the people of his new parish to do things differently.
"There is a real openness of people in the church to see the church grow and be more connected to the community," Brian said.
"We need a mixed economy of traditional and contemporary worship."
His plans include adding an evening service and developing a further ministry for men, among other things.
Brian also intends to be involved in the community in a voluntary capacity.
He has been an SES chaplain for 32 years and is transferring to the Wingham unit to be the Regional Chaplain for the southern Mid North Coast.
He has also been a volunteer for the RFS for 15 years.
The Reverend Brian Ford and his family are sure to be valuable members of the Wingham community.