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John McIntyre Centre at The Abbey, Raymond Island

December 13th, 2014

A new facility at The Abbey is to be named after the late Bishop of Gippsland, Rt Rev John McIntyre.

Following Bishop John McIntyre’s untimely death in June 2014, the Anglican Diocese of Gippsland has established a fund to redevelop the old A-Frame at The Abbey at A’Beckett Park, Raymond Island, as a new eco-friendly, stand-alone conference facility. This facility will be named the John McIntyre Centre in recognition of Bishop John’s vision and leadership as Bishop of Gippsland 2006-2014.

Bishop John was well known for his work for justice, his ability to connect with people on the margins and his support for various environmental initiatives throughout Gippsland. He was passionate about the re-development of A’Beckett Park on Raymond Island as The Abbey, a Centre for Spirituality and the Environment, seeing it as one way in which the church could take its place with others seeking to care for the environment.

When the future of A’Beckett Park was at a crossroads Bishop John became its champion. In 2006, the site was run down and was no longer viable. Many believed that it should be sold; others wanted it retained. It was Bishop John’s insight and initiative that offered a way forward. He saw the site – 2.5 hectares on Raymond Island surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Gippsland Lakes – as having potential as a centre for environmental excellence, a centre that could nurture the land, teach others and act in tandem with existing like-minded community groups, at the same time as it nurtured the human spirit: The Abbey, a Centre for Spirituality and the Environment.

Much has taken place since then:

Eight new motel units and the retrofitted cottage offer comfortable accommodation for many groups, families and individuals staying on site. The Abbey Program of retreats, festivals and workshops has developed the ethos of The Abbey as a Centre for Spirituality and the Environment. Care for the natural environment takes place with the removal of noxious weeds, conservation of remnant vegetation and planting of indigenous species. Relationships with other environmental groups are developing. The next step is the building of a new eco-friendly, stand-alone conference facility, a step that will further reduce the environmental footprint of the site.

The fund is open and ready to receive donations from people who want to honour the life and work of the late Bishop John McIntyre.

For more information: Edie Ashley, 0423 400 359 (mobile)

Should you wish to make a tax deductable donation to the John McIntyre Centre Fund:

Cheques payable to: Anglican Earthcare Gippsland, John McIntyre Centre Fund
Mail to: Anglican Diocese of Gippsland, PO Box 928, Sale, Vic, 3850 with your name and address for a tax receipt.
Direct Deposit: Anglican Earthcare Gippsland ANZ Bank, BSB 013795, Acct # 2060 78399.
Please use surname and JMCF as reference.

For Tax Receipt: Email