ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby joined Anglican Archbishop Philip Aspinall and other Brisbane Church and community leaders for an ecumenical service on October 24 to pray for an end to the drought.
During his homily in St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Archbishop Bathersby asked God for rain to relieve the suffering of people in rural areas.
‘We gather as urban dwellers of Australia, who wish to place ourselves with our suffering brothers and sisters in the rural areas of our vast land,’ he said.
‘(They) are experiencing not merely the tragic loss of their crops, the sale or destruction of their flocks, the threat of bushfires, the devastation of their dwellings and land but also the human suffering and despair that accompany those sometimes unbearable pressures.
Among the official guests were Premier Peter Beattie and Greg Bryant, representing Queensland Governor, Major General Peter Arnison.
Archbishop Bathersby paid tribute to people living in small country towns.
‘We also remember our brothers and sisters in country towns of Australia who share with them the economic pressures of the present,’ he said.
The archbishop said people in cities acknowledged rural farmers and graizers and their deep love of the land.
‘We acknowledge the debt we owe them as food providers and significant exporters who have served Australia splendidly throughout its comparatively short history.
‘With gratitude and compassion we assure them that, despite the distances that separate us, they are not forgotten.’