Church community farewell priest
FOR six years the Reverend Geoff Hoyte has been the head of St Mark's Anglican Church and now he is preparing to say goodbye.
Reverend Hoyte came to Warwick with his family as the 21st reverend of St Mark's, with his wife Frances and three children, Rosalind, Tom and Hugh, after working as a chaplain at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.
“As a town, Warwick is a friendly place with a nice pace of life. There are a lot of people with good stories here,” he said.
“I have liked the church community here – they are all workers, a great group of people.”
He will head to Logan City, which will be a big change coming from a quiet church surrounded by shrubbery to a church located about 100 metres away from the M1.
“It will be a different pace of life: That will be a challenge however I am looking forward to more diversity of people,” Reverend Hoyte said.
During his time in the region, he spread his service across to St John's West Warwick, Maryvale, Yangan, Pratten and Freestone.
One project he is proud of was getting the Sunday school back into great form with a bunch of children involved in the classes each week.
“I like that we now have an active Sunday school,” he said.
“Things I have particularly enjoyed here are teaching religious education in schools...I enjoyed the interaction with the kids and telling them about Jesus.”
The church community is currently working together on a natural church development initiative to help the church community grow.
“I like that I have been a part of people's journeys. It has been a privilege to be a part of people's lives in difficult and good times,” Reverend Hoyte said.
A part of his work he always takes great pride in is welcoming a new baby into the church through baptism.
“I like baptising babies – they are so funny sometimes,” he said.
“Sometimes they like the water on their head and try and get into the water...all babies love the candle – they are gorgeous.”
Reverend Hoyte's family has all been immersed into the Warwick culture and left a significant footprint on the Rose City.
His wife, Frances, was based in Warwick as the Education Queensland Regional Co-ordinator for Gifted Children Education and his three children attended Warwick State High School (WSHS).
Rosalind is currently studying overseas and was dux of WSHS, Tom is a carpenter and Hugh is in Year 10 and has been involved in Warwick Scouts.
Reverend Hoyte's parting message to Warwick was to come along to Church at St Mark's at 8am on Sunday mornings. Tomorrow's service will be his last.
John Pinson will be the locum reverend until the position is filled and Reverend Hoyte's offsiders Barbara Diery, Susan Wilson and Julie Simpson are all still active in the community.