‘Forest Chaplaincy’ to be officially launched in Gleniffer

Reverend Jason John

ON Sunday 18 February at 2pm at an outdoor service on the grounds of Gleniffer Church, the Uniting Church Mid North Coast Presbytery will induct Reverend Dr Jason John into the unique role of ‘Forest Chaplain’.

Although Jason has performed the role since November last year, next Sunday will provide an opportunity for the community to meet him and learn more about the role.

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Funded by the Quakers and the Uniting Church, the role of the ‘Forest Chaplain’ is to provide pastoral care support to people engaged in ‘defending’ forests from potential harm, particularly within the proposed Great Koala National Park (GKNP) area.

“It can be despairing and intense work at times for them, so it’s important to give them a safe outlet for that,” Jason told NOTA.

“As time goes on, there’s opportunities for people to gather together as a group and debrief that way too.

“A group of us started a forest advocacy which morphed into a chaplaincy role instead,” he said.

“So, instead of doing direct advocacy for the forests, I am supporting the people that are.”

Following forest protests or rallies, Jason will reach out to those involved for the opportunity to chat and debrief.

Currently, small groups of protesters are gathering daily in several state forests in the region.

Larger protest camps assemble depending on which areas are slated for immediate logging operations.

“What’s confronting for people most is seeing the logging happening and the way it’s accelerating in this area,” he said.

“We should be pausing logging until we decide where the park’s going to be, and the opposite is happening.”


A regular monthly gathering under the tree at Gleniffer Church.

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