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ABM honours service to mission

The Anglican Board of Mission Australia has established the 'Coaldrake Awards' to honour faithful and dedicated service to mission. The first two awards were presented to Fr Eric Hampson and Mrs Moya Holle at a meeting of ABM Associates in Sydney on 1 June 2017. They were presented by the Chairman of ABM, The Right Reverend Garry Weatherill.

ABM Associates

Moya Holle accepts the Coaldrake Award

ABM Associates

Fr Eric Hampson accepts the Coaldrake Award

Frank Coaldrake

The Coakdrake awards honour the memory of the Reverend Frank William Coaldrake (1912–1970). His missionary work began in 1932 when he went to the pastoral town of Charleville in southwest Queensland as warden of the boys' hostel run by the Brotherhood of St Paul. He served a term as travelling secretary for the Australian Student Christian Movement. A pacifist, he founded a monthly paper, the Peacemaker, to assist men who conscientiously objected to military service. He went to work for the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, supervising a hostel for homeless youth. There he lobbied local councils and State ministers, served as a probation officer, and organized non-violent protests against the injustices of the landlord and tenant legislation. He was made deacon in 1942 and ordained priest in 1943.

Frank Coaldrake

Frank Coaldrake

Coaldrake believed that the Christian response to Japanese aggression should be to build a 'bridge of reconciliation' between Australia and Japan. He offered to serve as a missionary in Japan and from June 1947 Coaldrake served in the battered and demoralized Japanese Episcopal Church. He returned to Sydney in 1956 to become chairman of the Australian Board of Missions.

Coaldrake sought to shape the ABM's policies to meet the rapidly changing world of the 1960s. He argued that Western concepts of mission were untenable in the post-colonial era and held that indigenous Christians in 'emerging' nations should be assisted to conduct missionary exchange with the 'home' churches on a basis of equality.

In 1970 Coaldrake became the first Australian-born priest to be elected archbishop of Brisbane, shortly before his unexpected death.

Coaldrake and his family had strong connections with the parish of Christ Church St Laurence in Sydney. He was assistant priest there during his preparation for Japan and acted as rector after the retirement of the incumbent, Fr John Hope, in 1964. On the centenary of his birth a thurible stand was donated to CCSL and dedicated in his memory.