The St. Matthew's Chalice from Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

On 12th and 13th of September 1998 Holy Cross Church at Boultham held an arts and craft weekend to demonstrate the various arts and crafts that many people indulged in as a pastime or study subject. I had offered to do a display of some of my material and books on The Art and Beauty Of Churches. For an example of an Elizabethan Chalice I asked if I could use the 1563 one from the safe. This was permitted and I was asked if I would like the one from St Mary's Church which was at Hartsholme until recently when it was demolished because it was in such bad condition and could not be saved. Despite being a church member for many years I had never heard of this particular chalice and paten. I said would like to see it and if possible put it on display with a Cathedral Issued Replica of the Gravesend Chalice.
St. Matthew's Chalice with box. Photograph: Karyn Andrews.

Please click for closer view

I was amazed to find it was in a leather box complete with a Photograph of an Australian Padre and a company of officers taken in the First World War. There was also an account of where it came from and how the cruets were lost. I am now putting into operation a scheme where we will contact St Matthew's church in Ballarat and let them know where the gift from their congregation of so many years ago has arrived at in 1999.


The Reverend Johnston Redmond

The Communion Set consisting of Chalice and Paten, were presented to Boultham Parish by The Rev J Redmond, formerly Chaplain with Australian troops during the war 1914-1918, and more recently Rector of Owmby with Normanby, Lincolnshire.

The Chalice comes from St. Matthews Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. The Paten was provided by Rev. Redmond for use during his ministry with Australian troops.

Rev. J Redmond

Please click for Pictures.

In his letter he says:

"It gives me great pleasure to present this Communion Set to a congregation needing it.

Both Chalice and Paten were in regular use on board the Australian troopships "Port Lincoln" and "Benvalla". Also on board the Australian hospital ships "Wandilla" and "Kanowa".

Also at Mount Aureole Barracks, Sierra Leone, West Africa; on Salisbury Plain near the village of Dorrington; at Harfleur in France with the 4th Australian Base Depot; and at many places in France and Belgium as the Australian troops moved from place to place.

I am sorry there are no cruets for wine and water. One was broken during troop movement. The other I gave to my batman to take to the nearest town in France to obtain a replacement like it, and I gave him sufficient money to buy a supply of wine for future use.

I have not seen the cruet, the wine or the Batman since that day. But I was told that the military police had picked him up, in no fit condition to be a Padre’s Batman!

The Chalice and Paten are not of first class metal, but they bring with them to a new congregation a real and true spiritual association with the Australian troops and nurses who received the Blessed Sacrament from them at my hands.

May God bless them and the congregation which uses them."


Picture courtesy of The Lincolnshire Echo. Left:

The author with the St. Matthews Chalice in a Lincolnshire Echo publicity photograph, for the 1999 charity "Great Australia Day Breakfast" held at The Lawns, Union Road, Lincoln.

The photograph appeared in The Lincolnshire Echo on January 14th 1999 with the article transcibed below; please note that there is an inaccuracy in that I do not own the chalice, it belongs to the Holy Cross Church in Boultham.



Fascinating story of Aussie chalice
BY GRAEME BAKER

AN AUSSIE tale spanning 80 years and 12,000 miles Will be told at the eighth annual Great Australian Breakfast Day.

Peter Fairweather, of Bell Grove, in Boultham, Lincoln is to recount the fascinating story of a chalice which found its way from Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia, in the early part of the century to 1990s Lincolnshire.

He will also tell of the padre who took it with him during his First World War service in the Australian Army to France, Belgium and Sierra Leone,

along with other stories about his own travels Down Under in 1997.

Mr Fairweather, who now owns the chalice, said the story started in the St Matthew's church in Ballarat.

"It gave the chalice to the Army during the First World War for communion services," he said.

"The padre, the Rev J. Redmond, used it on the troop ship Port Lincoln, before moving to Harfleur in France."

The chalice made its way to the

county when Mr Redmond became Rector of Owmby-with-Normanby, and gave it to the St Mary’s Church.

And it will be on display at the Great Australian Breakfast as part of Mr Fairweather's presentations about his own travels to Australia.

His tales will be just part of the entertainment laid on at the Echo-backed extravaganza, where local celebrities and stars of stage and screen will be dishing up plenty of bonza tucker.

Breakfast will be served from 8am to noon on Sunday, January 24, in

the Port Lincoln Room, The Lawn, Union Road and admission is 3 for Adults and 1.50 for children.

Money raised by the breakfast will be split between the Mayor's charities, the Echo's charity account and Radio Lincolnshire's charity trust.

The event is organised by the City Council in conjunction with the Echo, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, YTV, East Midlands Electricity, Lincoln Theatre Royal and the Inn on the Lawn.

 


This site is a work in progress. Last updated 18th March 1999.

Back to the Main Page.