The Society of the Sacred Mission took up ownership of the historic property at Willunga in February this year.
The purchase was made possible through the proceeds of the sale of the old St Michael’s Priory at Diggers Rest, Victoria, where Members had provided ministry in and around the Diocese of Melbourne for more than 30 years.
The contract for the sale of Diggers Rest was signed on 16 February this year, 35 years ago to the day since St Michael’s House at Crafers was tragically burnt to the ground in the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983.
SSM Members Alexis Fraser and her husband William (Bill) Dahlberg have moved to Willunga House from Canberra, with Alexis as Manager and Bill as Treasurer.
SSM Members gathered at the house for a Chapter Meeting from 15 to 19 May.
A highlight during Chapter was the Blessing of Willunga House by The Right Reverend John Ford, Bishop of the Diocese of The Murray, along with clergy and parishioners of the local church, St Stephen’s, and friends.
Morning and evening prayer is one of the great heritages of St Michael’s House, Crafers, and a workshop by Dr Bill Griffiths threw light on the value of communal prayer and the recitation of the Office.
Willunga House was given broad context in a lecture on ‘The Importance of Place’ by SSM’s theological consultant, The Reverend Dr Phillip Tolliday.
A sense of place will again be reinforced when SSM Members meet at the house for Chapter, in November this year. In the meantime, Members and guests are busy making it their home with regular stays, including an ordination retreat.