Members of the University of Sydney Senate, heads of other colleges, and other distinguished guests joined dozens of students, staff, alumni and friends of the College in the College Chapel last evening for the formal commissionings of the Head of College, Dr Don Markwell, and the Chaplain, the Revd Antony Weiss, by the Archbishop of Sydney and Visitor of the College, the Most Revd Dr Glenn Davies.
The commissionings of the Head of College and Chaplain took place in a service of Choral Evensong sung by the Choir of St Paul’s College, which includes students of The Women’s College. The College Chapel was at full capacity to participate in the event.
The Senior Student, Mr Barney Archibald, read the first lesson, a reading from the Book of Proverbs (Chapter 3) on the importance of wisdom; and the Acting Principal of The Women’s College, Dr Tiffany Donnelly, read the second lesson, the Beatitudes from Matthew’s Gospel (Chapter 5).
Focussing especially on the reading from Proverbs, the Archbishop’s sermon highlighted the importance of the pursuit of wisdom – by students and staff alike – in a community of scholars such as St Paul’s College within the University of Sydney. He highlighted how easy it is to become so focussed on little things such that one misses the most important things in life, including truly taking to heart the commandments and love of God.
The Archbishop also spoke about the Australian Anglican foundations of the College, and the importance of all members of the College upholding its values and commitment to being a place of learning, in community, in the great collegiate tradition.
The service included the inaugural performance of an anthem, “What does the Lord require?”, written for the commissioning service by the College’s Director of Music, Mr David Drury, based on Micah 6: 8: “What does the Lord require of you? … But to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”
Dr Markwell, in welcoming students and guests before the service, noted the extremely warm welcome given to him as Head of College and to Antony Weiss as the new Chaplain by students, alumni and friends, staff, the Council and the Archbishop. He said “everything which our Council members, and everything our College staff and I do, is directed at trying to ensure that the College can offer all our students the best all-round educational opportunities we can – both now and for future generations”.