Letter from John Woodhouse

Dear friends

It has been suggested to me that many of you would appreciate some more information about the man who has been appointed at the next Rector of St Thomas’ Church North Sydney. Personally, I am thrilled at this appointment, and believe that the Lord’s good hand is clearly in it. What follows is an edited version of the announcement as it was made by Lewis Patrick (one of our nominators).

Mickey Mantle — the unanimous and enthusiastic choice of all our Nominators — has been offered the position of senior minister at St Thomas’s by the Archbishop and has accepted.

Many of you will know Mickey from his time at St Thomas’s as Student Minister in 2014-15. But let me tell you some more about him that you may not know.

Mickey hails from Queensland. He studied at Cambridge University, graduating with Honours in Classics, and worked as a Financial Analyst in London before returning to Australia in 2012 to study theology at Moore College. He graduated from Moore with First Class Honours and had the additional honour of being appointed Senior Student in his final year.

He served as Student Minister at St Andrew’s Cathedral and here at St Thomas’s before returning to London in 2016 to take up a position as Assistant Minister at St Helen’s Bishopsgate, a church with one of the most outstanding reputations in the world for Biblical exposition, evangelical leadership and gospel mission. Under God’s hand, that experience has been a wonderful training ground and preparation for the role Mickey will now take up here. For the last five years Mickey has led the 6pm congregation at St Helen’s with some 300 members and a ministry team of four, as well as supervising 10 ministry trainees. He has particularly excelled at handling the word of God and at drawing young adults into ministry training.

We are confident that Mickey will continue the strong pulpit ministry established by Simon Manchester and has the skills, energy and vision to build on Simon’s wonderful legacy and help us to grow and flourish in our knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus and in our witness to the world, in reliance on our all-powerful and all-sustaining God.

Mickey is 38 years old – coincidentally about the same age as Simon when he started his ministry here. He is married to Ellie – who many of you will remember fondly for her energy, her enthusiasm and her passion to share with Mickey as his partner in the gospel, as well as in life. They have 3 children – Jonathan, Olivia and Theo.

We thank all of you for your patience and care for each other during this very strange year – and I’m afraid we are all going to have to continue to be patient while we await the commencement of Mickey’s ministry. Mickey’s family commitments, work commitments at St Helen’s and the restrictions around COVID mean that he will not be able to join us before August. The Lord is sovereign in this, as in all things, and we know that He will continue to sustain us and provide for us as He has done so far.

I hope that you will join me in giving thanks to God for Mickey, Ellie, and their three children, and praying that their coming to us will be a rich blessing for them as well as for us.

Your brother in Christ

John Woodhouse
(Acting Senior Minister)