From farming to politics and eventually priesthood, the Christ’s Church Anglican Parish of Mandurah in the Diocese of Bunbury has appointed a fresh face at it’s helm.
New reverend Ian Mabey brings a wealth of experience from around regional Western Australia, in multiple industries.
Father Mabey initially started in his priest work in Dunsborough before moving around the state and even undertaking a seven year stint in Coffs Harbour in northern New South Wales.
Father Mabey said after spending time in NSW he knew it was time to come “home” to Western Australia.
Growing up on a small farm near Bridgetown he was destined to take over the family farm.
Schooled in Bridgetown and Manjimup, he went off to university in Perth but stopped his course early to return to the country and work at the Agricultural Department in Manjimup.
“I was a research assistant, my plan was to always go back on the farm,” he said.
“My father was always very keen that I go and do something else before I [went back].
“After a year my father became ill. I had to go back on the farm because the farm had to continue. I then worked in partnership with my father until he died about ten years later.
“Then I run it for another ten years after that.”
Father Mabey has even tried his hand at parliament, tied up with The Liberal Party.
“It was in an unwinnable seat, with the idea of running again later in a better seat,” he said.
“Which is what you tend to do.
“Between running the first time and making the decision to look for a winnable seat I probably decided that politics wasn’t for me.
“Not because I don’t like politics. I still love politics and I follow it quite keenly but I realised that some of the things I needed to do to be elected I wasn’t prepared to do.
“The fundamental responsibility of any politician is to be elected. If you’re not elected you’re not a politician.
“To get elected, even to get into a position where you can be elected you have to make compromises, satisfy people that you perhaps don’t want to satisfy and agree with things that you really don’t agree with.
“I’m not saying that politicians are bad people, it just wasn’t what I wanted to be.”
He said shortly after that time he fixed his focus on becoming a reverend.
It may have taken him more than 40 years and a few career changes but Father Mabey said he believed it was time to start spreading the Word of God.
“Eventually we decided that we’d explore the calling of the church,” he said.
“So that started a process of six years of training.”
He was ordained in 2001 and has been serving ever since.
“I spent two years prior to being ordained in Dunsborough, that was a part of my training.
“I planted what is now the Dunsborough Parish. I was the first person who went to Dunsborough and set it up as a seperate church.”
From Corrigin to Lake Grace he covered a large area during his years serving as a priest.
He also worked in Collie as a priest and chaplain at a couple of mines in the area.
He said he looked forward to getting to know the community and thanked people who had already been welcoming.
The Church will hold it’s Spring Fete on October 21 at the corner of Pinjarra Road and Sholl Street.
The fete will help celebrate the 146th birthday of the historic Anglican Church.
From 8:30am to 12:30 stalls will boast anything from books to plants.
Guided tours of the church and graveyard, a barbecue and Devonshire morning tea will also be avaible.