A new Mandurah priest has renewed the Maori church mission across Western Australia.
Revd. Jacqui Chesley-Ingle from the Christ's Church Anglican Parish of Mandurah is the only priest in WA offering services in Maori.
However, it wasn't that long ago she reignited her own involvement in the church.
"My mother came across her cousin who just happened to be the Bishop down in Christchurch for the Maori side of the church," she said.
"He asked if I was still living there and my mum said yes and asked if I had been coming to church.
"The Bishop said no so my mum said she would make sure I started coming and from that time on my children and I became immersed into the church."
Revd. Chesley-Ingle has now been an ordained priest for five years.
"I'm fairly young in the trade," she said.
"I had been raised with the possibility of faith playing a big part in who I became as an adult but I was having fun."
Her journey led her to Mandurah where she is offering Friday morning prayer in Maori to Anglican churchgoers.
The Anglican Parish of Mandurah has a long standing relationship with the Maori mission from previous ministers and lay ministers who worshipped there. Maori artwork proudly hangs in the church.
Revd. Chesley-Ingle said her coming to the church had renewed the Maori mission.
"These services are important for our Maori community and families because it allows them to connect to who we are and where they have come from," she said.
"When I have fellowship with everyone who comes to the service I can feel the happiness.
"To be able to speak our language freely and pray in our language without reservation or judgement and just feel proud of who we are in someone else's space - that's the joy that comes with this role."
As the only priest running Maori services in WA, Revd. Chesley-Ingle is offering her help all over the state.
She is looking to restart a monthly Maori service in Bunbury and bi-monthly services in Perth as Maori churchgoers are currently travelling to Mandurah for services.
"The magnitude of the work for one person is unthinkable - to travel on a regular basis to give pastoral care or do services with Maori communities would be taxing," she said.
"However, there are some amazing ministers and chaplains who are in those spaces and I see my role as being available to them to provide assistance without me needing to physically be there.
"I feel very blessed to have landed here."
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