St Luke's Ministry Team
St Luke's Ministry Team
The Reverend Dr Max Wood was inducted as St Luke’s seventh Rector on 29 September 2014. Fr Max grew up in Sydney and was educated at Trinity Grammar School. Previously, he practiced as a solicitor in Sydney before being ordained in in 2004 in the Bathurst Diocese. His theological and studies were in Morpeth, Canberra and Durham. Prior to coming to St Luke’s, Fr Max was the Rector of St John’s Mudgee and also had oversight of St Luke’s Gulgong as well as serving in a variety of Diocesan positions in Bathurst. He has also ministered at Holy Trinity Orange, St Augustine's Merewether in Newcastle Diocese, and St Margaret's in Durham UK. Before leaving Australia to pursue his doctoral studies in the UK he was an Honorary Associate Priest at St James King Street in Sydney. In Durham he was also a member of the ministry team and Fellow at St Chad's College while at the university studying for his doctorate in systematic theology and was licensed to officiate in the Province of York. Fr Max currently serves on the General Synod Mission and Ministry Commission and has been a Fellow of St Paul’s College, Sydney University. He is married to Dr Danielle Firholz and they have two children.
Revd Peter Kurti has a part-time position as Associate Priest. As well as his work as our Associate Priest, Peter is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, where he heads a program about religion in contemporary society. He is also a volunteer, and director, at the radio station Fine Music 102.5, presenting and producing a number of programs. Peter has degrees in law, theology, and philosophy and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He trained in England and the United States and has worked in England and Australia, in inner-city and suburban congregations as well as in the university sector. He was Rector of Saint James’ King Street for eight years. Peter and his wife Linda joined St Luke's in 2011.
After National Service and a law degree at London University, Robert went to Oxford to read theology. He was deaconed in 1963 and served his time at St Mary Abbot's in Kensington, London. Robert then became Team Vicar at St John's, Notting Hill. For five years (1978 – 1983) Robert was Assistant Priest at St James's King Street. He was then Rector of Enmore and Stanmore for two years. He returned to the United Kingdom, where he had to learn Welsh, as half of the services at his local church were in Welsh. On his return to Sydney, Robert was Assistant Priest at St Peter's Cremorne. He retired from full-time ministry in 2003. His ministry at St Luke's involves ministry to the elderly in nursing homes and retirement villages, and taking Holy Communion to people who are unable to attend church.
Natalie McDonald has been a life-long member of the St Luke’s parish family. She has always enjoyed the liturgy at St Luke’s and been part of the serving team for many years. Natalie was Head Server before she became Lay Minister in 2010. As Lay Minister Natalie is an integral member of the ministry team, authorised by the Diocese to conduct or assist in conducting worship at St Luke’s. As well as her work as Lay Minister she works as a Librarian in the Government Sector. Natalie has degrees in Information Science, Business and Theology.
Callum Close commenced as St Luke’s Director of Music in July 2018. Callum began musical studies at a young age and holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from the University of Newcastle and an A.Mus.A in classical piano. He studied Pipe Organ with Dr. Philip Matthias and Conducting with Dr. David Banney. Prior to his position at St Luke’s, Callum was Sub-Organist of Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle and Musical Director of a number of community choirs, including Newcastle City Choir (2013-16) and the Conservatorium Songshine Choir (2015-18). Callum leads an active performing schedule as a recitalist, accompanist, conductor and chorister, having performed in cathedrals and churches across Australia and internationally. Outside of his musical interests, Callum is also keenly studying for his Juris Doctor and is the Philanthropy Manager at Musica Viva Australia.
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