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Vale the Reverend Alan Foster

June 12, 2019

ABM received the sad news that former staff member the Reverend Alan Foster passed away on Thursday 23 May, 2019. He was farewelled with A Celebration of Life and Requiem Eucharist held at the Church of the Resurrection, Macedon, on Thursday 30 May.

After studying at Morpeth, he was ordained Deacon in Melbourne in 1978 and to the priesthood in 1979.  He served as Assistant Curate at Surry Hills 1978-80; PIC & Incumbent at Pascoe Vale 1981-1986; PIC St Alban North Melbourne 1986-1992. He became Regional Director of ABM (Vic) from 1992-95 & WA 1995-98; he held PTO in Bunbury, WA 1995-1998. He retired in 2001.

Debra Saffrey-Collins, ABM Board Director, shared her fond memories of Alan:

“I worked with Alan Foster from 1994 to 1998 and we have been friends for a lifetime. When I came to ABM as the Youth Officer for ABM in Victoria, Alan encouraged me to take up my role with confidence and curiosity. He was a great and patient teacher, a thoughtful theologian / missiologist, he was intentional about community development as the means to helping whole communities step forward, and always pastoral, hospitable, generous and kind. When he moved to take up the role of Regional Director in Western Australia and I followed him into the Victorian role, Alan continued that support and mentoring without hesitation. He taught me so much about the focus and the intention of ABM and what he believed could be achieved through our work together with our colleagues across the nation.

“It was never a problem to stop for a coffee (only good coffee!) and have a conversation about an issue, or put heads together to solve a problem. Alan was a deep thinker and we resolved many an issue at ABM in those early days, with a coffee and a conversation. I recall us being “up the bush” for ABM in regional Victoria, it was coffee time and we stopped at the one and only coffee shop in town – “the latte” was made with instant coffee and milk, and froth with a food stick. Oh, that I had taken a photo of Alan’s face. “Why do they bother Debra? Why?” he moaned as we climbed back in the car, the taste of that terrible coffee still very obvious!!

“Alan’s work for ABM with Rob Cooper and Emma Leslie brought to the fore his great knowledge of community development and his understanding of the importance of training and education. Alan was a man of great faith, a friend to all and a faithful priest of God. As such, Alan made many friends amongst ABM’s partners across the word and was well respected for his contribution to their mission and work.

“The last twenty years since Alan’s diagnosis has shown what it is to be courageous and prayerful. Those who knew him have been blessed by the knowing and befriended by someone who always showed they were interested and concerned.” 

We give thanks to God for the life and ministry of the Reverend Alan Foster and pray for his family at this difficult time.

May he rest in peace and rise in Glory.