The Redlands Mayoral Prayer Breakfast in southeast Brisbane has been an annual tradition for the past 18 years.
The idea came from the late Pastor Glen Gray who first approached the local council with a proposal to raise funds to support local young people through school chaplaincy. Since then, it’s been a calendar-staple for leaders in the community.
“This event came about because someone had a vision and advocated for it,” says Neale Collier, chaplain at Cleveland District State High School.
“It started off quite small, maybe 80 people or so, but it’s grown to nearly 300. The basic structure is still the same; students and pastors take turns reading out prayers focused on blessing the country, city and local families.”
“It’s also an opportunity for leaders to work together. A chance for them to discuss how they can make things better for our young people. It’s really valuable and very unifying.”
“The Christian community values this event and we get a lot of support from Christian businesses as well as churches.”
It’s an event that Chappy Neale is incredibly grateful to be a part of, and he’s grateful for the doors of community connections that are opened.
“I’ve been involved since it first started. The organising committee wanted schools to be represented, so a number of chaplains were contacted,” said Chappy Neale.
“This event is an incredible endorsement for chaplains who work in the bridge area between churches, community groups and schools. Chaplains operate in the community, bringing the heart of Christ into situations that people are facing in the ‘marketplace.’”
“First and foremost this is a prayer breakfast, but from the funds raised every chaplaincy committee gets about $1,000 to invest in the young people in their community.”
If you are interested in kick-starting a prayer breakfast in your own region, Chappy Neale has some tips:
- Connect with like-minded people. Ask around and find out someone who might have the ear of council or your local Mayor. Discuss the benefits of running something like this and remember, prayer is part of Australia’s national heritage and there are many people in society who really value this covering.
- Source a broad group of churches to be involved. Ask around and contact Local Chaplaincy Committees to help you get your event up and running. Many hands make light work.
- Be well organised. Preparation is really important, especially if you have the local council involved. Make sure your advertising and communications are clear and prep early.
The next Redland’s Mayor Prayer Breakfast is coming up on August 27. More details can be found here.