Aboriginal ministry under threat in the Top End

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The location of future Katherine Christian Conventions hangs in the balance as the owner of its long-term venue prays for a purchaser who will continue its ministry programmes.

Morrows Farm, 15km outside Katherine, has hosted Christian groups for about 40 years. But the owner, former CMS missionary Bruce Morrow, turns 80 next September and no longer feels capable of managing the property.

Morrow and his wife purchased the farm in 1973. They had followed God’s leading to go to Katherine, 300km south of Darwin, to work with farmers and the church, as well as to be involved with training and befriending Indigenous people. At that time, the farm was an empty block. By the late 1980s, the property included four houses, many sheds and yards, and a variety of crops along with many trees. Today, Morrows Farm is 24 hectares situated on the Katherine River.

“Our prayer is that… new ownership will continue the ministry programmes” – Bruce Morrow

The four houses are rented to Christian people and the grounds are used by Christian groups for camping, training programs and work activities. Morrows Farm is also home to many Indigenous church fellowships.

Bruce Morrow says, “Now that the time has come for us to sell the property, our prayer for it is that under God’s calling, the new ownership will continue the ministry programmes that for so long have identified Morrows Farm.”

One potential buyer is negotiating but Morrow has decided to advertise the property more widely, citing the Anglican Bishop of the Northern Territory, Greg Anderson, as a contact.

“KCC is a really precious bicultural Christian event” – Greg Anderson

In the meantime, the KCC committee has hired Katherine Showground for next April’s event. The urban venue will be a big change from the 24-hectare Morrows Farm, which provides opportunities for fishing on the Katherine River and camping under its many shady trees.

“The key thing is that KCC is a really precious bicultural Christian event bringing together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across a wide area of the Territory,” says Anderson.

Tavis Beer, chairman of the KCC committee, told Eternity they would love to see a private person buy Morrows Farm and make it available for the convention again.

For more information about purchasing Morrows Farm, contact Bruce Morrow on (08) 8972 1141, or Greg Anderson (Anglican Bishop of the Northern Territory) on 08 8941 7440.

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