John’s Blog

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Saints and Scholars – One and All! ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

My wife and I have just returned from a holiday in Ireland.  Known as the “Emerald Isle” because of its lush, green texture, this fascinating country is also referred to as the “Land of Saints and Scholars”. These “Saints and Scholars” include the great St Patrick, who converted Ireland to Christianity without recourse to any […]

The ‘Blame Game’ ~ by Rev John Barr

by West Epping UCA

Energy Minister, Josh Fryndenberg, and Opposition front bencher, Joel Fitzgibbon’s awkward stoush in the halls of Parliament House last Tuesday morning delighted the media pack who are always on the prowl for a controversial story. But the finger-pointing and an eagerness to play the “blame game” on the issue of national energy policy troubled me. […]

September is Here! ~ by Rev John Barr

by West Epping UCA

“Grey winter hath gone, like a wearisome guest, and behold, for repayment, September comes in with the wind of the West and Spring in her raiment!” The poet, Henry Kendall, lived on the Central Coast and his works are obligatory for people like myself who attended Gosford’s Henry Kendall High School.  Kendall’s poem “September in […]


by John Barr

What kind of buildings around the world serve to inspire you? What kind of buildings leave you breathless because of their sheer magnificence and beauty? The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, left me stunned and awe-struck as I rounded a curve after an arduous trip by car from Delhi. Then there was Sikh Golden Temple […]

Humanity Matters ~ by Rev John Barr

by West Epping UCA

Last Monday night I had the opportunity to share some of my experiences in North Korea with Men’s Fellowship.  North Korea has made a significant impact on me.  It’s a brutal, sombre, totally isolated place.  And here I deeply yearn for the 20 million people who are trapped there in a most miserable existence. Today […]

Living with change – A message for today ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

Last Tuesday I decided to take public transport between my home in Blacktown and West Epping.  It was a pleasant journey with a fast nine minute train trip between Blacktown and Parramatta and then a sluggish but comfortable ride on the M54 bus up the hill to Carlingford. But the return trip was a nightmare.  […]

Having The Last Word ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

The pointless, futile death of an unarmed Sydney woman in Minneapolis just over a week ago has stunned many people. Local police opened fire on Justine Damond after responding to a call to investigate a possible assault.  Such incidents simply don’t make sense. Why Justine died such a violent, premature death is something we may […]

Are You On The Move? ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

Today we view the new manse.  The project is just about complete as Radhika and Adrian prepare to move in. Moving is an occupational hazard for ministers.  During our married life Laurel and I have moved, on average, every four years.  It’s a real chore.  I must admit the presence of a cardboard carton or […]

On Being Forgiven ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

In an interview Donald Trump commented he does not regret ever asking God for forgiveness.  This is partially, the President says, because he “doesn’t have much to apologize for.” Donald Trump’s forthright comments make big headlines.  There are many examples, especially with the President’s current run-in with the media. But we are mistaken if we […]

Asking Too Much? ~ by John Barr

by West Epping UCA

Have you ever thought God asks too much of you? I must admit there are times when I think so.  The pressures of ministry means I often go to bed of a night burdened with the thought of so many uncompleted tasks.  Here God seems pretty tough. Then there are the tragedies of life.  We […]