Townsville, located in North Queensland, is currently home to 45 Coptic Orthodox students studying at James Cook University and 10 families. FOCUS JCU is a group that promotes fellowship and enables the youth to celebrate, cultivate and stay close to their Orthodox origins. The youth in Townsville gather for daily prayers as well as weekly Bible studies, yo
uth meetings, midnight praises and social outings. The words of David the Psalmist are indeed true, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
As all drastic changes in life, living away from home is initially challenging but an undeniably rewarding experience. The greater sense of independence and responsibility prompts the youth to rely more on God as their Father who protects them and supplies all their needs. The youth cannot deny the significant spiritual, physical and social growth they undergo when living interstate.
Initially, when there were only a few students and families, a priest was flown up every 3-4 months to pray a mass in a hired college hall. However, over the last 4 years, God has blessed the congregation in number of ways and granted them their own church in 2012, St Mary and St George Coptic Orthodox Church. By the grace of God, the services have dramatically increased to meet the demands of the rapidly growing congregation. We are excited to announce that we have initiated discussions with builders to establish a multi-purpose function centre on church grounds for Sunday school, functions and a place of residence for priests visiting every fortnight.