The Anglican Church at All Saints Booval recently celebrated 125 years of ministry in the Booval to Redbank area between Ipswich and Brisbane in Queensland. In the 1950’s and 1960’s there was a significant move of the Holy Spirit which meant that many young people and families went from the parish into missionary or other full-time ministry in the church in Australia and overseas. A decision was made to compile a book seeking to record the ministry of many of the people whom God touched to work for Him at that time. Many of us were able to contribute a chapter each to the book. The book “Unleashed” was launched at a special service on Sunday 6th May at All Saints Booval by the Archbishop of Brisbane when many of us were able to meet again after decades to praise God for His goodness in calling us from the parish to serve Him. What follows is the material that became much of the chapter that I wrote in contributing to the book.
The story of Jim and Carole Holbeck [Tapsell] [1943 to 2019] written by Jim.
I didn’t realise on New Year’s Eve 1958 when I surrendered my life to Christ in the flat I was holidaying in, in Boundary Street, Coolangatta that All Saints Booval would play such a large part in my life in the future.
I first met Vicar Colin Ware at All Saints Booval when I took a brand new convert to Christ to meet him. Bill’s conversion as a well-known atheist in Qld was a surprise to everyone, especially Bill. He was reading the little New Testament I had given him when suddenly he staggered out of his room in the Railway Laboratory where we worked, ashen faced and shaking like a leaf, under the strong conviction of the Holy Spirit. He was saying, “It’s all true isn’t it. It is all true. What have I got to do?” Being only a few weeks into the faith myself, I suggested we go and see this Colin Ware bloke who seemed to be very well respected. He prayed for us both and Bill began to go to his local North Ipswich church [becoming a lay preacher and eventually a member of General Synod], while I decided to attend All Saints from that time on.
Ministry Opportunities at All Saints Booval
Ministry opportunities began to beckon and soon I was helping lead a CEBS group and later when Don and Margaret Douglass and their family arrived, to help lead Junior church as well. Carole did a lot with the Douglass kids and greatly loved and admired the whole family. I was also going to CMS League of Youth meetings in Brisbane and began to lead a Branch at All Saints Booval. This quickly grew with some outstanding young people joining. One of the younger ones was this lass named Carole Tapsell, the daughter of the church organist Eileen and the famous hockey dual Olympic gold medallist, Carl Tapsell. Carole was the last to be picked up and the first dropped off as I rounded them up for LOY meetings. But as the months wore on, Carole was the last person I dropped off. It seemed that we wanted to share more time with each other! In my Prayer Diary I had written these words at the beginning of 1963, as I obviously had been thinking about marriage in general, “Prepare me for her. Prepare her for me. Prepare us for Thee.” I wasn’t sure who the “her” was, but I wanted to be ready for His choice. When I returned home midyear from theological college in Melbourne in 1964, it was obvious that Carole Tapsell was the “her” God had prepared for me and Carole and I became engaged just days before my father died of a brain tumour. We married in January 1966 at All Saints, Booval!
All Saints Booval Young People in TrainIng
In 1965 when I was second year at Ridley College, Carole and her mother were extremely kind to my widowed mother. Meanwhile it was great to have a Booval contingent with me at College in Melbourne, namely Tom and Heather, my sister Del and Greg and also Graham who was later to marry Sally. Kathy and Ivory had become nurses and served in Northern Australia amongst indigenous peoples for CMS. Cyril and Val had studied at Croydon Bible College, and Lesley McGrath served as a CMS missionary in South America. I believe these close friends of mine have all made a big impact for the kingdom through their ministries over decades.
Carole Holbeck [nee Tapsell]
Carole had a wonderful ministry among the girls of the Booval GFS group being such a fun person and already was showing signs of becoming a dynamic leader. She did well at Teachers College and at Qld University and as a Physical Education teacher in schools in Ipswich and Brisbane. Although she had not played field hockey at school, she began to play at university and was soon a member of the A Grade team. She later became a selector and also state coach for the Qld Schoolgirls Hockey team and in athletics trained her Brassall High School’s relay team to break the state athletic age record. Perhaps thousands of children were taught to swim by Carole at the schools where she taught swimming during the summer swimming circuits she was engaged in, in many schools in the Ipswich-Brisbane area.
Since her death on 31October 2019 I have often felt like writing reams about what a lovely precious person she was and is, and how the Lord had mightily used her during and following her All Saints days. [Some of my articles which mention Carole are on my Facebook page while others are on my www.jimholbeck.blogpage, articles Nos. 329, 330, 364, 369, 370, 372,373, 375, 377, 378. Traces here of historical romance which after the Bible and Christian literature became her favourite reading genre!]
It is encouraging that a young self-effacing beautiful young girl doing good stuff at Booval can later make such a contribution to the church and to the wider world. Just some quick examples.
1966-68. When we were at a mainly men’s Ridley theological college in Melbourne Carole got on well with all the male students and became a hair-dresser to some. [No training but she did a good free job!]
AS a teacher she soon won the respect of other Phys Ed teachers in Melbourne and formed deep friendships with Fellow staff and students at her Reservoir school.
1969-1972 We returned to Qld where I was ordained for St Stephen’s Coorparoo. Carole as a young Clergy wife was involved in many ministries but especially a 20 plus group which met at our home. Our Sarah was born in 1971.
1972-78. When I became the Rector of Mt Gravatt with a tiny Rectory and no church building we worked hard to get the parish going while we cared for Sarah and James who arrived in 1973. [Poor James was born with bent bones and kept falling over his own feet. Calipers were used to enable him to walk more easily. Praise God he fulfilled his dream of representing Australia in 7 Rugby Union Tests as a Wallaby!]
Building up the parish was a team effort with very keen parishioners helping to build up Mt Gravatt parish and eventually a new church and later a new Rectory were built and paid for. Carole had a great ministry among the Mothers Union, Women’s Guild and especially the lively and exciting Young Wives Dept which she helped build up to about 80 young women. Sunday school under her leadership rose from just a trickle to almost the biggest in the diocese.
1978 to 1988. A new adventure as I became the Dean of St Peter’s Cathedral, Armidale. There was a mighty move of the Holy Spirit such as we had seen at Booval and so the Cathedral was packed for services. We joined in fellowship with other ministers in the town and combined outreaches touched the town such as a visit for a week from the David Watson team from their dynamic ministry in York, England. We also hosted a visit from the Christian musical group the Fisherfolk from the USA. The Ministers’ Fraternal also hosted a visit from the God Squad from Melbourne who ministered for a week in most of the schools in Armidale. Carole helped organise a Women’s luncheon which attracted over 800 women to hear John Smith of the God Squad, with other women on a waiting list. Carole had a great ministry among the women and teenagers assisted by her mother who had come to live with us. Eileen Tapsell of Booval became a much-loved “Gran” [as she was called] to younger and older generations in Armidale and especially to David our Armidale addition in 1979.
1988 to 2006. Our final fulltime ministry was at St Andrew’s Cathedral, in Sydney where I became the Leader of the Healing Ministry and an Assistant Minister to the Dean.
[The Healing service in the Cathedral began in 1960 when a number of people asked Canon Jim Glennon to lead a weekly service at which people could have hands laid on them and be prayed for healing. It grew to what was described as the largest service of its kind in the Anglican Communion in the world. People came from many denominations to learn how to pray for the sick. I was chosen to continue the service when Canon Glennon retired in 1988. The ministry expanded at The Healing Ministry Centre [Golden Grove] at Newtown which became a residential centre for people coming to Sydney and a place where teaching and prayer ministry could be exercised throughout the week.]
A team of us would run Cancer Weekends for those with cancer and for their carers. Large numbers of attendees were healed physically and emotionally and many came to Christ over those weekends. Then we introduced Core Teaching seminars from Tuesdays to Thursdays where I would teach on the ”core” elements of the Healing ministry in the church. Eventually we had 5 Core Teaching Stages with 5 or 6 subjects in each stage. We would have several of these different stages throughout the year. Personal counselling [prayer ministry] was freely offered for guests and for anyone who came to the Centre. We tried to find a need and then to work out programmes based on the word of God to meet that need. I encouraged the members of the Healing Ministry to run other weekly groups at the Centre and some of those were very well attended and richly blessed by the Lord. Friday nights became a time for Praise and worship and encouraging teaching.
God alone knows what He did in people’s lives in the Healing service in the Cathedral and at the Healing Ministry Centre, but it was obvious from testimonies that He had been mightily at work through both.
Initially we lived near Beecroft and Gran moved into the Anglican Retirement Village at Castle Hill where she had a great music and prayer ministry. Carole travelled daily across Sydney to St George where she became a Head Teacher in Child Studies, which she loved and for which she won several awards. Later she became the Senior Head Teacher in Health and Recreation at Loftus TAFE near Sutherland. She built this department into the biggest of its kind in Australia and as someone suggested, possibly the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. She received many rewards over the years and one year was a runner-up for the Premier’s award, the top award for all the branches of the Public Service in NSW. She was one of only 22 people nominated from the tens of thousands of people working for the Public Service.
In the meantime she ministered at our Healing Ministry Centre in Newtown and cared especially for staff and for guests, many of whom were patients or were visiting patients at RPA Hospital nearby.
2006 to 2019. Retirement. Carole’s retirement function was marked with the biggest attendance they had seen at such a function and the head of that section of DET [NSW TAFE] said he marvelled how Carole could mix with and help and integrate all levels of people. I wrote somewhere that it was her Christian love that made her reach out to help her staff, her students, her peers and superiors. She wanted the best for them all and I discovered after her death, that many were deeply appreciative of her efforts to go out of her way to help them, as seen in the wonderful tributes to her that they sent me.
A Special farewell was held for her by over 80 people and the same number of dogs in the open at Sydney Park where she used to walk our dog Geordie. She loved and knew the names of all the dogs, and the people from all backgrounds whom she had met and befriended, really loved her.
A lovely retirement among godly loving believers at Port Macquarie followed until her death in October 2019.
USA Ministry. Carole and I had the joy of ministering for at least a month at a time on 10 occasions in the Episcopal church in America. They were in Wisconsin, Alabama and Florida in 1999 and Florida in 2001,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 2012. They were teaching missions on healing and we both made ourselves available for counselling [prayer ministry] during our times there. Over the years hundreds were ministered to and counselled and Carole loved having more time to minister deeply to people. She deeply loved the people and was very much loved in return.
You can see how proud I am of my late beloved Carole but I praise God for all He did in and through her to His glory. But I write this also as an encouragement to any young person at All Saints, Booval, or to any person anywhere, to realise that when you hand your life over to the Lord, He can do amazing things in and through you, even if you are a loving, humble self-effacing person like Carole.
Addendum. I still have my prayer Diary for the 1960’s and recently found the names of the following for whom I used to pray. [For privacy, numbers and not names are given.]
22 Junior CEBS, 18 Senior CEBS, 42 League of Youth members, 59 other Booval young people, 19 Junior Church, 28 Booval families.
Praise God for all the godly clergy familes we were privileged to have at Booval, including Colin [and Judith] Ware, Don and Margaret Douglass, Herb and Marg Robey, Jim and Diana Stonier, Brian Seers, and later Don and Lurline Campbell and others. They all made their wonderful unique contribution to All Saints!
“To God be the glory. Great things He has done!” [Through ordinary folk at All Saints, Booval, who were totally committed to Him!]
The photos below are on the left, the godly Tapsell family with Carole as a senior schoolgirl and on the right our leaving All Saints, Booval on our wedding day to begin almost 54 years of joyous life and ministry together.
Praise God for His grace and mercy and for giving us such wonderful gifts, of each other in marriage, our children, our grandchildren and a ministry together that touched the lives of thousands of people throughout the world!
Blog No 380 posted on Tuesday 25th May 2021