Father Don Barter was ordained as a Deacon at the Townsville Cathedral 50 years ago.
Father Don Barter was ordained as a Deacon at the Townsville Cathedral 50 years ago. MATT TAYLOR.

Father fears church ‘failed’ in science age

FIFTY years to the day on Sunday, Father Don Barter will stand in the exact same spot next to the altar of St James Cathedral where he was ordained as a Deacon.

Over the five decades he has noticed the number of churchgoers sharply decline.

He explained more people were putting their faith in science. While he still accepts science, Father Barter believes there is still a place for religion.

"I think science is wonderful. I do think the church has been reluctant (accepting science), because they see it as an attack on God," he said.

"Whereas I see it as science has discovered something God has always known, because he has created it."

Father Barter gave the example of the weather, with most people turning to their local forecast rather than faith.

He said there had been little rain because "no-one prays for it".

Father Barter claimed a prayer of his was answered in the past, when he prayed for a break in the weather for a fete when he lived in Ingham.

Rain had been pouring down the week before the event and there were calls for it to be moved indoors however Father Barter stood firm in his belief.

"I said no it will be fine, because I have been praying it will be fine," he said. "Just before the fete started the rain stopped."

He remorsed the church "failed" its worshippers.

"In 50 years, churches are getting smaller all the time," he said.

"But to me it makes sense to what everything is happening around us today."

Father Barter lived in Salisbury, a medieval cathedral city in the south of England, where he was introduced to the Anglican Church after he was volunteered as an alter boy.

He moved from England to Australia in 1957 and got married to his wife Pamelya the following year.

"I met Pamelya, who was a Presbyterian and I'm an Anglican. We met in the Roman Catholic mission where the Sugar Shaker (Grand Chancellor) is," he said.

Pamelya died last New Year's Eve. They were married for 61 years.

Father Barter will attend Sunday's service at St James Cathedral starting at 8am.