Redfern Parish Community

The thing about St Vincent‘s Parish is that it is not a “parish” which can be understood as an area within which Catholics living there are served. Perhaps Redfern is more adequately described as “community’, for a community is a group of people bonded together with a certain focus. Members are not necessarily connected geographically.


Many do not live in the area, but travel from elsewhere, attracted to the place in various ways, be it the friendliness of the community, informality, the heritage of ideals, convictions, Theology etc. of Ted Kennedy. No doubt; this church has taken on a character (often quirky) of its own.

There is a magnificent spirit of welcome for the stranger, for people of any racial background, particularly Aboriginal people, for any who feel themselves to be on the fringe of society be they gay, mentally ill, rejected by mainstream for whatever reason. In a word, Redfern Parish community aspires not only to hear the Gospel but to live it.

Perhaps the major characteristic of Redfern is a strong and ongoing dedication to issues of human rights. Over the years Ted and the community have fought for Aboriginal justice as well as other issues eg the plight of Asylum Seekers under an unsympathetic government, peace in several countries.

Redfern is a place of loving tolerance. People are accepted whatever their behaviour. Children (and dogs) have a freedom which would be frowned upon elsewhere.

Redfern is a place of surprises: Anything can happen at any time. All is treated as “normal”.

Redfern is not “churchy”. Needy people have always taken priority over external perfection.

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