TCF Founder to visit Brisbane in May

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TCF Founder to visit Brisbane in May

Simon will be visiting Australia during the month of May and visiting the head offices of the TCF chapters in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Mandurah and Brisbane. Simon will be in Brisbane for 2 days, the 27th and 28th May and we would like to invite all of our members to join us for dinner on –

DATE: Wednesday 27th May
VENUE: Merthyr Bowls Club, 60 Oxlade Street NEW FARM
TIME: 7.00pm
COST: $22 per person


You will hear Simon speak about how he founded TCF in the UK in 1969 and his life story. You will not want to miss this once in a lifetime opportunity.

This year we also celebrate 30 years of supporting bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings in Queensland. It seems very fitting that Simon is here for TCF Brisbane’s 30th Anniversary and we would like as many as possible of our members to come and celebrate with us.

The Compassionate Friends is an international organisation of bereaved parents and siblings offering friendship and understanding to other grieving families. It was founded in 1969 in the UK by Canon Simon Stephens who had observed the support that bereaved parents can provide to other bereaved parents during his time as a hospital chaplain.

Australia’s first branch of the Compassionate Friends was established in Victoria in May, 1978 by Margaret and Lindsay Harmer. This was closely followed by a branch in New South Wales and Queensland. Now there are also branches in ACT, South Australia and Western Australia.

Canon Stephens recently retired as a Royal Navy Chaplain and is undertaking a sabbatical in the Solomon Islands. Because of his relative proximity, Simon has been invited to visit the family of Australian Compassionate Friends organisations that are a direct result of his insight nearly fifty years ago. His visit will take in all the states and territories except Tasmania and Northern Territory. We expect that this visit will result in an increase in public awareness of the support and services that the Compassionate Friends can provide.

Canon Simon Stephens

Born in Gosport, Hampshire, UK 1941
1967 ordained to the priesthood

  • Coventry Cathedral, Junior Curate
  • St Marks Hillsfield, Senior Curate
  • St Mary Magdalene, Leamington Spa Parish Priest
  • St Stephen The Martyr Church, Canley Coventry

1969 Founded The Compassionate Friends
1979-1980 Secretary to Mother Teresa, India
1980-1997 Chaplain Royal Navy

  • Chaplain First Frigate Squadron
  • Chaplain 3rd and 10th Submarine Squadrons
  • Chaplain RN Flagship HMS Ark Royal
  • Chaplain HMS Endurance Antarctic Ice-Breaker duties

Retired from Royal Navy in 1997
1997-1999 Duties Menorca Spain (Diocese in Europe)
1999 Chaplain St Andrews Moscow

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Representative to the Russian Orthodox Church
  • Anglican Area Dean of Russia and Ukraine

2014 Appointed Private Secretary to the Archbishop of Melanesis (South Pacific)

1988 UK Templeton Peace Prize
1998 OBE