​The Reverend Helen Phillips

I began my formal theological studies with three children under five. Since being ordained, I have worked in three dioceses in Australia, in both parish and school ministries. I am married to John (also a priest) and we have three grown up daughters. Two are married and the youngest is to be married in September. We have one grandson who is a constant source of joy and delight for us.

I am the middle person of what is believed to be the first three generations of women to be ordained in the Anglican Church worldwide; a position I never in my wildest dreams expected to find myself in, but one of great privilege.

My Christian journey began as early back as I can remember; I grew up in the Anglican Church and it has been a large part of my formation. The strong sense of call that I felt at my Confirmation took some time to grow to fruition, as women were then unable to be ordained.

Before returning to the Melbourne diocese about eighteen months ago, I was working as Senior Chaplain in a school in Brisbane, owned by an Anglican Order of Sisters. This experience served to whet my appetite for contemplative spirituality and one of my favourite ministries is leading Quiet Days and Retreats to enable others to deepen their relationship with God.

In my role as the leader of the School Chaplains in Queensland over nearly eight years, I worked closely with people as they discerned their sense of vocation, either lay or ordained, and was very pleased to be able to assist in the facilitation of a curacy programme within schools for those who felt called to chaplaincy.

I am delighted and honoured to have been invited to become an examining chaplain. I am absolutely passionate about mentoring others for ministry and especially in encouraging theological reflection at every possible level. I love the diversity of the Anglican Church and am committed to us maintaining this balance, whilst working hard to avoid polarisation or division.

My spare time is spent reading (usually something to do with spirituality or leadership), or sewing and/or embroidering. I am currently beading my daughter’s wedding gown.


 Examining chaplains