Tim Costello to visit Ararat

Ararat - World Vision chief executive, Tim Costello will speak at the Ararat Uniting Church on Palm Sunday, April 13.

Rev Costello is one of the most high profile speakers in Australia, especially in his role as CEO for World Vision Australia.

Rev Costello's message is positive, 'Hope is breaking through in our world ... Child deaths have been cut by five million a year thanks in large part to effective overseas aid'.

The Rev Dr Colin Honey, Minister of Ararat Uniting Church, invites current and past members and interested community members to hear Mr Costello.

Dr Honey said the church was delighted that Mr Costello was coming to Ararat.

"We will try and give maximum time for him to speak and answer questions," he said.

Rev Costello will be speaking at the later time of 11am to allow members of other churches to attend.

Brother of former Australian treasurer Peter Costello, Rev Costello is chief executive of World Vision and a prominent Baptist minister. The Age describes him as 'Australia's most famous priest'.

Born in Blackburn he studied law at Monash and then practised as a solicitor.

In 1981 Mr Costello travelled to Switzerland with his wife Merridie to study theology at Ruschlikon College and he was ordained a minister in 1987 and later led a team that rebuilt St Kilda Baptist Church and opened a drop in centre.

In 1993 he was elected Mayor of St Kilda and became known for his clashes with Premier Jeff Kennett over gambling issues.

From 1995 to 2003 he was minister at Collins Street Baptist Church, Melbourne, president of the Baptist Union of Australia from 1999 to 2002 and a member of the National Advisory Body on Gambling and Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation.

In 2004 he was appointed chief executive of World Vision Australia and named Victorian of the Year, and in 2005 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.

Many Ararat people have a great compassion for those in need around the world. They will appreciate what Mr Costello has to say.

At the service in Ararat Rev Costello will speak about finding hope against the darkness, exploring what thoughts might have been going through Jesus' mind as he approached Jerusalem.

"At the time Jerusalem was the political and religious centre of the region and Jesus knew that he was also reaching the culmination of his life's work and ministry," Rev Costello said.

As head of World Vision, Rev Costello travels frequently to war-torn and developing countries and is also engaged in a number of causes in Australia.

World Vision has more than 670 supporters registered in Ararat who have donated $65,000 to World Vision in the last 12 months.

"Spending Palm Sunday with the congregation at Ararat Uniting Church will be a great way to reflect on the significant events in the lead up to what we now call Easter," he said.

Mr Costello has recently published his latest book called, 'Hope' which will be available for purchase at St Andrews on the day of his visit.

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