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Pastor Tom arrives at St John’s

12 Mar 2015

Pastor Tom arrives at St John’s Image

Pastor Tom arrives at St John’s

Apart from being a devout fan of the Melbourne Demons, new pastor at St John’s Church of Southgate Tom Hoffmann said he is a pretty laid-back guy.

“I’m a huge fan of the Demons so I’m on pretty touchy ground because Richmond is a very strong team in this congregation,” he said.

“So you’d see me at the MCG. My wife and I also love Pearl Jam so you might see us in the front row at their concert.”

Having grown up in the eastern suburb of Donvale, Tom returns to Melbourne after previously working at a parish in South Australia.

And he is certainly no stranger to the area. In 2009, Tom undertook an internship at St John’s Southgate under the guidance of former pastor Ian Vainikka.

After forming a great relationship with his predecessor and the local community, he said he jumped at the opportunity to return.

“I got to know the congregation and felt I was forging a very positive and lasting relationship with the people here,” he said.

“As it happened, they then called me to come and serve as their pastor and I was very pleased to be able to accept and venture over this way to be a part of this community and serve here.”

During his time under Ian Vainikka, he said he learnt an immense amount about the growing community in Southbank.

He said he was excited about the journey ahead and wanted St John’s to be a place where community was built, regardless of religion.

“I want it to be a place where you can come, regardless of your faith or whatever it might be, and get to know people and you can form relationships hopefully that blossom into friendships,” he said.

“The people here are lovely, there are people here who will care for you. There’s myself and others also who offer pastoral care and conversation. So even if you’re just having a bad day in the office and you need someone to talk to I’m here.”

While his new role is a significant contrast to his previous one in regional South Australia, he said he was relishing the opportunity to work in Southbank and described the area as “vibrant, exciting and busy”.

“Coming from country South Australia where there is less than 1000 people, it’s been an overwhelming but really joyful experience,” he said.

“There is great transience in Southbank, which makes it a challenge but we’re going to work with that and see what we can do.”

“There’s been such light and colour and excitement and I really look forward to getting to know the place and hopefully the people.”

Southbank Local News wishes Tom all the best in his new role.

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