This Sunday, the Wesley Uniting Church will hold a service commemorating the Reverend Brian Nichols and his wife Jenny. The occasion will be the unveiling of a beautiful stained-glass window in their honour.
What started as an idea for a tiny plaque on the wall of the church to remember Rev Nichols and his wife, quickly morphed into a much bigger idea after a church meeting.
Rev Nichols did all the regular work you would expect of a priest. But he was not your regular man of the cloth. He was a beer drinker, a smoker and sociable patron of the former Pig and Whistle hotel.
“He never lost his common touch and ease with everyday people,” one person told us.
He preached and performed weddings. He presided over funerals and baptisms as well. He did that for more than 40 years. But to mention only that would be a disservice to a man who did so much more for his parishioners, community, the city of Broken Hill, and even the country.
He introduced Lifeline to Broken Hill. It was the fourth office in Australia, and just the fifth in the world at the time. Lifeline is an institution in Broken Hill now, and has helped countless people during testing periods in their life and it wouldn’t exist here without Rev Brian.
Brian and Jenny’s daughter, Josie Tester [nee Nicholls], said, “thank you every person that donated, large or small. It has taken a huge effort. It seems everyone wanted to help as they remember the help Dad gave them, I think.”
If your life was positively affected by Rev Nichols or you just want to pay homage to a true community and church hero, head to the Wesley Uniting Church on Cobalt St this Sunday at 10am and attend the special service. Get there early, because if even one per cent of the people who have been helped by Rev Nichols in the past show up, seats might well be at a premium.