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Father Mark Watson
Fr Mark was born in Geelong, Victoria and spent his formative years in Sydney. He worked in retail, becoming a department supervisor, then a showroom manager. Later he was a clerical officer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He studied music at the State Conservatorium of Music New South Wales, gaining his Licentiate Diploma in piano (performance) in 1984. He learned singing at the Conservatorium and stagecraft at the Australian Academy of Music Theatre, and performed in a number of amateur stage musicals and operas. He taught piano part-time.
He studied for the Baptist ministry at Morling College, Sydney, gaining his Bachelor of Theology degree through the Sydney College of Divinity in 1990. He gained his Master of Arts (Theology) from the Australian College of Theology in 1997. He was ordained in the Baptist Church in 1990 and served as a senior pastor for twelve years. He joined the Central Coast Chorale in 1998 and performed in the Chorale’s concerts, singing the bass-baritone solos in a number of works including Faure’s Requiem, John Rutter’s Mass of the Children, Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Charpentier’s Te Deum and Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum. He also sang with the choir on four of its CD recordings.
In 2000 Mark approached the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle regarding ordination and spent a year in residence at St John’s College Morpeth. He was ordained Deacon on 2nd February 2002 and Priest on 30th November 2002 by Bishop Roger Herft at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle. He was Assistant Priest at St John’s Taree from 2002 to 2004 then Parish Priest at the Church of St Christopher & St Thomas of Canterbury, Bateau Bay from 2004 until 2010. He then served as Canon Residentiary of Christ Church Cathedral from 2010 until February 2016.
Fr Mark has three children and four grandchildren who live in Sydney.