Elected Leaders

The congregation elects church LEADERS (formerly called ELDERS) in January each year at the Annual General Meeting of the Congregation. Each member is tenured for up to five years.

LEADERS make up the Adare Church Council and accept responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the church.

Wayne Abbott

Before moving and retiring to Victor Harbor, I lived in the Adelaide Hills and practised as a Solicitor in Adelaide.

I have been a member first of the Methodist Church, and then the Uniting Church since my teens.

I served on the Synod Resources Board and its predecessors, and was also a member of the Property Trust. For 2 years I was a co - opted member (legal) of Standing Committee.

Christine and I have appreciated the friendship and fellowship of the Adare Church and felt at home since our move to Victor.

I hope to contribute to Adare remaining a welcoming and loving community and extending its serve to the wider community.

(Tenure 2 years)

Lesley Stevens

As a child I attended Anglican and Methodist Churches, and as a teenager was confirmed into the  Presbyterian Church where John and I taught Sunday School classes. We married in 1970 and have lived in various towns in South Australia (Salisbury, Gawler, Belair, Victor Harbor) as well as Canberra and Melbourne.  In each of these places I have been actively involved in our local Uniting Church congregations, particularly with Sunday Schools as a teacher and superintendent, and as secretary to the Ladies Guild (in Melbourne). 

John and I joined the congregation at Adare when we moved to Victor Harbor in 2007 and feel blessed to have been led to a loving and compassionate church community. I am currently the Congregation Secretary, and Church Treasurer. 

I enjoy fellowship and bible study with the ‘WIGLS’ home group and have also become involved in counselling for the Christians Against Poverty money management program which I see as a valuable outreach to the wider community.   

I am a qualified bookkeeper, have a Business Administration Diploma and retired recently after almost 50 years in the workforce in business administration roles. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to use my administration skills and experience in leadership roles for the benefit of the Adare congregation.

Tenure: one year

Alan Field

My association with Adare dates back to 1956 when I began my working life as a teacher at Victor Harbor High School.

In 1957, Margie and I were married in the newly established Adare Methodist Church and Adare has played a major part in our spiritual journey.

My enthusiasm for the church is as strong as ever and I am heartened by the Christian influence so many of our congregation brings to the local


Over the years I have been privileged to be nominated for several leadership positions and I have always tried to serve Adare to the best of my ability.

Music in worship is now a major focus and it is a great joy when the Adare Congregation enthusiastically raises its voice in Spirit - filled worship.

My hope and prayer is that Adare will find even more effective ways to reach out into our community. As a people of faith let our light shine and bring honour and glory to our living and loving God.

Tenure: one year

Peter Manuel

Peter came to Victor Harbor in 2001 as Principal of Victor Harbor High School retiring after three years.  He has always been an active community member especially in Rotary where he has held office as president and is currently a director. He is a participant and organizer of a number of sports and has served on a range of community committees.

Within the Adare Uniting Church, Peter is currently Chairperson of the Congregation, Webmaster, coordinator of Pinnaroo services once a month, occasional lay preacher and a member of the group responsible for the development of a church profile.

He supports his wife Brenda in the coordination of the Nockabouts care group and is a member of the Wanderers home group.

Peter has served the Adare church as a leader in the past and seeks again the opportunity to work collaboratively with others to maintain and develop a vibrant church with a passion to use our spiritual gifts to build the body of Christ and serve as God’s people within our community.

Tenure: One Year

Graeme Koch

I was born and baptized into the Lutheran Church in Peterborough 70 years ago with confirmation taking place as a teenager.

I was educated at Peterborough Primary and High Schools. My involvement withe the Methodist Church began as a teenager when I attended the Methodist Youth Fellowship, which had a large following of young people.

In 1972 Meredith and I were married in the Methodist Church at Booleroo Centre. We later had 3 lovely children who have blessed us with 4 grandchildren.

Although I was from a fifth generation farming family, my career path was to be in the Motor Industry. I left the farm in 1967 and worked at the local Holden Dealership, which we later purchased in 1975. In 1980 we purchased a larger Holden Dealership in Port Pirie, My role in these businesses was that of Dealership accountant.

In Pirie we attended the Uniting Church where I held a position on the Property Committee. I was also on the Board of Uniting Care Wesley Port Pirie for about 10 years.

Following retirement we moved to Victor in 2010, and have never been happier. Meredith and I joined the Church at Adare, where our faith has been nurtured by the different groups within the Church environs, in both Bible Studies and Pastoral Care.

I would be particularly interested in helping to create a vision of where our Church will be in the future, such as 5 and 10 years time. We will need to be flexible and adaptable to new ways, but at the same time not straying from the word of God.

Tenure: two years

Neil Pontifex

I grew up attending a little church at Kainton on Yorke Peninsula. After Rosemary and I married we attended Kulpara UC, where I led the youth group for many years as well as serving as an elder. We moved to Kangaroo Island in 2002 where we attended the Stokes Bay community church.

I have been involved with the Emmaus movement for twenty years, but where I really have had the closest relationship with God has been in the Mobilong prison as a member of Kairos for ten years.

My privilege and my passion has been watching people “have life and have it to the full’, often in ways they could never have even imagined, as they trust God more and more.

I hope to be able to contribute to seeing that continue at Adare.

Tenure: two years

Vanessa Wiese

I was blessed to have been born into a Christian family attending Baptist and then Church of Christ congregations, and I have fond memories of Sunday School, Church camps and youth groups.

Greg and I married in 1993 and being married to a banker meant we got to travel. One such move was to Cairns and it was here, due to a personal tragedy, that my thirst to have a personal relationship with Christ began. We transferred to Alice Springs where I attended a playgroup at the John Flynn Memorial Uniting Church, a bible study one day a week and regular Sunday services. My faith and relationship with Christ grew.

In 2001 we returned to Victor and it was here, at the Church of Christ, that I was baptised. We began attending Adare in 2004 and have been active members of the Adare Church family ever since, and enjoy being part of the AGM group.

I was called to begin working in the Church Office in November 2014 and feel fortunate to be able to serve our Lord and congregation in this way. I now feel that God is calling me to further serve Adare congregation as a member of the Church Council.

Tenure: one year

Jill Sprigg

I have always believed that I have lived in the blessings of GOD. A Christian upbringing has been a governing factor of my life. Brought up in Springvale, Melbourne with both my parents playing a very active role in the Springvale Methodist Church.

In my youth I enjoyed being a member of the Junior Choir, a Sunday School Teacher and Leader of RAYS Girls Club.

Rod and I have been married for 36 years, and we have 4 children and four grandchildren. I am also proud of the way I have conducted my life, and how I have dealt with life’s ups and downs.

In 2009 after working for Westpac for 17 and a half years, when I retired from the position of Bank Manager, Victor Harbor, I looked in the Local Paper for God’s direction and out popped a small ad asking for help to raise funds for children in the slums of Arusha, Tanzania.

What a true blessing for me to have been connected to Lyn Barnes and the Committee of Believe, educate, Empower Inc. Our work in Arusha is so rewarding. I have experienced it first hand in February 2014 and April/May 2015, when I accompanied Lyn to Arusha for 4 and a half weeks. To meet the students and their families, meet the teachers and meet the people of Lossinmingori Maasai Village, it brought it all to life for me.

Tenure: Two years