Weekly Saturday Vigil Mass:  6:00pm |   Sunday  Masses: 7:30am and 9:00am.

Church Capacity reduced to 80. Masks must be worn. No singing.

Parish Mass on Wednesday 9:30am in church will continue until notified.


Parish Pastoral Council

Chairperson: Mark Henschke

Deputy Chairperson: Trevor Cooper

Secretary: Kathryn Butcherine

The PPC will meet  on the 2nd Wednesday each month.

An agenda setting meeting will be held by the executive of the PPC during the week prior to the PPC meeting. Any parishioners wishing to raise a matter with the PPC are asked to speak with a member of the PPC or contact the Parish office by phone or email before this agenda setting meeting.

Meet the members of the current pastoral council

Fr Michael Alcock

I was appointed as Temporary Administrator of Mary Help of Christians Parish in July 2015.   I was ordained a priest in 2001 and have served in the parishes of St Carthage’s Cathedral, St Agnes’ Port Macquarie and Nambucca Valley.  I love spending time at the beach and getting away in the camper whenever we can (Zippy & me).



Mark Henscke (Chair)

I was born in Adelaide, one of five boys and educated by the Jesuits at Saint Ignatius College. I obtained an Honours Science degree in Geophysics in 1971 and worked in oil exploration for a year before returning to university in 1973 to study medicine. I worked as a rural GP Obstetrician from 1982 – 2009 before moving across to Coffs Harbour. I am now teaching medical students at the Rural Clinical School, UNSW in the grounds of our Base Hospital. Leonie and I have three children Luke (Lismore), Rebecca (London) and Alice (Orange) and seven very special grandchildren. In my free time, I enjoy cycling and gardening at our wonderful Botanical Gardens.

Trevor Cooper (Deputy Chair)

I am new to the Parish and has a passion for Evangelism, Understanding the Word of God, and Building Community. I often says “It is crucial that we as Catholics know what we believe and why.” I am currently undertaking Post Graduate work at UNSW, looking at the Use of Evidence in Medicine, Psychology and Ministry and I’m a strong advocate for Parish Development.


Kathryn Butcherine (Secretary)

I grew up on a farm in Coolah and attended the Catholic high school in Bathurst and bordered at St Joseph’s College Perthville. I am married with three children and moved from Dubbo 16 years ago.
I have had many career opportunities come my way however the most rewarding has been working with children in education. I am currently employed as a teacher assistant at MHOC School where I have been for 15 years. In that time, I have completed a degree in educational studies while raising three children. I also work as a primary school tutor in maths and literacy which I find so rewarding.
My hope for the Parish is to build on what we have. We all come from many backgrounds and faith experiences and our common bond is our love of God and his church. I see our Parish community as a team working for Jesus and living the gospel. A team with various ideas and concerns which includes all voices, from the young to the elders of our Parish community. May we listen, pray, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us all, open our eyes to new opportunities and contemplate the many future opportunities that present themselves in our Parish. I look forward to meeting you.

Kristy McPherson

I am honoured to be chosen to represent our Parish in the Pastoral Council. I grew up in the Sawtell Parish, attending both Mary Help of Christians Primary and St John Paul College. My wonderful husband and I have chosen this Parish as our home to raise our four young children. I am a Catholic primary school teacher and have over twenty years of experience in Catholic social outreach and ministry. I look forward to seeing our beautiful parish continue to flourish as we all use our gifts to work together.

Charles Hibberd

I am a 47 year old father of four. Teacher at St. John Paul College Coffs Harbour.

I have been a member of the Mary Help of Christians parish since 1987, including the comings and goings of life.

My family has a long tradition of service in the Lismore Diocese in both parish and education.

I am proud to be able to continue this tradition.

Meera Henry

Together with my husband and twin boys, we have been in Sawtell Parish for the last four years. I am from India, raised in a Catholic family, enjoying a personal God experience every day, and always keen to practice faith in our family and community. I completed my Ph.D in Social Work and am currently working as a senior social worker in Mid North Coast Cancer Institute, Coffs Harbour. We, as a family are passionate about practicing our faith in our daily life. We are always happy to support others as much as we can, and our dream is to become a missionary family at the service of the church. I am grateful for what I have and am happy to become an instrument in God’s hand for others.

Louise Thompson

My name is Louise Thompson, mother of three and soon to be grandmother for the first time. I am a pharmacist by profession and have been in the parish for about six years after moving to the area in 2013. Having looked around at others I chose this parish because I felt the parishioners had a sense of ownership that appealed to me. I am honoured to be able to serve on the council and look forward to the journey.

Graeme Clark

Cate and first moved to Sawtell in 1978. Our 3 children were born in Coffs Harbour and attended MHOC until we moved to Albury in 1996.   With a strong commitment to social inclusion, I worked for 47 years in disability services before retiring in 2015.  We then returned to Sawtell and re-engaged with the MHOC parish.

Carolyn Tumminello

Bruce and I moved to Sawtell in 1993 and with our three children, have been a part of this parish ever since. I spent many years teaching at MHOC school, including three years as coordinator of additional support needs and two years as Assistant Principal (Mission).  I have completed some post- graduate studies in theology and have been involved with many aspects of parish life during the last 28 years, including the Sacramental program for children, PPC and DPC (Diocesan Pastoral Council). In 2018, I made the big move away from teaching to take up the position of Pastoral Associate for our parish. I always feel blessed and grateful to be part of such a wonderful faith community and pray we can continue to grow as a welcoming and  faith-filled community. I am an ex-officio participant in the Parish Pastoral Council.

Matt de Dassel

Together with my wife Sharon and four children, we have called Sawtell Parish home for the last 20 years. I taught at St John Paul College as a Science teacher and then Ministry Coordinator before taking a position with the Catholic Schools Office as School Evangelisation Consultant. Our family loves and cares for our Parish and I have enjoyed being involved in the strategic planning around our building program, aged care and service to the poor priorities. I have a growing desire to see our Parish move from its strong position into a truly Missionary Parish, reaching out to those in our community and making Missionary Disciples. As Chair of the Parish Finance Council, I am an ex-officio participant in the Parish Pastoral Council.


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