Excellence in Leadership: Essays in Honour of Peter and Merrill Corney


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Peter and Merrill Corney spent most of their working life in one church, St Hilary’s Kew, yet they shaped the nature of church life and inspired a generation of leaders across Australia. Excellence in Leadership is a tribute to them on the occasion of Peter’s 80th birthday.

Following an introduction by Stephen Hale, Denise Cooper-Clarke outlines the stories of the Corney’s lives and Paul Perini describes what it is like to follow after a great leader. The next eleven chapters each deal with a specific area of ministry, and the authors were asked to answer two questions: what was the unique contribution of Peter and Merrill in this area, and what are the issues faced in this area of ministry today?

The areas covered are evangelism (Stephen Abbott), raising up and releasing leaders (Karl Faase), engaging children and families (Sue Bluett), women in leadership (Tracy Lauersen), youth ministry (Peter Carolane), preaching (Anthea McCall), creativity (Russell Lloyd), pastoral care (Steve Webster), justice and mercy (Deb Storie), connecting with our culture (David Fuller) and cross-generational ministry (Mark McDonald).

Peter and Merrill’s passion for an authentic Christian life that witnesses to the gospel in thought, word and deed shines through each essay, as well as the great love and esteem in which they are held.


Click here to view a pdf of Steve Bradbury’s review in the February 2018 edition of ‘The Melbourne Anglican’. Steve lectures in transformational development at Eastern College Australia and is the former National Director of TEAR Australia.


Denise Cooper-Clarke is a graduate of medicine and theology with a PhD in medical ethics. She is a voluntary researcher and editor with Ethos Centre for Christianity and Society. She and her husband David, who were married by Peter Corney at St Hilary’s in 1974, are long-term members of St Hilary’s, where she has been involved in small group, music and children’s ministries.

Stephen Hale has been Lead Minister of the St Hilary’s Network since 2009 and was previously Bishop of the Eastern Region, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. Stephen worked closely with Peter Corney in leading the Diploma of Youth Ministry at Ridley College in the late 1980s and in establishing the Arrow Leadership Program in Australia in the mid-1990s. He is married to Karen with two adult children, James and Kate.