He nonetheless makes use of the signal to speak his convictions, simply with perhaps rather less spit and vinegar. Final Sunday, one facet of the board learn “hold Gosford nuclear free,” a place unlikely to fire up a lot controversy right here. The opposite facet, nonetheless, confirmed that he nonetheless isn’t averse to throwing a partisan punch: “put far-right on terror checklist.”

“You get caught up within the vortex,” he mentioned of his time within the highlight. “Individuals respect what you’re saying and also you turn out to be a kind of voices.”

“Center floor is tough,” he added, leaning again in his chair, revealing pink socks beneath his black and white garb. “We solely hear the extremes.”

Along with his brief, spiky hair and tightly trimmed beard, Father Bower, 58, has one thing of the wombat about him — one other bristly, if usually lovable Australian of the wild. He’s not afraid to swear, joke about previous hangovers or ship a sermon barefoot. He’s a priest at dwelling within the muck of existence.

He grew up in an agricultural space north of Sydney, adopted and raised by cattle farmers. His adoptive father died when Father Bower was 13, and his teenage years have been principally spent working — on the land, and as a butcher. It’s a historical past he has by no means totally left behind; “The Moral Omnivore” sits beside spiritual texts on his workplace bookshelf.

The dislocation of being adopted, a truth he mentioned he all the time knew however solely started to completely course of in his 20s, motivated him to hunt God and the priesthood.

“It was a part of my seek for identification,” he mentioned. “It got here with a title and a uniform.”

Lots of his parishioners discovered Father Bower and the church the place he has served as rector for greater than twenty years by seeing the messages on the signal outdoors — not by passing by on the street, however by recognizing them on Fb.