Series 093/31 - Flannel graphs

Identity area

Reference code

AU AU-MTC 093/31

Title

Flannel graphs

Date(s)

  • 1930-1950 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Extent and medium

Coloured flannel shapes. 14 folders.

Context area

Name of creator

(1915-1996)

Biographical history

Mary Maria Andrews was born at Dry Plain Station (near Cooma, NSW) in 1915 to Albert and Ann Andrews. The family moved to Mittagong in 1925 then Sydney in 1927 for educational purposes following the separation of her parents. Mary was educated at Homebush Intermediate High School and later Hornsby Girls' High. She underwent training as a General Nurse at Gladesville Mental Hospital from 1933-1935, . studied at Sydney Missionary and Bible College from 1935-6 and was a resident at Deaconess house from 1937-8 at the recommendation of the Church Missionary Society of Australia (CMS), to which she had applied as a missionary to China in 1937.
Sailing to China in September 1938, she engaged in language learning at the College of Chinese Studies in Peiping (which was under Japanese occupation at the time) and later in Lin Hai, where she performed missionary work until she was forced to leave in late 1943 in fear of Japanese troops. She worked in Lahore, India, during 1944, and returned to Australia on furlough in 1946, during which time she was 'set apart' as a Deaconess. She returned to China in June 1947, working as a missionary in Shaohsing until she was forced to leave due to pressure from the Communist government in 1951.
Following her missionary career she continued to be heavily involved in CMS Candidates and General Committees and was a committed supporter of the South American Missionary Society (SAMS) and served on their Candidates and Pastoral Committee.
She began work as the Principal of Deaconess House in 1951, and was commissioned as Head Deaconess in the Diocese of Sydney in early 1952. As Principal, she oversaw a dramatic expansion of the institution in both physical size and occupancy. She held the position until her reluctant retirement in 1975. Many of the women who trained at Deaconess House continued to correspond with her, confide in her and shares the joys and trials of ministry with her until her life's end.
She then took on the role of part-time chaplain to three retirement villages - Goodwin Village, Woollahra (where she also resided); Elizabeth Lodge, Kings Cross, and St John's Village, Glebe. Not only did she conduct Bible studies and hold devotional meetings with the residents but she also encouraged them to give generously to missions, other Christian work and organisations for the aged. Additionally, she increased her involvement in a number of ecumenical and women's associations and was a fixture at these for the remainder of her life. Material found in her papers suggests that she supported the Healing Ministry at St Andrews Cathedral, Basilea Schlink of Darmstadt and that she attended the Billy Graham Crusade in 1979.
In 1980 she was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her Services to Religion.
Mary Andrews throughout her career and ministry was a strong proponent of greater inclusion of women into church life. She was actively involved in the events leading up to a number of milestones, including an increased prominence of the Deaconess order, the inclusion of women in the Anglican synod, and the ordination of women as Anglican Deacons. Late in her life she was fiercely in favour of the ordination of women as priests, and was a member of the Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW).
She had a healthy interest in a wide range of Christian beliefs and recorded broadcast interviews of Chrisians from Roman Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, and various other Christian denominations from Australia and abroad.
Recreationally she enjoyed traditional hymns, English Cathedral music and when time permitted attended performing arts particularly 'classical' music. In fact she entered into correspondence occasionally regarding the programs of concerts and the choice of operas if she thought they were unsuitable. She also had a life-long interest in photography and left behind an exhaustive documentation of the work of Deaconess House, the organisations that she was involved with, her many overseas trips, significant occasions in the ministry of former students and friends and of women's ministry in general.
She died on the 16th of October 1996, a few weeks after the 50th anniversary of her 'setting apart' as a Deaconess.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Bible story characters and objects cut out of flannel pieces, designed to be placed on a flannel background.
Folder 1:
The sheet let down
The boy Samuel
God feeds the Israelites with manna
The unforgiving servant
Folder 2:
Feeding the five thousand
The crucifixion
Gospel of John – the first 12 chapters
The prodigal son
The parable of the lost coin
The ten virgins
The rich man and Lazarus
Folder 3:
He shall cast away his idols
The boy Jesus
Jairus asks Jesus to come and heal his daughter
Cain and Abel
General indoor scene
Creation
Folder 4:
The entry in Jerusalem
The miraculous draw of fishes
Entrance of sin
Joseph’s coat of many colours
The Annunciation
The trial of Jesus
The parable of the lost sheep
Nativity scene
The prodigal son
Folder 5:
Joseph reveals himself to his brethren
The flood, Noah’s sacrifice
The story of Esther
The resurrection
Gideon’s three hundred
John baptising and the baptism of Jesus
First and second cleansing of the temple
Folder 6:
The raising of Lazarus
Moses hid in the bulrushes
Gethsemane
Abraham sends Hagar away
The widow’s mite
A bride for Isaac
Folder 7:
Water changed into wine
The temptation
Paul before Festus and Agrippa
The story of Ruth
The annunciation
Folder 8:
The tabernacle
Peter released from prison
The well of salvation
Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt
Elijah at Mount Carmel
The Passover
David and his victory over Goliath
Folder 9:
Joseph sold as a slave into Egypt
The ascension
Paul and Silas in Philippi/cast into prison
Pharaoh’s dreams
Scenery set – village and street
Joseph made ruler
Triumphal entry
Folder 10:
Isaac blesses Jacob
Elijah fed by the ravens
Animals
Christ stills the storm
Namaan the leper
Fleeing from Egyptians/the Passover
Cain and Abel
The creation
Jacob’s vision of the ladder
Folder 11:
The lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
The last Supper
Call of the fisherman
Chinese figures and boats
Paul on the island of Melita
Parable of the Good Samaritan
The Sower
Moses at the burning bush
Kadesh Barnea – the spies sent in
The serpent of brass
Folder 12:
Saul blinded by the light
Zacchaeus
The Good Shepherd
Jonah
The stoning of Stephen
The Sermon on the Mount
Joseph’s dreams
Folder 13:
The Good Samaritan
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
Adoration of the Wise Men
Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate
Nativity scene
Two ways poster
Rahab and the spies
Folder 14:
Translation of Elijah
Demons cast out of maniac
Parable of the talents
Parable of the two houses
Jesus blessing the children
The blind man
The rich young ruler
Daniel in the lion’s den

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

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None discernible

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Conditions governing access

Open access, to be handled with care.

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: C 21