Padres farewell Kimberley stations

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Cally DupeCountryman
Flying padres Jennie and David Shrimpton.
Camera IconFlying padres Jennie and David Shrimpton. Credit: Jacob Dyer

A new padre will take to the skies this month as pastoralists and communities in the region bid farewell to David and Jennie Shrimpton.

The Salvation Army's flying padre service provides spiritual and emotional support to people living on remote cattle stations in the Kimberley and Northern Territory.

The Shrimptons have serviced the Northern Territory and Kimberley for about 11 years, flying into people's lives in their Cessna 182S.

The Salvation Army broke the news in October that the pair would be transferred to Victorian town Echuca in early January.

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A new flying padre, Captain Greg Howard, will be based in Katherine and take to the skies in mid-January.

Based in Darwin since 2003, the Shrimptons have provided counselling and a pastoral care service, as well as conducting weddings, funerals and general chaplaincy across more than one million square miles.

A great part of their job has been providing comfort in times of loneliness and a compassionate ear.

Mr Shrimpton said he was asked to take on the air-wing role in 2005 after learning to fly while on a Salvation Army posting in Port Pirie.

With more than 100 places to visit, the couple are usually away for days at a time, making multiple stops each day and stopping overnight at one of the stations.

Mr Shrimpton said the couple loved the region.

"We've made some great friendships and learned a lot about the cattle industry," he said.

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