Yankalilla is a
sleepy little country town nestling in a picturesque valley about one-and-a-half
hours' drive south of Adelaide in South Australia. It was there back
in August 1994 that parishioner Susan Fehlburg first noticed what looked
to her like an image of the Madonna and Child on the wall of the Anglican
Christ Church. When it was shown to the rector, Canadian-born Reverend
Andrew Nutter, he also could see the image. The image appears in what
looks like a patch of unevenness in the plasterwork above and to the
right of the altar.
In July of this year (1996), Fr Andrew reported the phenomenon in a
local church paper. Since then, news of the apparition has travelled
around the world. For example, BBC Radio 5 in London interviewed Fr
Andrew on its Up all Night programme. Fr Andrew received a call from
his sister in Ottawa, Canada, to say that she heard the story on her
local radio station. A letter from a woman in Mobile, Alabama (USA),
indicated that she had read about the apparition in her local paper.
Reuters had apparently picked up the story and distributed it worldwide.
Locally the story has received widespread and ongoing coverage. There
has been a string of articles in the main Adelaide papers as well as
a feature in Melbourne's highly respected The Age newspaper.
Adelaide Transmission Meditation group member Lisa Foley was invited
by the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper to do an interview at the church
linking this event to the series of apparitions and miracles taking
place around the world. The resulting article in the Saturday edition
of the paper (which has an estimated readership of half a million) stated
that : the Yankalilla phenomenon was another sign pointing to the coming
of a Christ-like teacher to unite all religions; the new teacher would
be a teacher for all humanity and will teach there is one God for all;
the Yankalilla image was part of a jigsaw of phenomena heralding a new
era of universal spiritual wisdom.
Television news and current affairs has run the Yankalilla apparition
story both locally and nationally. Fr Andrews recounts how the Adelaide
Television news teams fly to Yankalilla by helicopter, land on the nearby
oval, tape an interview at the church and then fly back to Adelaide
to make that evening's news. Fr Andrew has also given numerous interviews
on local Adelaide radio.
It was this extensive news coverage that brought a dowser to the site.
The dowser alerted Fr Andrew to the presence of a stream of water running
under the church. Fr Andrew had already been contemplating the idea
that the Yankalilla apparition was to have significance not only for
his own parishioners but for people right across Australia. The discovery
of the stream of water confirmed his feeling that this site might become
a centre of pilgrimage and healing. He wondered about the significance
of the stream.
In the meantime, I had faxed Benjamin Creme in London for verification
of the origin of the apparition and the stream of water. A fax came
back to say that the phenomenon was indeed genuine and that the stream
of water, like the apparition, was the work of the Master Who was the
Madonna and that the water would have healing power. I conveyed this
information to Fr Andrew.
Fr Andrew, who had already read Maitreya's Mission Volume Two
by Benjamin Creme, appreciated this information as it confirmed his
own intuition regarding the whole phenomenon. A decision was made to
drill for the water. But the question remained: where to drill?
Another fax to London drew a recommendation from Benjamin Creme's Master
regarding the location of the well. Just a few days ago (late September)
a bore was drilled at precisely the recommended spot: two metres from
the wall in line with the image. Water was found!
Fr Andrew plans to offer the water to those attending his weekly Pilgrim
Mass as well as to the steady stream of visitors who come to the church
from all over Australia throughout the week.
Pasquo Cassetta is a member of the Australian Transmission Meditation