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The word ‘epiphany’ means manifestation, appearance or showing plainly.

We celebrate the epiphany of Jesus not just to the wise men, but to all people.

Epiphany is the 6th January, 12 days after Christmas, it has been estimated that this would have been the time taken for the Magi to travel to Bethlehem.  Often celebrated the Sunday before the 6th Jan or together on the Sunday of the Baptism of our Lord

Today the 12 Days of Christmas are most famous as a song. However, to get the song there had to be the days to start with!

The first day of Christmas being Christmas Day and the twelfth day being Epiphany.

I once read that the song was a secret code, for those being persecuted, to spread the word of God.  Just like the fish symbol was used to show others they were a Christian.

“The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.  Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.  Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.  The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.  The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of ...the Old Testament.  The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.......  Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit -- Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.  The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.  Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.  The ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.  The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful disciples.  The twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.”  (Anon)

The Baptism of our Lord is celebrated on the first Sunday after Epiphany.

Compiled by Rhonda Bruggemann

Mark Hampel

About the author


Mark Hampel is an enthusiastic communicator of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was ordained in 1988 and has served in churches and schools in 3 states. He currently lives in Chinchilla, Qld. His passion is building up the faith of God’s people and working with them so that all will come to know Christ as their joy and salvation.

Mark is happily married to Veronica and they have 4 children and 4 grandsons. He is also a farmer of sorts, having spent the last decade establishing a date plantation in Western Queensland. Other hobbies include Australian history, travel, film & literature and of course, family.

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Downfall Creek

St John’s

St John’s Downfall Creek, has been a centre of Christian faith and life in the area for over 100 years. They operated a Christian school for twenty-two years (1940 – 62).

This faith community is a warm-hearted bunch, who love to share their hospitality with the district. They enjoy many a pot luck dinner and host ‘Easter Dawn Service & Breakfast’, ‘Christmas Eve’ & ‘Advent Tea’’ and ‘Games Nights’ for the community.

Home Groups are an important part of life in the Downfall. Discussion and exploration of the faith are encouraged.

Religious Education at the nearby Guluguba Primary School is provided by St John’s.

Downfall Creek



Redeemer Miles, is a dedicated group who know the love of Christ and are keen to share it. They meet regularly in various homes throughout the district for intergenerational worship and home groups.  

Religious Education at nearby Drillham State Primary School is provided by Redeemer.



The Charleville faith community meet for worship once a month, then go out for a fellowship meal together. A Home Group is planned to begin soon.

They host the annual ‘Western Muster’, an ecumenical Bible teaching gathering, held on the first weekend after Easter.


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