Our Leadership

Moderator: Rev Peter Morel

The Moderator is the elected leader of the Uniting Church in South Australia and the official spokesperson for the Church. Rev Peter Morel was installed as Moderator in June 2023.

In commencing his term as Moderator, Peter encourages the Church to embrace a spirit of joy which reflects the very nature of our relationship with Jesus Christ. He has developed the guiding phrase: Seriously Joyful, Joyfully Serious - Living in Christ, which is reflected in his logo. Peter hopes we can all engage with each other; with our workplaces; and local communities with a joy that is reflected throughout our everyday challenges and celebrations. Such joy is not a seasonal focus, nor reliant upon ‘happy’ experiences. We are reminded of Jesus’ words to his disciples, ‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete’ (John 15:11). 

Peter grew up in rural Western Australia, however he left home at the age of sixteen when he joined the Australian Army to be a full-time musician. Peter’s Army life saw him being trained at the Army Apprentices School, Melbourne, before postings to Army Bands in Townsville, Perth and Canberra. 

In 1990 Peter began his education and formation as a Minister of the Word at Parkin-Wesley College and was Ordained in December 1995. He has had congregational and parish placements in Tumby Bay and Balhannah. More recently, Peter was the Coordinating Chaplain at St Andrew’s Hospital for nearly 15 years.  

Peter is married to Gill and together they have two adult children and have now joyfully entered the world of grandparenting.



General Secretary: Rev Philip Gardner

Rev Philip Gardner is the General Secretary of the Synod of South Australia appointed in September 2023. 

After studying for ministry at Parkin Wesley College (now Uniting College), Philip has held ministry positions in rural, regional and suburban congregations as well as serving in Presbytery Synod roles. Philip has appreciated the chance to work with dedicated and competent staff in the various teams of which he has been a part within the Synod Office and across the wider church.

To contact Philip please email: Turn on Javascript!.