The Age: Non-fiction pick of the week

“This is one of those books that comes along once in the blue moon. The kind that arrives unheralded, without literary pedigree or fanfare, without glitz or commercial appeal. And it blows your socks off. No summary can do it justice. To say that it’s the story of the efforts of an Irish-Catholic community near Tower Hill in Western Victoria to save their local church is probably yawn-inspiring. And yet Regina Lane, whose family history is intimately bound up in this church, has written a passionate, rousing, historically significant page-turner that, as Shane Howard puts it, transcends the ‘‘local now’’ to raise big questions about power, justice and the spirit of place. As the story of a community’s struggle to be heard by a complacent church hierarchy, it’s also extremely topical at a time when the Catholic Church is under scrutiny for other abuses of it power. A truly wonderful tale”

May 22, 2014

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Fiona Capp

Whose Church is it anyway?

“Written with considerable skill…this is not a book to be read in small doses…it is an entirely gripping read”

July 3-16, 2014

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Frank O'Shea

Regina Lane rallies her community to save the local church

Scott Stephens talks to Regina Lane, on how she and a tiny community in Victoria saved their local Catholic church, St Brigid’s.

9 September 2014

Listen to the full interview here or download the mp3 here

Scott Stephens

Pacy, a cliffhanger

Author, Regina Lane speaks to Rachael Kohn about Saving St Brigid’s on the weekend of St Brigid’s centenary, 28-30th June, 2014.

29 June 2014

Listen to the full interview here or download it here

Dr Rachael Kohn

Why I am compelled to act

“Some distance south-west of Bendigo at Crossley, a small coastal community between Port Fairy and Warrnambool, in the recent past there was another hot controversy over a place of worship. But there the focus of community rancour wasn’t a mosque but a small Catholic Church.

The feisty woman featured in this interview on Eureka Street TV was at the heart of that dispute over St Brigid’s Church at Crossley.”

12 May, 2015

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Peter Kirkwood

Saving Saint Brigid’s – Koroit Irish Festival Book Launch

Saving St Brigid’s is the unique story of a small rural community who, in the spirit of their Irish rebel ancestors, stood up for what they believed in. The Premier of Victoria, Dr Denis Napthine, launched the book at the Koroit Irish Festival, on 26th April 2014. The Premier and author of the book, Regina Lane, share a common background: both are one of ten children, who grew up Catholic in small rural towns — where church played a central part in their family and community life. Here, the Premier shares his memories and the author share’s her motivations for writing the book.

27 April 2014

Saturday’s with Hilary Harper

The motivation for Regina to write the book came from a feeling of responsibility to her descendants to share their story. Saving St Brigid’s traces Lane’s family migration from Ireland, after the famine, to Killarney. It tells the story of her family’s ongoing commitment to the faith and community life that surrounded the building, as well as the quest to save it from sale.

She joined Hilary to chat about the campaign and her book.

28 June 2014

(Interview no longer available)

Hilary Harper

Southwest community’s tale of Saving St Brigid’s

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine will launch a memoir in honour of their church’s battle for survival. Saving St Brigid’s is the unique story of a rural Australian community who, in the spirit of their Irish rebel ancestors, fought against the Catholic Parish that wanted to sell their church

22 April 2014

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Steve Martin

Chords of community in a country church protest song

“Above all Lane invites the reader into her own journey. It takes her from a country life lived in the shadow of St Brigid’s to the city where she seeks to find her place in a broader world, working in social organisations in Australia and overseas. When she committed herself to save St Brigid’s she found herself building personal and community identity out of apparently inadequate materials. At the book’s end she is able to own in her own way the values of family and community she had earlier found constricting…

She gives herself so generously in her writing that her book becomes a love story, touching all the moments of self-doubt, of ecstasy, of despair, of friendship, of the transfiguration of faces and places, and of exacting ordinariness that are the grammar of love.”

12 March 2014

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Andrew Hamilton

St Brigid’s story proves anything is pozible

“Saving St Brigid’s (Bridin Books) is Regina’s first book and was a true labour of love. Her deep, personal connection to the church, which was her family’s local church when Regina grew up as a child at Tower Hill, spurred her on to raise the $15,000 required to write and publish the book…

Regina Lane brings the spirit of the region’s multi-faceted history alive through the tale of modern rebellion, and in doing so, creates her own culture of thought, which leaves a legacy of its own.”

9 March 2014

(Article no longer available)

Carol Altman
Bluestone Magazine

Changing of the Guard at St. Brigid’s, Crossley; or, Transforming Divine Investment

“Regina Lane’s memoir of the saving of the church is a passionate book, even polemical at times, which starts a little tentatively, and gathers pace as one turns the pages.  It’s a tale of collective memory of the past: a lot of feeling is invested in the spud-digging men and lamington- and sanger-making women, descendants of Famine migrants, who kept the place alive. It was a hub of the district, celebrating weddings, funerals and holding dances. The book conveys a sense of place that is numinous not only for those who grew up there, but also for newcomers to the tightly-knit but nonetheless open-hearted community of Crossley. One sees this humble place freighted with memories, so its desired re-purposing as an Irish-Australian cultural heritage centre makes excellent sense…

It is a fascinating, because uplifting, narrative about a community that successfully resisted such monolithic power and in the process  empowered itself. The struggle itself forged new and more inclusive bonds and new purposes. I expect next time I’m at Crossley that the church and the hall will have had much more love poured into them.”

6 March 2014

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Frances Devlin-Glass

Book Advisor: Saving St Brigid’s

“Saving St Brigid’s, by Regina Lane, has a number of interconnected themes. At one level it is a David and Goliath story about a group of passionate and determined locals who are determined to save their parish church in spite of the intransigence of Catholic Church officials. It is also about the ties that bind: family, home, religion and community. Above all it is the personal story of a young, idealistic woman who must make her own way in the world, guided but not contained by her formative experiences…

Lane spares nobody’s feelings when she describes the hostility, deception and undercover deals that went on. More poignant is the description of how her parents were forced to reassess their attitude to the church they loved and suffer the pain of exclusion from their own community…”

7 April 2014

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Mary Delaney