Sydney Diocese church use policy passes

Posted on October 22, 2018 
Filed under Sydney Diocese

“A policy for the use of church property has been passed by the Synod after amendments to clarify the scope and implementation of the policy.

The use of church property has always been governed by various regulations and the latest policy consolidates these into a single document. …

The policy guides churches and Anglican organisations on renting out and leasing properties.”

– Story from Russell Powell at
(Photo of Bishop Michael Stead by Russell Powell.)

Ruddock Report (part 4): overview and the Big Three areas

Posted on October 22, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

This evening, a packed room of Sydney Synod members heard Associate Professor Neil Foster present an overview of the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock Report.

He identifies the three most important areas of reform flowing from those recommendations as:

  1. Rec 15, that the Commonwealth enact a Religious Discrimination Act (and rec 2, on principles to follow in drafting such an Act);
  2. Recs 5-8, that religious schools generally remain free to run their schools consistently with their religious ethos; and
  3. Rec 9, concerning parents being given notice by schools of teaching which might be contrary to their beliefs.

See his full post, with links to his paper and Powerpoint summary – at Law and Religion Australia.


More Same-Sex Blessings motions fail to pass in Australian Synods

Posted on October 22, 2018 
Filed under Australian dioceses, Culture wars

“This past weekend saw synods in the metropolitan dioceses of Melbourne and Adelaide here in Australia. We’ve previously reported on the proposed motions there (Melbourne, Adelaide) to provide for blessings of same-sex marriages contracted by civil celebrants.

As is becoming clear, these motions are part of a coordinated campaign across the whole country. …”

David Ould with an overview from last weekend.

(Image: Anglican Church of Australia.)

National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse — Public Statement

Posted on October 22, 2018 
Filed under Australia, Sydney Diocese

Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney
Public Statement

National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

The Anglican Church in the Diocese of Sydney welcomes the decision of the Federal Government to issue a National Apology to the survivors of child sexual abuse. While this apology comes in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, it is an important step for the healing of survivors, though nothing will ever rid them of the memories of past abuses.

As Archbishop, I recognise and respect the wishes of the survivors to have no leaders of institutions present in Parliament House when the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison, delivers the National Apology, nor in the livestreaming of this important event in the Opera House, hosted by the Premier of NSW, the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian.

In respecting survivors’ wishes, I take the opportunity again to offer an apology on behalf of the Anglican Church in Sydney, where such abuses have happened in the past. That our Church was complicit in any way in these events, by ignoring them, disbelieving the testimony of survivors, or allowing sex offenders to continue their horrendous conduct in what should have been the safe environs of a church, is itself a matter of deep shame. While I and my immediate two predecessors have issued apologies in the past, let me reiterate my apology to the survivors of child sexual abuse, for our failure to protect them as children. While we have adopted rigorous processes to ensure the safety of children in the present, I recognise that this will not overcome the trauma that accompanies the sins of the past.

My fervent prayer is that today’s National Apology will in some measure provide healing for these wounds, raise the national consciousness of the seriousness of child sexual abuse, and enable us as a nation, and individually as citizens, to play our part in protecting and giving voice to the most vulnerable among us, for the benefit of future generations of Australians.

Archbishop Glenn Davies
22 October 2018.

– Source: media release.

‘Uniting Church Ministers might be forced to stop marrying same-sex couples’

Posted on October 20, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Other denominations

“Same-sex couples planning to wed in the Uniting Church in coming months might be forced to make alternative plans, after the general secretary warned that all same-sex weddings could be paused from November. …

Under the church’s constitution, within six months of a decision being made at the assembly, if 50% of the presbyteries (local bodies) in 50% of the synods (state bodies) lodge an objection and say there was not enough consultation for a decision, it has to be paused until there can be another vote. …”

– Story from BuzzFeed. (Photo: Uniting Church President Dr Deidre Palmer.)


Resources from last month’s Assembly of Confessing Congregations National Conference in Sydney have now been posted on their website. (Bishop of South Sydney, Dr. Michael Stead, gave the keynote address, explaining the Anglican situation, and the reasons for the formation of GAFCON.)

Conscientious Objection in the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 (Qld)

Posted on October 20, 2018 
Filed under Australia, Culture wars

“On 17th October 2018 the Queensland Parliament passed the Termination of Pregnancy Bill 2018 (Qld).

This law will, among other things, allow abortion on demand up to 22 weeks’ gestation, and abortion up to full term if approved by two independent doctors who agree it is appropriate taking into account all the circumstances.

Setting aside for one moment the significant objections to the primary function of this legislation in general, a major point of contention with the bill was the extent to which health practitioners are able to refrain from providing abortion services because they have a conscientious objection. …”

– In a guest post at Law and Religion Australia, Dr. Alex Deagon, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, looks at the implications of the new bill for health practitioners.

Rebirth of the Gods: The Sexual Revolution

Posted on October 20, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars, Resources

“The presupposition of our world right now is that we create our own identities and our own values. Therefore, if you make a statement of judgment, that’s seen as a personal attack. It’s a very delicate place to be as a Christian; if we make any kind of statements, we are dismissed as being hate-filled.

Behind all this is the attack on the binary. Stanford University offers a course entitled ‘Destroying Dichotomies: Exploring Multiple Sex, Gender and Sexual Identities.” Two lesbians write an article, ‘Can We Put an End to the Gender Binary?’ This is, of course, the notion that is currently driving our culture in terms of sexuality. A short time ago, a public school department in Texas sent a message to its schoolteachers, telling them they must no longer refer to children as boys and girls.

What’s going on here?…”

Dr. Peter Jones has published the third article in his series ‘Rebirth of the Gods’ at the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ Reformation 21.

(Dr. Jones is the Director of the Christian think tank truthXchange.)

Is God Green?

Posted on October 19, 2018 
Filed under Resources, Theology

“Almost 50 years ago, in 1972, the crew of the Apollo 17 space mission took the first full-view photo of planet Earth as they made their way to the moon.

For the first time ever, humanity saw an image of the whole planet from afar. They saw the clouds, the land, the oceans sitting there: whirling, powerful, innocent, vulnerable.

This view from above was emblematic of a revolution taking place in the hearts and imaginations of millions around the planet. …”

– ACL Council member Dr. Lionel Windsor introduces his new book, Is God Green?

(Available from Matthias Media. Photo by Harrison H. Schmitt.)

Evangelical Bishops open letter to Church of England: ‘Do not abandon biblical truth on sexuality’

Posted on October 19, 2018 
Filed under Church of England, GAFCON

“Eleven bishops of the Church of England have positioned themselves against opening a debate about the Anglican teaching about identity, sexuality and marriage. …

After tense debates that questioned the traditional biblical perspectives in places like Scotland and the United States, these key evangelical leaders have called to continue to proclaim the Christian “ethic”.

The open letter (download here – the original article had an incorrect link) has been signed by the Bishops of Carlisle, Durham, Ludlow, Birkenhead, Willesden, Peterborough, Plymouth, Blackburn, Maidstone and Lancaster, and by the former Bishop of Shrewsbury.”

– Read the full story from Evangelical Focus.

‘Growing Sydney’ — Synod video 2018

Posted on October 18, 2018 
Filed under Resources, Sydney Diocese

This video from the Diocese of Sydney Mission Property Committee was shown to the Synod on Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks to, you can watch it above – or download it to show your congregation / home groups.

More info at the New Churches for New Communities website.

Greens Bill a serious attack on religious freedom

Posted on October 18, 2018 
Filed under Culture wars

“The Greens party has introduced a bill into the Senate dealing with a number of the issues that have been discussed in recent days about the right of religious schools to conduct their education in accordance with their faith commitment.

The so-called Discrimination Free Schools Bill 2018  would remove the capacity of religious schools (and, importantly, many other religious organisations) to make staffing decisions in line with their religious beliefs.

It is a serious attack on religious freedom, and should be voted down by the Senate when debate resumes. …

The Bill is straightforward, with the simplicity of a sledgehammer destroying a wall. Schedule 1, Part 1, item 2 in relation to s 38 says: “Repeal the section”. Religious schools will then not be able to take into account “sex, sexual orientation, gender identitymarital or relationship status or pregnancy” in decisions relating to staff or students. However much those who run the school, or the parents who choose to send their students to the school (often at significant cost), would like the choice to have a school which actively supports a religion vision of human sexual behaviour, they will no longer have that choice if this provision were implemented. …”

Important reading from Neil Foster at Law and Religion Australia.

How to run an effective evangelistic course

Posted on October 18, 2018 
Filed under Encouragement, Resources

“So you want to reach the lost with the gospel?

Fantastic! Evangelistic courses are an effective method of doing so – particularly in a post-Christian culture.

The following are small but crucial steps you can make to ensure you maximise the effectiveness of your evangelistic course. …”

– Here are some very useful, practical tips from Dave Jensen, at

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