Bishop admits past failures and outdated services are hampering church growth

Posted on September 18, 2020 
Filed under Australian dioceses

Here’s a Media Release from the Diocese of Bathurst, 18 September 2020:

Bishop admits past failures and outdated services are hampering church growth

The Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst (covering central and western NSW) will tomorrow admit that there has been much in the past – including sexual abuse by church leaders and certain financial decisions – which has been shameful and damaging to the reputation of the church.

Bishop Mark Calder will make the remarks during his first major address to church leaders of the diocese at their annual gathering, known as synod, on Saturday 19th September just after 10am.

In the 45-minute speech, Bishop Calder will ask church leaders to ‘name the past’, ‘face the present’ and ‘explore the future’.

“There is significant baggage that we must deal with before we can move forward, including mistrust, unresolved conflict, a damaged ‘brand’ and lack of financial resources to try anything new,” Bishop Calder will say.

If we continue doing the same things the way we always have, we cannot expect any different outcome. We cannot expect to grow or reach those generations we are currently missing by doing more of the same.

“Looking to the future, church leaders must help renew the church through prayer, through becoming more outward-looking, through seeking new clergy, through more contemporary church services and through everyone becoming more confident in sharing the great news of forgiveness Jesus Christ lived, died and rose to make possible.”

The synod this year will meet electronically via Zoom for the first time in the diocese’s history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

[Editor’s note: Please continue to pray for Bishop Mark Calder and for the churches of the Diocese of Bathurst, as they seek to live for Jesus.]