Concerns expressed over western Sydney council’s constraints on places of worship

Last week, the Member of Granville, Ms Julia Finn, delivered a Private Members’ Statement in NSW State Parliament concerning the Local Environmental Plan adopted by Cumberland Council last month.

Her 5 minute statement can be viewed here.

Gafcon Australasian conference 2021

From Gafcon Australia:

“The Board of Gafcon Australia, along with Anglicans from both the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) and the Church of Confessing Anglicans Aotearoa New Zealand (CCAANZ), are pleased to announce a joint conference in July 2021.

While we can only dream of gathering together and travelling to other places now, we would like you to mark in your diary Mon 19th to Thu 22nd July, 2021, for this conference.”

Dr Ashley Null will be the keynote speaker.

Pre-register your interest here.

Despondent Tasmanians need hope, not darkness

Here’s a media release from The Australian Christian Lobby:

The Australian Christian Lobby encourages hope and purpose, even in the final chapter of people’s lives so that despondent Tasmanians would not choose to prematurely end their own lives.

‘The bill proposed by Mike Gaffney MLC is very concerning, as it goes much further than the current models legalised in Victoria and Western Australia. In those states, a person must be terminally ill and have only 6-12 months to live. Mr Gaffney’s bill expands the barriers beyond that, removing the terminal illness requirement. People who have an irreversible medical condition could access euthanasia,’ observed ACL Tasmania director, Christopher Brohier.

‘There is also no requirement for a psychiatric assessment. Lethal drugs could be administered to someone who is depressed or suffering anxiety,’ Mr Brohier added, ‘Under the bill, consultation on euthanasia could be by video link, a process with no rigour. Fortunately, telecommunications services cannot be used to promote suicide – though advocates are also looking to overturn that law as well.’

‘Then we have the horrifying spectre on the horizon if Mr Gaffney’s bill becomes law. He proposes, within 2 years of euthanasia being given to adults, that it be extended to children.‘

‘Do Tasmanians want more suicides or less?‘ Mr Brohier asked, ‘When you consider the tragedy of suicide and the many efforts being made to prevent it, the answer must be less. We reject calls to legalise assisted suicide in Tasmania.‘ ”



Euthanasia: an unfolding national tragedy – Australian Christian Lobby.

Progression or Regression? – David Cook (on what’s happening in Victoria)

And other posts concerning euthanasia on this website.

Progression or Regression?

David Cook writes:

On 1st December 2018, election night in Victoria, the victorious Premier, Daniel Andrews stated that ‘Victoria is the most progressive state in the nation.’

Having spent the month of February, 2020 in Victoria, progression is not the adjective l would have used.

How’s this for a ‘progressive list’:

All this in a State with some of our nation’s finest cultural icons, The MCG, The Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas, the finest collection of Australian art in the nation, more theatres per head of population than any other Australian city.

I am preaching in a Church in the central business district of Melbourne where my closest Protestant neighbouring Churches both unashamedly endorse the same sex marriage agenda of the state.

And the Premier, Daniel Andrews, who presides over all this, is a practicing Roman Catholic, one wonders when a Priest or Bishop will have the courage to place him under Christian discipline.

In Romans 1 the apostle Paul makes it clear that ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven’, he does not say it will be revealed in the future but it is being revealed now. (Rom 1: 18)

Why? Because humankind has exchanged the glory of God for idolatrous images, (Rom 1: 25) and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator. (Rom 1: 25)

Idolatry is the lie (Rom 1:25) and God’s wrath is evidenced in that he gives mankind up to the fruit of that exchange.

Paul says, God gave them over

(Rom 1: 24) to uncleanness

(Rom 1: 26) to scrambled sexual expression

(Rom 1: 28) to debased mind

The mind, the attitudes, the worldview of humanity is thus under the judgement of God, the mind is counterfeit and incapable of making proper moral judgements. (Rom 1: 28-32)

Such a mind calls regression, progression!

The only hope is the new life, the new heart, which comes through the Christian gospel by the gift of God.

The moral man, Nicodemus, in John 3 must be converted to see or enter God’s  Kingdom and the same opportunity and need is offered to the immoral woman who is offered living water by Jesus in John 4.

Paul makes it clear that due to the mercies of God we are given new minds, from which the judgement of God has been lifted and by the renewing of these minds we are being transformed.

We are people of a new mind, minds which are able to ‘discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect’. (Rom 12: 2)

Pray that Daniel Andrews will experience God’s mercy.

In one of the mid-week services here l preached on John 3, ‘Jesus and Nicodemus’ under the heading, ‘Why Daniel Andrews is wrong’.

Thankfully l am still free to preach in the Commonwealth of Australia if not, it is a quick car trip of 3 hours back to the border, to good old regressive NSW!!

– Rev David Cook 18.02.2020

(David Cook has served as Principal of SMBC and also as Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia as well as in parish ministry. Inset photo courtesy St. Helen’s Bishopsgate.)

Submission on Second Draft of Religious Discrimination Bill

Associate Professor Neil Foster writes about the Second Draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill –

“In short, I think this legisation is an important step in improving protection of religious freedom in Australia, and the second draft is an improvement on the first. But I recommend some clarification or change of approach in the following areas:

Giving thanks for Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson SquareThis Australia Day long weekend, pause to give thanks to the Lord for the Rev. Richard Johnson, Chaplain to the First Fleet and first Chaplain to the Colony of New South Wales.

232 years ago this weekend, the First Fleet arrived at Farm Cove. 232 years ago next weekend, Johnson preached at the first church service at Farm Cove.

Read about Richard Johnson and pray that the Lord will call many into the service of Christ’s gospel in our land.

An Aboriginal Pastor’s message for Australia Day

“There’s a heartache still in this land,” says Pastor Michael Duckett of the Macarthur Indigenous Church as he shares a message for Australia Day, calling on non-indigenous Australians to remember the mixed feelings in the Aboriginal community about the day.

Speaking in a video titled The Ministry of Reconciliation, Australia Day 2020, Pastor Duckett gives a greeting in the indigenous Gumbayggirr language of the North Coast of New South Wales.

He said he hopes people will enjoy Australia Day but be sensitive to Aboriginal People…

Read the full story, and watch the video, at

You could download the video to show in church on Sunday, Australia Day.

Thank-you Fireys as Sydney prays

“Sustained applause greeted Rural Fire Service Senior Assistant Commissioner Bruce MacDonald as he was introduced at a Prayer service at Sydney’s St Andrew’s Cathedral on Sunday 19th January for those affected by the bushfires. …”

– Russell Powell has the story of Sunday’s service at the Cathedral for everyone affected by the bushfires. At

Anglican Aid NSW Bushfire Appeal

“The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid has launched an appeal to allow immediate response to the devastating bushfires raging in NSW.”


Pastoral letter from Bishop Mark Short to the Anglican Parish of Cobargo

Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Mark Short, has sent this pastoral letter to the Anglican Parish of Cobargo. In this fire season across Australia, each loss is locally felt, and this is one.

January 1 at 12:27 PM ·

Dear sisters and brothers of the Parish of Cobargo,

I write as your Bishop at a time of shared loss and grief.

You have lost treasured buildings, valued homes and beloved friends and neighbours. Many of you have faced overwhelming situations and have worked selflessly to care for others .

The Bible assures us that God is close to the broken-hearted and it is right and healthy to grieve. The Bible also assures us that in Jesus Christ God is able to bring restoration and hope. This journey of hope will take time, and it is a journey we will make together. Be assured of the prayers of the rest of the Diocese and our readiness to work with you as, with God’s help, we renew and rebuild.

Almighty God,
In your wisdom you have so ordered our earthly life
that we must walk by faith and not by sight:
give us such trust in your fatherly care
that in the face of all perplexities
we may give proof our faith by the courage of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. APBA, p465

In the love of Jesus,

+Mark Short

The Bishop’s pastoral letter includes the prayer, written by the Dean of St Andrew’s Cathedral, The Very Reverend Kanishka Raffel, to be read on Sunday:

“Lord of all days and years, and time and eternity, You made this land and have blessed us with its riches and beauty.

You are a refuge to all who seek your shelter, our strong defence in trial and tribulation.
Send rain we pray to extinguish flames and heal our land.
Mercifully protect life and property.
Give help and hope to our neighbours assailed by fire.
Comfort and provide for those who grieve.
Uphold those who suffer loss,
Give peace and hope to those bewildered and broken-hearted.

We thank you for men and women of courage and selflessness.
We thank you for brave communities of care and support, We thank you for those who share your comfort and hope, We thank you for those at a distance giving and praying.

Lord, you sent your Son so that we would know your power to save, your presence with your people in this world of turmoil, and your promise to renew the whole creation. Turn our hearts to you, that we may have faith for this day and hope for eternity.

We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

“St Saviour’s Church Quaama in the Parish of Cobargo. Locals tell me that the bell-tower always appeared to be the most rickety part of the structure. Yet it still stands [top photo]; a reminder that in the most challenging circumstances our call to summons people to find comfort and hope in the Lord Jesus Christ endures. Thank you for your prayers as the communities of the Diocese face a difficult weekend.”

(With thanks to Ramon Williams for forwarding this letter and images.)

A Prayer for protection amid bushfire emergency

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has appealed for Christians to be in fervent prayer as New South Wales enters a State of Emergency because of bushfires raging around the state.

As the state of emergency was declared, at least 17 people had died in Australia and more than 1,400 homes have been destroyed in bushfires since October. Three bushfire fighters have lost their lives in New South Wales.

Archbishop Davies wrote to churches noting that many, especially in the Wollongong Region have been arranging special prayer meetings as well as practical offers of support to those affected.

“Our January Sunday services will give us all an opportunity for bringing our prayers to God for his mercy to flow, and indeed for rain to fall.” Dr Davies said.

The Archbishop issued a special prayer, which asks for protection for the firefighters…“

– The full prayer is available at

Related: At the time of writing, the CMS Summer School at Katoomba is still going ahead.

Church leaders use Christmas message to spread hope for the new year

“Millions of Australians have today celebrated the spirit of Christmas with family and friends.”

– Report and Image from Seven News Sydney (on Facebook).

Second draft of Religious Discrimination Package released

“The Commonwealth Government has released a second version of its draft legislation dealing with religious discrimination issues, for further comment before it is formally introduced into the Federal Parliament in the New Year. There are a number of important changes from the previous drafts which in my view make it a much better package of amendments. But there are areas for improvement…”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Associate Professor Neil Foster, shares his response to the updated draft legislation.

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