Melbourne Anglicans Urge Diocese of Wangaratta “not to break the unity of the church”

A prominent group of Melbourne Anglicans comprising both senior clergy and lay people today issued an open letter to the Bishop of Wangaratta (the Rt Rev John Parkes and the synod (diocesan parliament) of the Diocese of Wangaratta urging them not to pull away from the rest of the Anglican Church of Australia by acting on their own in their upcoming synod meeting 30 & 31 August.

Bishop Parkes has said he plans to ask the synod to approve the blessing of couples that have had same-sex marriages. …”

– A press release (PDF file) late last week from The New Cranmer Society in Melbourne.

Carcoar prepares to fight sale of St Paul’s

The community of Carcoar is preparing to fight the Bathurst Anglican Diocese over a proposal to sell the historic St Paul the Apostle church.

The administrator of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst Archdeacon Brett Watterson addressed 12 members of the Carcoar church community on Wednesday, August 7, informing them that the church was looking at options that included selling the church on the open market. …”

– Story from The Blayney Chronicle.


Wangaratta Lays Down the Gauntlet … who will pick it up?

“The Anglican Church of Australia has arrived at the crisis moment that so many of us have feared and warned about.

The Melbourne Anglican reports that Bishop John Parkes of Wangaratta will ask his diocese’s upcoming synod (meeting on the weekend of August 30-31) to endorse a liturgy for the blessing of same-sex marriages and will, himself, be prepared to preside over such a service.

So why this move and why now? Parkes gives his own reasons in the interview but one key factor isn’t noted. …”

David Ould alerts us to an impending crisis for the Anglican Church of Australia.

The Prodigal

“I was recently asked to speak on the story of the Prodigal Son, a story which you can find in any Bible. The story is a famous one and often used proverbially in words like, “the prodigal returns”. Some literary giants have described this story as the greatest story ever written. For me it is the greatest story I have never really addressed. So in this article I thought I would invite you into the story that Jesus tells.

The story is really about three shameful people. …”

– Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, continues to write helpful pieces for his local newspaper. Here’s the latest. Many of these could be useful conversation-starters.

“Grafton Synod indicates rejection of both National Constitution and Bishops’ Agreement”

“The Synod of the Diocese of Grafton, which met this last weekend, has passed a number of controversial motions and heard a question which indicate a walking away from aspects of the national church constitution and the recent Bishops’ Agreement. …

the Synod debated asking the General Synod to introduce same-sex marriage and blessing liturgies. That motion, as expected, was passed along with a number of related matters. What surprised some delegates at Synod was that the following motion was comprehensively defeated:

27. Standard of Worship and Doctrine

That this Synod affirms the authorised standard of worship and doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia as set out in the Fundamental Declarations and Ruling Principles of the Constitution.

The motion was defeated in a vote by houses with approximately 2/3 of the delegates voting against.”

– David Ould has a report.

New ACL Council elected for 2019-2020

The Anglican Church League is pleased to announce the following office bearers were elected at our AGM on 6 June 2019.

Please continue to pray for the work of the Council and Executive, that they would serve humbly and faithfully to help promote Christ and the reformed evangelical Protestant faith through the structures of the Anglican Church of Australia.

The Anglican Church League, Office Bearers and Councillors for 2019 – 20

President: The Rev Andrew Bruce
Chairman: Dr Robert Tong AM
Secretary: The Rev Canon Tom Harricks 
Minutes Secretary: 
The Rev Matthew Whitfield
Elections Secretary: The Rev Gavin Poole
Membership Secretary: The Rev. Michael Leite
Communications Secretary: The Rev Dr Lionel Windsor
Treasurer: Dr Laurie Scandrett


Dr Claire Smith
Dr Laurie Scandrett
Mr Clive Ellis
The Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson
The Rev Canon Phil Colgan
The Rt Rev Ivan Lee


The Rev Roger Cunningham
Mr Jeremy Freeman
The Rev Dr Raj Gupta
Mr Edward Hannah
Mr Luke Jackson
Mr Angus Martin
Mrs Michele Morrison
The Rev Scott Newling
The Rev Caitlin Orr
The Rev Gavin Parsons
Mr Malcolm Purvis
The Rev Craig Roberts
The Rev Mike Taylor
The Rev Kate Haggar
The Rev Jason Ramsay
The Rev James Warren
The Rev Nigel Fortescue
The Rev Dave Keun

Emeritus Vice-presidents

The Rev Canon Dr Bruce Ballantine-Jones OAM
The Rt Rev Dr Paul Barnett AM
The Rev Canon Allan Blanch
Mr John Colquhoun
The Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies
The Rev Neil Flower
The Rt Rev Dr Harry Goodhew AO
The Rev Tom Halls
The Rt Rev Dr Peter Jensen
The Rev Phillip Jensen
The Rev Neil Macken
The Rt Rev Gary Nelson
The Rev Dr Peter O’Brien
The Rt Rev Dr Reg Piper
The Rev Canon Jim Ramsay
Mr Bruce Robinson
The Rev Gordon Robinson
The Rt Rev Ray Smith
The Rt Rev Peter Tasker
The Rev Dr John Woodhouse
The Rev Zac Veron.

Sydney Rector elected Bishop of The Murray

Announced in churches across the Diocese of The Murray today, this news from Dr Robert Tong AM, Chair of the  Bishop Election Committee and Chancellor:

“Following the retirement of Bishop John Ford, the Bishop Election Committee of the Diocese of The Murray is pleased to announce the election on 25 May 2019, of the Reverend Keith William Dalby to be the 5th Bishop of The Murray.

The bishop-elect is the Rector of St John’s Gordon in the Diocese of Sydney. He served his curacy at Mitcham (Adelaide Diocese) and then ministered in the Diocese of Ballarat as Rector of Timboon and then Rector of Warracknabeal before moving to Sydney.

Prior to ordination Keith spent 12 years as a submariner in the Royal Australian Navy. His theological training was at St Barnabas Theological College (BTh) and during his time in Gordon he completed the requirements for the award of MA in Theology from Moore Theological College. Keith is married to Alice and they have five children.

Arrangements for Consecration and Installation will be advised later.”

From The Murray diocesan website:

“The Anglican Diocese of The Murray is located in the south-eastern region of South Australia, taking in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Riverland, Adelaide Hills, Murraylands and the southern suburbs of Adelaide. The Diocese has 16 parishes or pastoral districts. The cathedral church of the Diocese is the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Murray Bridge.

The Diocese is one of three in the Province of South Australia.”

(Photo via Twitter.)

Bishop of Grafton speaks on Israel Folau

“He claims that free speech gives him the right to say anything he wants and blames others for the offence they take.

While he is free to hold to particular religious views, how he expresses these views in public is another matter. Free speech is not hate speech and should not be used to vilify others. Threatening people in this way cannot be disguised as protected religious activity. …”

– Bishop of Grafton, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Murray Harvey, has issued this Media Statement. (PDF file.)


SMBC “Hot Topics” paper on “Religious Freedom in Australia” delivered by Associate Professor Neil Foster on 01 May 2019 (PDF file).

Reflections on the Israel Folau affair – Associate Professor Neil Foster, 14 April 2019.

“…the question seems to boil down to this: can a statement that ‘homosexuals’ (along with ‘drunks’ and ‘thieves’ and others) are destined for eternal punishment unless they repent, be said to be ‘hateful’ or ‘vilifying’?

Of course many in the community will reject the notion of a God who created the world, who cares about the behaviour of human beings whom he made in his image, who judges their rebellion, and who has graciously offered a way out of condemnation through sending his son Jesus Christ to die and rise again.

But those are doctrines that have been held by the majority of people who have lived and died in the Western world for thousands of years. … These are the clear teachings of the Bible…”

Photo: Diocese of Grafton.

Around the Anglican Church of Australia – Easter 2019

Here are a few news items of interest from around the Anglican Church of Australia this Easter –

Easter message from Bishop Mark Short, Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn. (PDF file)

Easter Message from Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier.

North West Ministry program kicks off in Geraldton – Diocese of North West Australia.

Shore School Council Appoints Dr Timothy Petterson as Eighth Headmaster.

Thanking God for the ButlersTop Centre, Magazine of the Diocese of the Northern Territory. (Issue 19.1. PDF file.)

Mark Short installed as Canberra/Goulburn Bishop

New Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn to be consecrated on Saturday (6th April)

Dr. Mark Short, elected last November as Bishop of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, will be consecrated and installed at St. Saviour’s Cathedral in Goulburn on Saturday 6th April.

Please do pray for Mark and the continued progress of the gospel in that area.


Dr Mark Short to be installed as Canberra/Goulburn BishopGoulburn Post.

“Dr Short said he was surprised to be approached to consider the role. But in many ways it was a ‘coming home’ to the diocese and the cathedral in which he was ordained a priest and a minister.

Born in Sydney, he lived in the Riverina until age five before his family moved to Sydney’s western suburbs. He attended Saint Andrew’s Anglican School where several teachers inspired him to follow Jesus. …”

Prayer for the election of a Bishop of Bathurst

According to the timeline published in the December 2018 edition of Anglican eNews, the steps to elect a new Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst include:

“Synod Members to be invited to propose names of prospective nominees: late February.

Nominations Open: 1 March.

Nominations Close: 31 March.

Interviews, Due-Dilligence and Discernment: April.

Election and Announcement: May.”

Doubtless, all in the diocese would be glad of your continued prayers during this time.


Sydney helps Bathurst –

Bishop Ian Palmer’s farewell address to Bathurst Synod.

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