Anglican Church of Tasmania finalises $3.65 million of compensation to survivors of sexual abuse

“The Anglican Church of Tasmania has confirmed it will pay $3.65 million in compensation to 24 survivors of sexual abuse, but will look at selling more assets after its liability estimates more than doubled. …”

– Report from ABC News.

New Dean of Christ Church Cathedral Darwin Commissioned

The Rev. Rob Llewellyn was commissioned as the new Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin last weekend.

The service can be seen at the Cathedral’s Facebook page.

Bishop Greg Anderson preached. Most encouraging.

Bathurst Synod – Presidential address 2020

Here is Bishop Mark Calder’s first synod charge, as presented to an extraordinary session of the 49th Synod of the Diocese of Bathurst, 19th September 2020.

A powerful and challenging address. Fuel for prayer.

Update: The full text is now available.

North West Network, September 2020

The latest issue of North West Network, the newsletter of the Diocese of North West Australia, is now available.

Great to not only learn what is happening in the north west, but also as fuel for prayer.

It’s a 1MB PDF file here.

Bishop admits past failures and outdated services are hampering church growth

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Bishop admits past failures and outdated services are hampering church growth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.]

Bishop of Armidale flags return to parish ministry — at Shoalhaven Heads

“This has not been an easy decision but nor was the call to be a Bishop, but what a privilege it has been to serve among you.

In my time as Bishop I have watched the suffering of a drought affected rural diocese and stood beside and with you in such suffering. I have ordained and appointed many of you to positions. Like yourselves, I have lived with the frustrations of what can and can’t be done and been forced, like all of you, to fall back on our great God in faith. …”

– from Bishop Rick Lewers’ message to the clergy and parishes of the Armidale Diocese.

Please do pray for Rick and Janene, for the parish of Shoalhaven Heads, and also for the saints in the Diocese of Armidale.

West Wyalong Anglican Church

Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder is praying for someone to serve as the new Minister at West Wyalong – someone who will bring the word of God to equip the saints and to make an impact for the Lord Jesus Christ.

It would good to join him in that prayer.

For more info, see Ministry Opportunities.

Archbishop Glenn Davies shares his personal response to COVID-19

In this weekend’s online service for the Diocese of Bathurst, Bishop Mark Calder asks Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies about how COVID-19 has impacted him.

And Glenn shares a familiar, but wonderful, verse for your encouragement.

It’s also available here as a standalone video.

Masks

“I don’t understand why people would have a problem being asked to wear a mask. It might not be popular to say it out loud, but we all put on masks.

So what’s the problem? Long before COVID came along we were masked and long after it will disappear we will continue to be masked. So what’s the problem?…”

A gospel slant on masks from the Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers.

Peter Grice elected Bishop of Rockhampton

Peter Grice, Dean of Geraldton Cathedral in the Diocese of North West Australia, has been elected Bishop of the Diocese of Rockhampton:

“With much joy and gratitude to Almighty God, I announce the successful election of the Very Reverend Peter John Grice as the thirteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Rockhampton. The Episcopal Announcement was made at a Special Session of Synod, via Zoom, that was also livestreamed today.

Peter currently serves as the Dean of the Cathedral in Geraldton, Western Australia. As a family, Peter, Virginia and their five children, have ministered previously in the Dioceses of Armidale and North West Australia.

Peter was born in Newcastle, NSW and completed High School in Wollongong, NSW. He studied a Bachelor of Commerce/Law at the University of NSW before working as a solicitor in Sydney.

He has completed Theological Studies through the Australian College of Theology, studying at Sydney Missionary and Bible College. He holds further Post Graduate qualifications from Moore Theological College and Trinity Theological College. After completing his initial theological training, Peter responded to the call of Parish ministry in the Diocese of Armidale, where he was deaconed and priested in 2001 and 2002 respectively. He served as the Assistant Minister and then Incumbent of St Augustine’s Inverell for 14 years, before accepting his current position as Dean and Minister-in-Charge of the Holy Cross Cathedral Geraldton in January 2015. He is also licensed as the Vicar General of the North West Australia Diocese.”

– See the full announcement by the Administrator of the diocese, Tom Henderson-Brooks. (PDF file)

Photo: Peter and Virginia Grice.

Re-gathering in the Northern Territory: the new normal for St Peter’s Nightcliff

“For 11 weeks our church gathered virtually for live-streamed services filmed in our church building. When the Northern Territory announced its ‘Roadmap to the new normal’, we realised we couldn’t allow as many people into our church space as before lockdown …”

– at The Australian Church Record, Joshua Kuswadi shares the news from Darwin.

Church under Coronavirus: Bathurst Diocese

“Why was there no special gathering to mark the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Bathurst on 5 May 2020? Was there much to celebrate anyway?

Consider the state of the Diocese. Spasmodic rainfall has not broken an extended drought in the region. In recent decades the church has been impoverished. Successfully sued for a multi-million dollar debt, it had to sell much church property. Griefs for these losses endure. Only the generosity of Sydney Diocese keeps things going.

More property still must be sold to help redress wrongs done to victims of sexual abuse. The Diocese is clouded with sadness for those ‘scarred and forever damaged’, as Mark Calder, Bishop of Bathurst, recently described the victims. …”

– In The Australian Church Record, ACL Emeritus Vice President Allan Blanch writes of much encouragement in Bathurst Diocese, despite much stress.

(Allan is the author of From Strength to Strength – A Life of Marcus Loane and A Pioneering Pastor: Thomas Sharpe of Norfolk Island and Bathurst.)

Bathurst Diocese Church services resuming


Here’s a media release from the Diocese of Bathurst:

The bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst (which covers central and western NSW), Mark Calder, has welcomed the announcement from the Premier’s office today that services of worship may resume again, so long as there are no more than 50 people present and that appropriate hygiene requirements, health checks and social distancing is observed.

“We have been in preparation for this announcement for a couple of weeks and have been readying our church leaders for the possibility that church services may soon resume in a modified form,” Bishop Calder commented.

“However, because some of our buildings are quite small and many of our people fall within the most vulnerable age group, we are taking a cautious approach to resuming services.

“While the cleaning, checking, contact recording requirements are all perfectly understandable, they are quite onerous.

“So we are leaving the decision about whether or not to resume services at this time, to each local church’s leadership. People should contact their local church, to see what is planned.”

Should churches wish to resume, they must apply to the Registrar of the Diocese and sign off that they have met all the demands of the multi-faceted checklists which have been provided.

“Everyone in their local context has to be comfortable with this decision. Clergy ought not to press lay people to meet the requirements of meeting again, nor should lay people press clergy to resume,” Bishop Calder said.

“Our relationship with God is not dependent on following certain rituals and ceremonies but is nurtured as we hear the Bible read and explained and respond with prayer and transformed lives.”

Bishop Calder has been producing online services each week since lockdown, (available here https://www.bathurstanglican.org.au ), and many parishioners are content with this form of church for the time being.

“The safety of our people and the community is of primary concern, and churches who do resume services, will be absolutely committed to keeping everyone safe.”

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