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.)

Bishop Mark Calder’s Christmas message 2019

Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst, Mark Calder, has released his Christmas message for 2019 –

“Christmas – that time when God turned up on earth as one of us.

That is what Christmas is about and it’s worth celebrating!

It’s the sure sign that God cares enough about us to turn up, loves so much that he would come and live among us in humility; that he died and rose again so that we could be forgiven and have eternal life if we put him back in control of our lives.

So despite living in a drought ravaged land, a land deeply impacted this year by bushfires, we have in Jesus  a sure sign that God loves us, cares for us, is with us, is alongside of us, wants to know us, wants to be in relationship with us and promises us a glorious future.

Friends, have a happy Christmas!”

Link to the video on YouTube.

You can also watch Bishop Calder’s Christmas sermon, on Luke 2:1-4.

It’s all a good reminder to pray for the people of the Diocese of Bathurst, which covers the region bordered by Oberon, Cowra and West Wyalong in the south; Cobar and Bourke in the west; across the north-west to Coonamble and Coonabarabran; and Coolah, Mudgee and Rylstone in the east.

Bishop of Bathurst’s Christmas Sermon 2019

Newly installed Bishop of Bathurst, Mark Calder, is sharing his sermons from Bathurst Cathedral by video as an encouragement to people across his far-flung diocese.

Here’s his Christmas sermon, on Luke 2:1-4.

North West Network – Nov 2019

The latest North West Network is full of encouraging stories and fuel for prayer.

Download it as a 3.1MB PDF file.

We shall see His face – Advent sermon from Bathurst

The new Bishop of Bathurst, Mark Calder, is publishing the audio of his weekly sermons on the diocesan website.

His topic for Advent Sunday was “We Shall See His Face”. Audio here.


2019 Christmas message from the Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn

Bishop of Canberra & Goulburn, Mark Short, has released his Christmas message.

New Anglican Diocese of Bathurst Bishop Mark Calder’s hope for region

“Just over eight months after Ian Palmer’s retirement, the Right Reverend Mark Calder was recently appointed as the new bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst and he has a big hope for the region.

Rev Calder was installed as bishop on Saturday, November 23, at the All Saints Cathedral… And just a week into his new rule, he’s made his number one goal as new bishop clear for all. …”

– Story from The Western Advocate.

Photo: Mark and Susan Calder with Archbishop Glenn Davies at the Installation service at Bathurst Cathedral, 23 November 2019. From The Diocese of Bathurst.

When the smoke clears

“A journey to Port Macquarie for a funeral, a trip to Mt Tamborine to speak at a convention and a return to Armidale, these trips have more than filled my lungs with smoke. …”

– Bishop of Armidale Rick Lewers writes to his local community about the fires and the drought.

Archbishop Philip Freier to conclude as Primate on 31 March 2020

“The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, has announced that he will not seek reelection as Primate. He will stand down on 31 March 2020 in order to allow sufficient time for an election and for his successor to prepare for the pivotal General Synod in June.”

– David Ould has the news.

Sermon at the installation of Mark Calder as Bishop of Bathurst

Bishop Mark Calder was installed at Bathurst Cathedral today.

Hear the sermon he preached, from Luke 18:9-14. This is a pre-recorded version. Watch and share.

Mark Calder consecrated as Bishop of Bathurst

“The Bishop-elect of Bathurst, Mark Calder, has been consecrated in Sydney prior to his installation as the new Bishop in the Central West of New South Wales two days later.

Assisted by a large contingent of visiting bishops,  the bishop-elect was consecrated by the Metropolitan of New South Wales Archbishop Glenn Davies at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney on Thursday, 21 November. …”

Story and photos by Russell Powell at

(Photo: Mark and Susan Calder after the service.)

Australian Bishops issue Communiqué: “testing times”

“The Bishops of the Anglican Church of Australia met this week in Melbourne to discuss the growing crisis in the national church precipitated by the decision of the synods of Wangaratta and Newcastle to legislate for a liturgy of blessing for those in same-sex marriage.

At the conclusion of their meeting they issued the following communiqué …”

– Read it via

Growing Christian Communities in Melbourne

Here’s an encouraging video giving some insight into church planting in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

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