Moore College Open Week 2nd — 6th September

It’s Moore College Open Week 2nd — 6th September 2019.

Details at the link.

Simon Manchester made Honorary Clerical Canon

“The rector of North Sydney, the Rev Simon Manchester, has been given a rare honour as he prepares to step down from his parish ministry at the end of this year.

Archbishop Glenn Davies has announced that Mr Manchester will join a select list of leaders who have been made honorary clerical Canons of St Andrew’s Cathedral. …”

– Good news from SydneyAnglicans.net.

(Simon is speaking at the 2020 CMS Summer School at Katoomba.)

MPs urged to ‘Care for the most vulnerable’

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has told a State Parliamentary inquiry that the catchcry of new legislation has been ‘decriminalisation’ but skates over the details that it radically extends abortion in New South Wales.

Abortion is not unlawful in New South Wales under certain circumstances because of a precedent set by the ruling of a District Court Judge in 1971.

The new legislation, which allows for abortions up to birth without effective safeguards, has had minor amendments in the state’s Legislative Assembly and now goes to the Upper House for scrutiny and then a vote.

After two weeks of media appearances and joint appeals with other religious leaders, Dr Davies was able to speak directly to the Upper House MPs who form the Social Issues Committee of the Legislative Council. …

The Archbishop also lodged a submission by the Social Issues Committee of the Diocese, which argued against the legislation on several grounds, including its impact on women.”

Read the full report from SydneyAnglicans.net.

Donald Robinson on the Origins of the Anglican Church League

by Lionel Windsor

History matters. It makes us question things we take for granted, it helps us to understand who we are, and it gives us a broader perspective on the issues we face today. One example – relevant for evangelical Anglicans, especially in Sydney – is an essay in Donald Robinson Selected Works, volume 4 (recently published by the Australian Church Record and Moore College).

The essay is called “The Origins of the Anglican Church League” (pp. 125–52). It’s a republication of a paper given in 1976 by Donald Robinson (1922–2018), former Moore College Vice-Principal and later Archbishop of Sydney. In the paper, Robinson traces some of the currents and issues that led to the formation of the Anglican Church League in the early twentieth century. The essay is classic Donald Robinson: full of surprises, yet definitely still worth reading today to help us gain perspective on issues for evangelical Anglicans past and present.

One surprise in the essay is that Robinson doesn’t say very much about the Anglican Church League itself! That’s because he’s not too sure about how it started. About two thirds of the way through the paper, after describing in some detail several predecessors to the ACL, he notes:

You will be wondering what has happened to my subject, the Origins of the Anglican Church League. To tell the truth, I am at a loss to give a clear explanation of its origins, or to trace the steps by which it was organised. (144)

So if you’re looking for a detailed history of the ACL over the twentieth century, this essay is probably not for you.[1] But if you’re looking for some key insights into issues that evangelical Anglicans faced in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and some helpful perspectives on where we’re at today, this essay is certainly worth delving into!

1. Issues leading to the ACL’s Formation

At the turn of the twentieth century, evangelical Anglicans were deeply concerned by two issues: an alarming increase in “ritualism”, and a (related) alarming increase in the authority of bishops. This might seem surprising to us today. When we look around at worldwide Anglicanism, we can take for granted that there is a lot of ritual, and that bishops have quite a lot of power. But it wasn’t always so – and in the nineteenth century, these things weren’t a “given”. Nevertheless, they were on the rise, and evangelicals were trying to stop them. Robinson mentions, for example, the Churchman’s Alliance, which was formed in 1893 as a response to increasing “ritualism” and as a counterpoint to societies that had formed to promote Anglo-Catholicism (133–35). The purpose of the Church Alliance was “To maintain and diffuse abroad the principles Catholic and Protestant of our holy religion” (134).

Robinson devotes much of his paper to a group called the Protestant Church of England Union (PCEU), which owed much to the efforts of Canon Mervyn Archdall (135–39). Significant for the PCEU was promotion of Reformation preaching, and regular prayer meetings were a core of their work (139, 142). The key issues the PCEU faced and sought to address were (140):

As I mentioned above, we might feel these things are a “given” for today’s Anglican Communion. But at the time, Lambeth and the power of Canterbury weren’t so central for Anglicanism. And evangelicals saw the increasing power of Lambeth and Canterbury as a real problem. The object of the new PCEU (1898) was:

to maintain and extend the efficiency of the Church of England as the original representative of evangelical truth and apostolic order in our country, and as a witness to the principles of the Reformation. (141–42)

So the PCEU promoted constitutional government over against the authority of bishops (144).

2. The ACL’s Formation

What of the ACL itself? According to Robinson, it was founded at some point between 1909–1912, around the election of Archbishop Wright, though the exact circumstances weren’t easy for Robinson to discern (145).  Constitutionally, the ACL was affiliated with the English National Church League (NCL), who saw prayer book revision and ritualism as key issues that needed to be addressed (146). It appears that the ACL started as a group that was a little more “centrist” than the PCEU. Robinson writes:

In 1914 we find Canon Gerard D’Arcy Irvine saying that the ACL “stood for central churchmanship, which implied spiritual, strong, and scholarly churchmanship, and fought for the principles of the Reformation upon which the character of future generations depended”… His use of the term “central churchmanship”… reflected the view of the evangelicals that their position was not a partisan position, but was true to the central and authentic character of the Church of England as “catholic, apostolic, protestant, and reformed”. (148)

However, as time went on, conservative evangelicals realised the need for the ACL to be even stronger on Reformation principles against a growing trend of liberalism. Thus, by 1933 the ACL had come to a place where it was opposing not only ritualism, but also liberalism (149).

Even though the ACL was (and still is) constituted as a national body, Robinson notes that the ACL’s main influence has always been within Sydney:

It does not seem to have succeeded to any extent as a national body, though it promoted consultation and offered advice in connection with some elections of country bishops in NSW. Without doubt it consolidated the strength of evangelicals in Sydney, and almost all diocesan leaders have been associated with it at some time or other. (151)

3. What can we learn?

Robinson’s paper is not a comprehensive historical treatise, but it is a fascinating historical reflection. What can we learn from this history?

Firstly, we can gain some worthwhile historical perspective. Ritualism, the authority of bishops, and liberalism are not simply “givens” for Anglicanism! They do not define historic Anglicanism; in fact, not too long ago, they were innovations that needed to be protected against. This perspective can give us renewed courage to continue to defend, promote, and maintain historic, evangelical, reformed Anglicanism.

Secondly, this history reminds us that constitutional, rather than episcopal, government, is definitely worth maintaining and promoting. In our own situation in Sydney, where historically the bishops have by and large been friendly to the evangelical faith, we could feel we can relax and hand more power over to the bishops for the sake of efficiency. But bishops, like all of us, are fallible human beings. Increasing episcopal power is something to continue to watch, and we should be alert to the need to maintain constitutional government.

How do we do that? By all of us (clergy and laity) getting in there, doing the work of governance, finding people for committees to help make decisions for the good of the gospel in the Diocese, and not leaving it all up to the bishops. Robinson’s paper reminds us that the work of the ACL continues to be a significant one for the cause of the gospel and the salvation of men and women, in our own city and diocese, and beyond.

The Rev Dr Lionel Windsor
ACL Council Member and Moore College Lecturer.

Endnotes:

[1] Some further research on these matters has been done by others. For a general history of the ACL, see Ed Loane’s talk at the ACL Centenary dinner in 2009. See also Judd & Cable, Sydney Anglicans, Sydney: AIO, 2000 (Stephen Judd’s PhD was on the ACL).

Abortion bill to be introduced into NSW State Parliament this week — Public Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Public Statement

I appeal for a respectful debate concerning abortion and I urge MPs to use their conscience vote to reject this bill. It is not appropriate to rush this bill without widespread community consultation.

Abortion is available in New South Wales and the criminal code provisions have not prevented women from seeking abortions. Rather, the law strengthens the protection of women from pressure, medical malpractice and safeguards the consciences of doctors. In the rare cases that criminal sanctions have been applied, it was clear the circumstances warranted prosecution.

Further, the laws are being proposed at a time when those who wish to speak against abortion, including many women, are being denied that opportunity.

In particular, signs sponsored by the Emily’s Voice group were recently ordered off buses for simply stating a medical fact – that an unborn child’s heart is beating at four weeks.

When has a democratic society prevented the publication of facts?

A respectful debate needs to hear all sides of the issue, including those who wish to speak on behalf of those yet to be born.

Dr Glenn N Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, 29 July AD 2019.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

See also: ‘Speak on behalf of those yet to be born’ – SydneyAnglicans.net.

Related:

Controversy surrounding Emily’s Voice billboard.

Chappo – Jesus claims to be the only way to God

Forty years ago, in July 1979, John Chapman spoke at a one-off evangelistic meeting for the Sydney University Evangelical Union. His topic was “Jesus Claims to be the Only Way to God”.

John had a heavy cold, but that didn’t stop him preaching Christ with his characteristic clarity and humour.

Hear his 40 minute talk here (9.7MB mp3 file). The audio quality is poor, but this recording will bring back many memories of a dear brother.

It’s also a great talk to pass on – and there are many road-tested illustrations which you could use yourself! (1980 Photo: AFES.)

Malcolm Richards consecrated as Bishop for International Relations

“Canon Malcolm Richards has been made the Bishop for International Relations in a ground-breaking consecration in Sydney.

Bishop Richards, who was previously the General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society – NSW & ACT is the first to take on the full-time role without also having responsibilities as a Sydney Regional Bishop.

He will also take up a parallel appointment as the Director of the Centre for Global Mission at Moore Theological College. …”

– Story and photos at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Bishop Michael Stead speaks with 2GB’s Ben Fordham on backing Israel Folau

2GB’s Ben Fordham spoke with Bishop of South Sydney, Michael Stead, this afternoon.

Well worth hearing.

Freedom of faith and Israel Folau — Public Statement from Archbishop Glenn Davies

“Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith-DNA that we speak out about the salvation that is only found in Jesus, whatever the cost. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media.”

Archbishop Glenn Davies has issued a public statement on Israel Folau and the issue of Freedom of Speech, Conscience and Belief.

Full statement follows:

“Israel Folau’s right to express his faith and act according to his conscience is of fundamental importance in any democracy, and it is of great concern to many Australians that this right is being denied and vilified. Many are wondering whether they will be next. No-one should suppose that there are not deeply held views on either side of this issue. But at the moment, only one side is being heard. The way in which Folau’s motives have been impugned and his avenues of support have been cut off smacks of a new and ugly Australia where dissent from narrow cultural views is not tolerated.

The original post on Instagram canvassed some basic tenets of the Christian faith. It was not the entire Christian message, but it was posted without malice and from a place of deep conscience and concern. It encompassed all people, for we are all liars. It was posted with respect and with urgency. It had nothing to do with rugby and it should have been his right as a citizen to speak of what he believes without threat to his employment.

Christians do not ask that everyone agree with us on the reality of heaven and hell, but it is part of our faith-DNA that we speak out about the salvation that is only found in Jesus, whatever the cost. I support the right for him to articulate his faith in the public sphere of social media. I admire the resolute way he has given his personal testimony.  Why, in the diversity of views in modern Australia, is that faith to be silenced – the faith from which springs so much of the values and virtues of our own civilisation, let alone the charitable works of many Christian churches across our land.

Ultimately, this will not be decided in the media. The clear support of ordinary Christians has been ignored, marginalised and silenced. Many commentators (and many politicians) have failed to understand the precious nature of conscience and belief and its power in the lives of ordinary Australians. Loud, intolerant voices swamp the quiet faith of many. But I pray that what Israel Folau is going through may shine a light on an issue which is vital to our democracy and of crucial importance for Christians – freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom to live according to our faith.”

Dr Glenn N Davies
Archbishop of Sydney
25 June AD 2019.

Source: SydneyAnglicans.net.

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

Vice-presidents

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

Councillors

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 theologian and author among Queen’s Honours

“The former Bishop of North Sydney, theologian and author Dr Paul Barnett is among Sydney Anglicans on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. … He was made a Member in the General Division of the order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia.”

– Full story at SydneyAnglicans.net.

Dapto mourns Senior Minister

Members of the parish of Dapto are mourning today after their Senior Minister, the Rev. Stephen Semenchuk, was called home to be with Christ after a short illness, on Sunday 12th May.

There will be a funeral and public celebration of Stephen’s life on Thursday 16th May.

All can give thanks for Stephen’s love for Jesus, and his desire for all to be saved (which included his work in the wider diocese).

Please uphold Stephen’s family and the entire congregation in prayer in these days.

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