Archbishop Davies writes about parish vacancies

“Readers of Southern Cross will have noticed the large number of vacant parishes over the past couple of years.

Of course, the reason for listing vacant parishes each month should be obvious. We want you to pray for these parishes, for their nominators and for the Synod-elected members who comprise the Nomination Board…”

– Archbishop Glenn Davies writes to encourage your prayers.

From Sydney to the World

If you missed out on seeing From Sydney to the World on Saturday (15th August), you can now watch the full presentation here.

It’s an important online event focussing on the raising up of the next generation of labourers for the harvest. Most encouraging. And do consider sharing the link.

Praying for our leaders

Some have remarked how tired many of our state and national leaders seem to be – and this is not surprising, given their heavy burdens in this time of crisis.

It’s a reminder to pray for them, in line with 1 Timothy 2:1-7, and also to pray for those who don’t know the Lord, that they may find life and hope in him.

Pray also for Christian leaders:

Today would have been the start of the Diocese of Sydney Election Synod. Archbishop Davies would have been enjoying retirement. Please pray for him as he continues in the role of Archbishop until March 2021. Pray also for the Election Synod now planned for April 2021, and for all those who may be nominated.

Pray for local church leaders, coping with the many strains of the current environment. Many are tired.

Also please pray for the ACL’s Annual General Meeting this week.

And there’s the Archbishop’s call “for fervent, daily prayer for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the spiritual health of Australia” at 1900 local time each day.


How We’re Praying for VictoriaGospel Coalition Australia.

Care for Beirut

Anglican Aid has launched an appeal

“Anglican Aid is working closely with Christian partners in the Middle East to care for people affected by yesterday’s explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

We are providing relief and aid funds through the Baptist Association of Lebanon, to enable them to support their neighbours and be a light in the darkness at this critical time.”


“Our brothers and sisters in Lebanon were already battling a health and economic crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This tragic explosion has compounded their suffering,” said Canon Tim Swan, the CEO of Anglican Aid. “We ask our supporters to pray for Beirut, and to show the love of Christ for them by giving to this appeal.” –

A chat with Bishop Gary Koo

Recently, Tom Harricks (Rector of Penrith Anglican Church, and also Secretary of the ACL) chatted with Gary Koo, Bishop of Western Sydney.

Gary shares something of his background, how he became a Christian, and what it’s like to be a new bishop in the era of COVID.

An interesting and very encouraging video.

Archbishop of Sydney Public Statement on the Beirut Disaster

“Our hearts are breaking as we watch the devastation in Beirut. We cry out to God for many to be found alive, healing for the injured and comfort for the bereaved.

#PrayForLebanon that it may be as strong as a cedar amid the unprecedented turmoil of COVID-19 and now this disaster.

Archbishop Glenn Davies

August 5, 2020.”

– from

“We must do better” — Simon Manchester to Sydney Anglicans

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy,” says Proverbs 27:6 – or to put it another way, we often benefit more from being rebuked than praised.

The Rev Canon Simon Manchester has delivered a firm rebuke in this month’s Southern Cross and, although he risks upsetting some, he observes that “the stakes couldn’t be bigger”. …

– Sometimes being blunt is very helpful if we are to desire ‘The things that are excellent” (Philippians 1:10). Along with the loving rebuke, there is much that is encouraging in the linked video as well as the article in Southern Cross (page 33).

Photo: EMA, 2016.

Sydney Synod off, double for 2021

“Archbishop Glenn Davies, after consultation with the Standing Committee, has decided not to call Synod in October.

Synod is, in effect, the parliament of the Diocese, with more than 600 members – mostly lay and clergy representatives – called together from each parish.

A special Synod in August to elect the next Archbishop had already been cancelled and Archbishop Davies, originally due to retire in July, will now stay on until next March. …”

— The latest from

Church restrictions tighten in COVID snapback

“The COVID emergency in Victoria as well as several outbreaks in Sydney, including in a Maronite congregation, has led to tighter controls on churches, including a requirement to register as COVID-safe businesses.

In a public health order issued on Thursday 23 July, church meetings are now capped at 100, regardless of the size of the building. Previously, there was no cap and the numbers were constrained only by how many could fit with 4m2 distancing. Weddings and funerals also have caps, with funerals at the general 100 person limit and weddings permitted to have 150 people. …

All places of worship must register with NSW Health as a COVID Safe business. They must also have their plan available for inspection.”

– Russell Powell has the latest – including relevant links – at

See also:

COVID-19 Safety Plan for places of worship.

How the COVID outbreak is affecting southwestern Sydney parishes

“The morning service at Hoxton Park Anglican was all set to start up again this Sunday. The kids’ program was ready to go, and the congregation was looking forward to meeting together in person. That was until the COVID cluster from the Crossroads Hotel in Casula came to light. …”

– The latest from Photo: Civic Australia.

See also:

“NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced COVID-19 restrictions introduced to pubs will be extended to restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs. …

Funerals and places of worship will be limited to 100 people.

The restrictions will be in place from July 24.” – ABC News.

The minister drought and what to do about it? – with Phillip Jensen

From Dominic Steele:

“The minister drought and what to do about it? – with Phillip Jensen

There’s been an across the board drop in people stepping up to serve in full time ministry roles whether as senior pastors, assistant pastors or people putting themselves forward to study at theological college.

We had the Principal of Moore Theological College, Mark Thompson on The Pastor’s Heart a few months ago and he said that enrolments are down for theological colleges across the western world

It’s very different to twenty years ago, when all the talk at Moore College was of continued growth.

Humanly speaking Phillip Jensen was the person in Sydney used by God most significantly to prompt the explosion in gospel workers.

We ask Phillip what are the factors that have contributed to the slump, and what needs to be done?”

– Watch or listen at The Pastor’s Heart.


Where are all the senior ministers? – Bishop Peter Lin.

Are we there yet?

“The latest changes to the Public Health Orders for Places of Worship have plunged churches into a further round of calculation and cleaning as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.

The changes are being brought in amid continuing concern about the situation in Victoria where another wave of community transmission is emerging. …”

The latest COVID-19 update from the Diocese of Sydney includes videos from Bishop Gary Koo (Chair of the diocesan COVID taskforce) and Youthworks’ Ed Springer.

Where are all the senior ministers?

“Currently there are around 30 vacant parishes in the Sydney Diocese.

Generally vacancies last longer now, because there are fewer people putting their hands up for rector roles. That is seen across the Diocese. As Bishop of the Georges River, I certainly have had parishes that have taken more than two years to fill. …”

– Bishop raises some important matters for prayer – at

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