Armidale Synod meeting this weekend

For your prayers:

Armidale Synod is meeting Friday September 23 to Sunday September 25 at Calrossy Anglican School in Tamworth.

It will their the first in-person full synod since 2019.

Do pray for the churches of this large area of NSW as they hold out the words of eternal life. And pray for Bishop Rod Chiswell and his leadership team.

Image: The Diocese of Armidale stretches from Boggabilla to Lightning Ridge and Walgett, to Quirindi to Tenterfield.

Bishop Mark Calder’s Presidential Address to Bathurst Synod 2022

Photo: Bishop of Armidale Rod Chiswell with Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder at last night’s Synod service (16 September 2022).

The Second Session of the 50th Synod of the Diocese of Bathurst is meeting this weekend.

This morning Bishop Mark Calder gave his Presidential Address.

He begins:

If we, the people and churches of this diocese, become clear, passionate, and determined about that most privileged work of SHARING JESUS for LIFE, we will be transformed and revitalised.

That’s a huge claim.

Do I have that much confidence in our strategic plan and its implementation? Am I over-confident in my leadership as bishop? A firm “NO” to both of those.

My confidence is in the power of the gospel – because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.1

My confidence is in the convicting power of the Holy Spirit – who testifies about Jesus2 and will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgement.3

My confidence is in Jesus – the one mediator between God and humankind, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.4

My confidence is in our great God who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.5

My confidence is in you – the clergy and people of this diocese, who are increasingly clear about our calling as a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that we may declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light.6

My confidence is in our churches who share the devotion of the Acts 2 church – to teaching, to one another, to hospitality, and to prayer. So may it be, that we too, enjoy the favour of all the people, and the Lord adds to our number those who are saved.7

When the gospel is clearly lived out and proclaimed; when the Holy Spirit does his convicting work; when people grasp the mediating work of Jesus; when God our Father draws people to himself; when we obey our calling and become devoted to all that the Acts 2 church was devoted to; then, we ourselves – our churches – and our diocese – will be transformed and revitalised. …

1 Romans 1:16, 2 John 15:28, 3 John 16:8, 4 2 Timothy 2:5-6, 5 2 Timothy 2:4, 6 1 Peter 2:9, 7 Acts 2:42-27.

Be encouraged to read it all here (PDF file). The text has many Bible references for your edification.

Please pray for the members of the Synod and individual church members across the Diocese of Bathurst.

Clergy shortage, biblical marriage on Melbourne Synod agenda

“Upholding biblical marriage and parish vacancies will be key issues on the agenda at the 53rd Melbourne Synod in October, according to agenda documents.

Gender balance and the Archbishop Election Act are also listed as priorities for debate, as are Anglican childcare facilities and kindergartens. …”

– Report from The Melbourne Anglican.

Bathurst thanks Sydney Synod

This video was shown in Sydney synod on Wednesday night 14 September 2022, as part of Bishop Calder’s presentation to thank Sydney for their generous support and humbly ask that it might be renewed.

Much to give thanks for – and much to continue to pray about.


Sydney helps Bathurst –, 15 October 2018.

Bishop Mark Calder: Thanks for Her Majesty

In this short video, Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder gives thanks for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her trust in Jesus.

Bishop of Armidale Rod Chiswell’s message on the death of Queen Elizabeth

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is with deep sadness today that I heard the news of the death of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We join with Anglicans across our diocese and around the world in grieving her passing.

I have been reading a book recently about Queen Elizabeth’s Christian faith, her godly example throughout her long reign has been a strong inspiration to many. Throughout the trials and tribulations of world history during her time as Queen she has been a steady rock, a wise, compassionate and selfless servant of God and the people entrusted to her.

As we join with Christians all around the world in mourning her passing in coming days, we do not grieve without hope, for we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise all those who trust in Jesus from death to present us in His presence (2 Corinthians 4:13-14). Together we give heartfelt thanks to God for Queen Elizabeth’s long reign marked by dignity, grace and unstinting humble service motivated by her enduring Christian faith. God has been kind in giving such a leader to so many for so long.

We pray also for the Royal family as they grieve and prepare to say goodbye to their beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and Queen. May God be their refuge and strength in this, their time of grief.

With love in Christ,

Rod Chiswell.

From the Diocese of Armidale.

Photo: The Queen’s Christmas message 2011.

Profile of Darrell Parker — new Bishop of the North West

“Revd Darrell Parker, the newly elected Bishop of North West Australia, is a man who loves Jesus, rural ministry and hitting the open road.

Darrell and his wife Elizabeth have spent 25 years serving God in northern NSW (in the Armidale Diocese), most recently as Senior Minister at St Paul’s Tamworth.

By the grace of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit and sustained by prayer, he delights in bringing God’s word to bear on people inside and outside the church and is clear-eyed about his new role. …

Please join us for Darrell’s consecration at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, on 3 February 2023, and installation at Geraldton Anglican Cathedral on 15 February 6pm.”

— from the Diocese of North West Australia.

An Anglican “lifeboat” for Australia

“We have recently seen the announcement of the activation of a new ‘extra-provincial’ Anglican diocese in Australia.

The ‘Diocese of the Southern Cross’ (‘DSC’) is not a part of the official ‘Anglican Church of Australia’ (‘ACA’). It has been set up to provide an ecclesiastical home for congregations who are Anglican by theology and conviction but find themselves unable to accept the authority of bishops of the ACA who do not accept the teachings of the Bible, especially on the subject of the Biblical views of marriage. …”

– At Law and Religion Australia, Neil Foster gives some legal background to the new Diocese of the Southern Cross.

New Minister-in-charge for Oberon

From the Diocese of Bathurst Facebook page:

“We are excited to announce the appointment of Jonny Lush to minister-in-charge in Oberon parish from 2023. Please pray for Jonny and Liz as they prepare for this transition and for the parish as they prepare to welcome them.”

Jonny is currently serving at the Brisbane School of Theology.

Do continue to pray for the Diocese of Bathurst, and for Bishop Mark Calder as he seeks be encourage the saints, and also to find the right people to serve in the many parishes where there is no full-time minister. (e.g. featured ministry opportunities.)

Traditional Anglicans are Going by The Book

“A group of clergymen has broken away from the established Anglican church in Australia to form the ‘Diocese of the Southern Cross.’ Former Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies is its first Bishop. The announcement was made at the recent Gafcon Australasia Conference held in Canberra.

What’s it all about? Well, to be clear, I’m not an authority on doings within the Anglican church. I’m just a parishioner. But I have enough understanding to have a view on the issue at stake. …”

– Writing in Quadrant, Peter Smith looks at the reasons for the formation of the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

Archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall to retire — effective February 2023

Today Dr Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane, has written to his clergy announcing that he has tendered his resignation, effective 2nd February 2023 –

29 August 2022


Dear sisters and brothers

God willing, on 2 February 2023 I will mark 21 years as Archbishop of Brisbane. I think that will be an appropriate time for the Diocese to begin seeking a new archbishop.

Therefore, pursuant to the Archbishop Election Canon s.2 I have today tendered to the Registrar my resignation as Archbishop of Brisbane to take effect from 5pm Thursday 2 February 2023.

I think a convenient time for me to lay up the pastoral staff will be when the diocesan family gathers in the Cathedral for the diocesan ordinations on Saturday 3 December 2022. I then plan to take a period of accrued long service leave and annual leave leading up to 2 February 2023, during which period the Diocese will be overseen by my Commissary.

It has been a unique privilege to serve as Archbishop of Brisbane. Thank you for your support, prayers and collegiality in the many tasks we have tackled together to take forward Christ’s mission in the Diocese and beyond. Some of this ministry has been difficult, painful and demanding. At other times we have been filled with peace and joy in Christ’s service. In it all there has been a pervading sense of God’s grace.

I am extremely proud of and filled with gratitude for the team of clergy and lay leaders who give so unstintingly of themselves in parishes, schools, Anglicare and other mission agencies. A great deal has been achieved over the last 20 years. Much more remains to be done in a new chapter.

This Diocese has a very important place in the Anglican Church of Australia. The vision we have embraced to foster, articulate, embody and promote a comprehensive Anglicanism has never been more important in the life of the national church and in the international Anglican Communion. May you all go from strength to strength in that mission.

I assure you all of my prayers for the future and in the search for my successor.

In Christ

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall AC
Archbishop of Brisbane.

Ad Clerum also available via David Ould on Twitter.

Darrell Parker elected Bishop of North West Australia

From the Diocese of North West Australia:

“We thank God for the election of Revd Darrell Parker Bishop of North West Australia.

Darrell is currently Senior Minister St Paul’s Anglican Church Tamworth in the Armidale Diocese, NSW. He has extensive experience in regional/remote ministry (24 years, incl 18 years as Archdeacon) and ministry among indigenous Australians.

Darrell is firmly committed to the gospel and proclaiming Christ. He seeks to bring God’s revealed word to bear on people inside and outside the church through preaching, teaching, witness, discipling, and love. Darrell is married to Elizabeth and they have 4 adult children.”

– Via the North West Anglicans Facebook page.

Armidale: We have no intention, nor need, to leave the Anglican Church of Australia

Bishop of Armidale Rod Chiswell has today published this statement on the diocesan website. Emphasis is original. –

24th August 2022.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

You probably have by now heard of the launch of the Diocese of the Southern Cross at the recent GAFCON Australia conference. This new diocese is a parallel Anglican structure outside of the Anglican Church of Australia. While some were dismayed at its establishment, I believe that it was a sad but necessary step at this point in time. The reality is that some Anglican evangelicals in dioceses led by liberal bishops who have a different view of the teaching of Scripture on matters concerning human sexuality, are looking for alternative episcopal oversight. Sometimes this is because they are being put under pressure by their bishop to step into line with the world’s way of thinking, other times it is a matter of conscience as they do not want to be led by bishops who they believe are leading God’s people contrary to God’s word. It is important to note that the Diocese of the Southern Cross has been activated solely as a safety net for these evangelical Anglicans.

Now, I suspect some evangelical clergy and laity in those dioceses will leave, others will stay. I don’t think that there will necessarily be a flood of evangelicals leave the Anglican Church of Australia to join the Diocese of the Southern Cross, but I trust that those who do will have good reason to do so. The leaders of GAFCON Australia have made clear that the Diocese of the Southern Cross will only remain while it is needed. If all Anglican bishops across Australia were to agree to the plain teaching of the Scriptures the parallel Anglican structure would no longer be needed.

With regard to the future of the Anglican Diocese of Armidale I want to make crystal clear that we have no intention, nor need, to leave the Anglican Church of Australia. The structure of the Anglican Church of Australia means that each of the twenty-three dioceses are autonomous and operate according to the decisions of their own synods. Thankfully the Armidale diocese has unity when it comes to upholding the plain teaching of Scripture in all matters of Christian life and doctrine, including human sexuality. We are thoroughly evangelical in this sense, with bishop, clergy and laity all on the same page. At this point in time, I stand with all other evangelical bishops in Australia when I say that we have no reason to abandon the Anglican Church of Australia. The ship as launched by Archbishop Cranmer in the 16th Century is a good one. Its constitution is sound, having excellent fundamental declarations and ruling principles that uphold the authority of Scriptures as primary.

In all of this we need to remember that God is still sovereign, Jesus is still King and He will build his church. May God strengthen us all to trust in Him and persevere with the main game in the Armidale Diocese which is “To Introduce All People to Jesus and Help Them Home to Heaven.”

With love in Christ, Rod Chiswell.

Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Armidale.

Source. Photo: Rod and Jenni Chiswell.

Pray for the Diocese of North West Australia election synod this weekend

In the July 2022 issue of North West Network (PDF file), Administrator of the Diocese of North West Australia, Paul Spackman, asks for prayer for the election of the new bishop of the diocese.

He writes,

“This is an important activity in the life of our church. Some 50 workers and lay members representing every ministry across the diocese will meet in Geraldton to pray and choose the Eighth Bishop of North West Australia.

Would you pray for those having conversations with possible candidates and those who are considering the position. Pray for the Election Synod members that we would be filled with wisdom and discernment as we deliberate and decide on our next Bishop.”

The election synod is planned for this weekend, Friday 26 August – Sunday 28 August.

“Legal fight over same-sex faith as blokes not welcome in Anglican Church for getting married”

“A recently married, churchgoing couple living contentedly in the mountains of northern NSW are at the heart of an issue that is currently tearing apart the Anglican Church in Australia. They’re a loving couple who happen to be blokes. …

early next month, at a hearing before the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, the bishop and the two Peters will attend a compulsory mediation.”

The Australian’s Weekend Magazine has another story on the same-sex marriage challenge in the Diocese of Armidale. (Subscription.) A matter for prayer.

An earlier opinion:

The Final Stone – David Robertson writes at AP (Australian Presbyterian), 15 October 2021.

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