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.

Bathurst Pastoral Letter concerning the establishment of the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

Bishop Mark Calder has written a pastoral letter to members of the Diocese of Bathurst concerning the establishment of the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

“Dear friends,

While headlines such as the Sydney Morning Herald’s ‘Anglican church splits as conservatives form breakaway’ and the ABC’s ‘Australia’s Anglican Church splits over same-sex marriage…’ may be effective in attracting readers, they do not accurately convey reality.

I’m writing today as some of you have raised questions and expressed fears over these and related news reports this week. …”

– The full letter is posted on the Diocesan Facebook page.

A PDF copy may be seen here.

Newcastle asks Clergy to declare any “Interest” in GAFCON

“The Bishop of Newcastle, Rev Dr Peter Stuart, has asked all his clergy to declare any ‘interest’ in GAFCON or participation in the recent GAFCON Australasia Conference.

The instruction was issued in a letter from the Corporation Secretary and Registrar …”

– David Ould has published the text of the letter.

Photo: Bishop Stuart. Image source: Diocese of Newcastle.

GAFCON leading the way

“A game of AFL is taking place on a local oval when a small group jump the fence and start kicking a round ball along the ground. The game stops. Players approach the group and ask them to desist.

They retort, ‘we’re also playing football’.

The players answer, ‘no, you’re playing a different game. Different ball, different shaped ground, different goals….if you’re interested, you can join us but first of all, get rid of the soccer ball’.

The group insist, ‘no, we are playing football. We can all play together at the same time.’ …

A significant announcement was made this week, one which may change the Church landscape in Australia. The decision is not so much about changing the game but is confirming that we will not change the game. GAFCON is responding to what is a tireless intrusion onto Christian Churches by certain bishops and leaders who are trying to change the Gospel beyond recognition. They are not playing the same game as Christians Churches, but something quite different.”

– Murray Campbell looks at why it was necessary to form the Diocese of the Southern Cross.

Southern Cross: The New Anglican Diocese

“This week over 350 Anglicans from around Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu, are gathering in Canberra for the Gafcon Australasia Conference. The conference had been postponed from previous years due to COVID but, in God’s wisdom and providence, it has come at just the right time.

The conference opened with the announcement of the establishment of the Diocese of the Southern Cross, an extra-provincial Anglican diocese in fellowship with the majority of the world’s Anglicans through the Primates’ Council of the global Gafcon network. The conference will close with the commissioning of former Sydney Archbishop, Dr Glenn Davies as the Initial Bishop for the diocese. …”

– At The Gospel Coalition Australia, Dr Claire Smith explains the reasons behind the formation of the new diocese.

A new Anglican diocese, bishop and church in Australia

“The first congregation of the new Diocese of the Southern Cross started at Beenleigh in Brisbane last Sunday and the Diocese’s first bishop Glenn Davies will be appointed on Thursday.  …”

– The very latest news – from The Pastor’s Heart.


An open letter to the Archbishop of Brisbane – 11 July 2022.

Dr Robert Tong on the Appellate Tribunal Opinion – 12 November 2020.

Many posts relating to General Synod 2022.

The Line in the Sand: The Appellate Tribunal Opinion and the Future of the Anglican Church in Australia – Joint publication of The Australian Church record and The Anglican Church League.

The Line in the Sand Author Interview: Glenn Davies.

Bathurst Diocese Strategic Plan

You may have watched Bishop Mark Calder’s keynote address from the Bathurst Diocesan Conference held on 30 July 2022.

He spoke about the Strategic Plan for the Diocese.

Here it is in one-page – Sharing Jesus for Life! (PDF file.)

The harvest is plentiful — more workers for Bathurst Diocese

Bishop of Bathurst Mark Calder has announced two new appointments –

“Excited to announce the appointment of the Reverend Andy Martin as rector of Holy Trinity Orange from October (pictured at left with his wife Amanda and their two girls), and the appointment of Tim Smith, who will serve from 2023, initially as Deacon in Charge of Grenfell parish (pictured here with Jess and their baby).”

– from the Bathurst Diocese Facebook page.

See also Bishop Mark Calder’s keynote address from the Diocesan Conference held on 30 July 2022:

A tonic for any church. Well worth watching – and plenty to pray about.

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