Southern Cross July-August 2022

The Diocese of Sydney’s magazine, Southern Cross, for July-August 2022 will be available in parishes this weekend.

It’s also available for download. Grab your copy now.

Archbishop Ben Kwashi’s visit to Sydney cancelled

From Anglican Aid Sydney, 20 June 2022 –

“It is with great excitement that we will be welcoming Archbishop of Jos, Nigeria, Ben Kwashi to Sydney in August, 2022. Archbishop Kwashi has agreed to present at an event for Anglican Aid supporters and ministry leaders on Saturday 13 August 2022.”


Anglican Aid has reported that Archbishop Kwashi’s visit has been cancelled due to his need for a medical procedure in late July.

Please continue to uphold in prayer Archbishop Kwashi and his family.

And do continue to support Anglican Aid.


Frontline church leader battles cancer –, October 2020.

Annual General Meeting 2022 — Report

The Annual General Meeting of Anglican Church League was held at St Andrew’s Cathedral School on 16 June 2022. Here’s a report.

Bible reading and Prayer

ACL President the Rev Andrew Bruce shared from God’s word on Acts 14:1–20. He encouraged us that in this passage, the gospel of Christ is preached in all its saving power. Nevertheless, the preacher is (shockingly and appallingly) bashed and left for dead. We saw that as the gospel goes forward, opposition arises. We prayed for encouragement and perseverance as the gospel goes forward in our own circumstances.

Presidential Address

Rev Bruce noted that this was his last address as President, having served in this role for seven years. He reflected that during the time of his presidency, the ACL had restructured its operations to better achieve its aim of having “the right people in the right places doing the right things”. The restructuring had resulted in greater efficiency and effectiveness for the Council and greater engagement with members.

Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer spoke to the financial reports. He noted the surplus over the last couple of years is related to the lower than usual expenses due to reduced activity during the COVID pandemic.

Vice-Presidents’ Reports

Reports from two Vice-Presidents were interspersed with elections (see below for election results).

The ACL and the Sydney Diocese

ACL Vice President the Rev Canon Phil Colgan spoke on the vital work of the ACL in promoting Christ and the reformed evangelical Protestant faith through the structures of the Sydney Diocese. He noted that we see ourselves as servants of the Synod. While the COVID pandemic has meant that Sydney Synod had not been able to meet recently, there have been elections, and the ACL has nominated good candidates who have won those elections.

A significant challenge facing the Synod is that it is becoming harder to find and raise up lay people for important roles on boards and committees. This is especially important in our schools, where the key issues of gender and sexuality are at the fore. Members of the ACL have a vital role in finding excellent lay candidates for the Council to recommend.

General Synod and The Line in the Sand

ACL Vice President Dr Claire Smith spoke on the recent General Synod in May 2022. She noted that there were many reasons to be thankful to God, including the godly leadership of Archbishop Kanishka Raffel, and that many good motions were discussed graciously and passed. She commended the excellent daily email updates for ACL members written by ACL Council member the Rev Kate Haggar.

Dr Smith noted with sadness the decision of 12 out of 24 Bishops (plus two abstentions) to defy the will of the General Synod by rejecting a key motion on marriage and human sexuality. Members of the ACL will be familiar with the book The Line in the Sand, published jointly by the ACL and the Australian Church Record and available for free download, that addressed the issue in detail. Dr Smith also commended the ABC Religion & Ethics article by ACL Vice-President the Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson, “I contend that twelve bishops did defy the will of the General Synod over human sexuality: A response to Matthew Anstey”. Thankfully, the General Synod passed other motions and statements affirming the biblical understanding of marriage.

Election results

New ACL President The Rev. Roger Cunningham

The following office-bearers were elected:

President: The Rev Roger Cunningham
Chairman: Dr Robert Tong AM
Treasurer: Mr Ned Teuben
Secretary: The Rev Mike Leite
Elections Secretary: The Rev Andrew Bruce
Membership Secretary: The Rev Mike Taylor
Communications Secretary: The Rev Dr Lionel Windsor
Minutes Secretary: The Rev Matthew Whitfield

Vice Presidents:

Mr Clive Ellis
Dr Laurie Scandrett
Dr Claire Smith
The Rev Canon Phil Colgan
The Rt Rev Dr Gary Koo
The Rev Canon Dr Mark Thompson


Ms Stephanie Adams
Mr Jeremy Freeman
Mr Edward Hannah
Mr Michael Latten
Mr Angus Martin
Mr Malcolm Purvis
Mr Henry Pascoe
Mr Phillip Witheridge
The Rev Dr Mark Earngey
The Rev Nigel Fortescue
The Rev Dr Raj Gupta
The Rev Kate Haggar
The Rev Canon Tom Harricks
The Rev Graeme Howells
The Rev Caitlin Orr
The Rev Gavin Parsons
The Rev Gavin Poole
The Rev Jason Ramsay
The Rev Craig Roberts
The Rev James Warren

Motions of thanks

A motion of thanks to the Rev Andrew Bruce for his faithful service as President over many years passed by acclamation.

A motion of thanks to Dr Laurie Scandrett for faithful service as Treasurer passed by acclamation.

The meeting closed in prayer, led by newly elected President the Rev Roger Cunningham.

With thanksgiving for Brian Richardson

We are very sorry to hear the news that Archdeacon Brian Richardson has died in Sydney.

Brian was Archdeacon of North Sydney 1982-1993. Previously he served as Rector of Turramurra 1977-1984, Manly 1966-1977 and Carlingford 1960-1966.

Our readers will want to uphold Brian’s family in their prayers at this time. We are thankful that Brian is now with Christ, and that is “better by far”. (Philippians 1:23.)

His funeral will be held at St James’ Turramurra tomorrow, Thursday 23rd June 2022 at 11:00am. (Video link here.)

Honoured for fostering love

“North Shore couple Carolyn and David Stedman, who have fostered 74 children, are among several Sydney Anglicans honoured in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours…”

– has the story.

Image: Seven’s Sunrise via Anglican Media Sydney.

A celebration of uncommon leadership — Archbishop Kanishka Raffel’s sermon for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

“Princess Elizabeth was 25 years old and on tour in Kenya on her way to Australia, when she learnt the tragic news of the early death of her father, King George VI.

King George had acceded to the throne only after the unprecedented abdication of his brother King Edward VIII.

It had shaken the nation, and its impact on her father, the royal family and the kingdom is undoubtedly part of the background to Her Majesty’s unswerving devotion to her role.

Her uncle’s reign was the shortest of any British monarch. Her Majesty’s eclipsed that of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, more than six years ago. …”

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel preached at a special service at St. Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney today on the Occasion of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with Bishop Jack Dain outside St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, on 13 March 1977. Archbishop Sir Marcus Loane is at the Queen’s side, and Bishop John Reid is at centre. At right, Dean of the Cathedral, Lance Shilton, stands with Prince Philip. Photo courtesy Ramon Williams.

A message for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

The Rev. Michael Duckett, who leads Macarthur Indigenous Church, has shared a prayer and video message for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week.

The video could be downloaded for use in church.

“As God’s people, and as his church, we have the responsibility to be ambassadors of reconciliation. So I want to encourage us … that we would be bringing the true message of reconciliation to this country.”

Read and watch at

Passage of the ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ legislation — Media Statement

Here is a Media Release from the Anglican Diocese of Sydney:


Public Statement

The passing of the ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’ legislation will be a matter of regret for our whole community, not just for people of faith who objected strongly or for the doctors who raised their voices against it.

Thanks are due to those MPs who sought to ensure there would be safeguards protecting vulnerable people, medical practitioners and others who care for those who suffer. Unfortunately, most of the proposed amendments were rejected.

This legislation affects not only those who will choose what is euphemistically called ‘Voluntary Assisted Dying’  but will fundamentally affect our culture and values.

We must be vigilant to maintain an emphasis on palliative care so that people have quality to the end of their lives and are not subject to undue pressure because of a lack of resources to support them in their suffering.

I hope the government will ensure that the scope of the bill and those to whom it is applied, does not broaden in the way it has done overseas, being extended to those who are not terminally ill and who suffer from a broad range of illness or disability.

Finally, pray for those suffering that they may be assured that everything will be done to preserve and promote their quality of life, and for medical staff whose relationship with patients has been fundamentally altered by these laws.

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel,

20 May 2022.”


Southern Cross May-June 2022 now out

The May-June 2022 issue of Southern Cross (the magazine of the Diocese of Sydney) will be available in churches this week.

You can also download a PDF version here.

Southern Cross will now be published by Anglican Media Sydney every six weeks.

Lots of encouraging reading.

An interview with Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

From –

After this week’s debate at General Synod on marriage, we asked Archbishop Kanishka Raffel about the vote and its implications.

Can you explain what you meant, when you told the Synod the refusal of the House of Bishops to pass the statement on marriage leaves the church in a perilous position?

Archbishop Raffel: What we had at the session was a clear affirmation from the majority of people in the room that they continue to hold to the biblical and historically Anglican position on marriage. The houses of Laity and Clergy expressed that very strongly and by a small margin the House of Bishops failed to do it. That leaves us in a position where it is unclear that the leadership of the church is united around a common understanding of Scripture and Anglican formularies. That’s perilous for a church. …”

Read the whole interview at this link.

See also:

The Line in the Sand: The Appellate Tribunal Opinion and the Future of the Anglican Church in Australia.

Waiter, can I get some more ‘Anglican’ in this activism?

“In what sense is an Anglican school that rejects Anglican teaching in order to keep non-Anglican families happy still an Anglican school?

That’s the question Sydney Anglicans are wrestling with as opposition to Christian teaching on sexuality and gender grows.…”

James Macpherson at The Spectator Australia responds to reported comments in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article. (Subscription, but several free views allowed for non-subscribers.)

Image: A sketch of Richard Johnson’s schoolhouse in Sydney.

A valuable moment for clarity has been lost

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel has tonight released this Public Statement –

Public Statement on the General Synod discussion on marriage

May 11, 2022

I thank God that the Synod discussion of this sensitive personal matter was conducted with deep mutual respect and care. We are conscious that the discussion takes place in some sense ‘in public’, and that there is a risk of some feeling hurt or left out. We rely on, and rest in the sustaining love and grace of Jesus for all.

The doctrine of our church has not changed. The previous Synod carried two separate motions affirming the teaching of Jesus on marriage. Today, the majority of the House affirmed the teaching of Jesus on the subject of marriage and its expression in historic Anglican rites. That is why I am deeply disappointed that a majority of Bishops voted against making a clear statement. A valuable moment for clarity has been lost.


With thanksgiving for Neil Prott

Sydney Anglicans will be saddened to hear of the death of Neil Prott, yet we rejoice that he is now with Christ.

Neil was a long time member of the ACL, and a long serving member of the Moore Theological College Council.

After studying at Moore, Neil served curacies at Caringbah (1964-66) and Albion Park (1967-68) before becoming Curate in Charge of Oak Flats (1968-72), and then Rector of Kurrajong (1972-1998).

In his retirement, Neil established Country Serve, a support for ministers and churches in country NSW.

Please uphold in prayer Neil’s wife June and their family.

A thanksgiving service for Neil will be held on Monday 2nd May.

As a man thoroughly committed to the gospel, we thought it would be appropriate to republish an article Neil wrote for ACL News in 1989 – “Evangelism – A Priority in Your Parish?

Moore College Council passed this Minute of Appreciation on Neil’s retirement from Council

Neil Prott was elected to the Moore College Committee (as it was then known) in 1974 and remained a member without break until 2005.

Neil is a graduate of Moore and his first year in college in 1959 was the largest (46 students) post war first year to that time. The numbers were partly due to Archbishop Gough’s successful initiative in encouraging older laymen to undertake theological study to meet the manpower shortage in the diocese.

At school (Sydney Grammar) Neil was, by a year, a contemporary of Graeme Goldsworthy and a few years behind Bruce Smith and Roderick West. There he developed a love of rifle shooting (First Rifle Team) which continues today.

It was in the candidate selection committees where Neil gave of his best. His long practical parish experience and clear evangelical theology enabled him to ask perceptive questions and make well founded judgements. In Council meetings his verbal interventions were not frequent, but when made, reminded us not to neglect the inner life of the pastor-in-training and the practical demands of ministry in the striving for academic merit.

We will miss him on Council and pray that our God will bless Neil and his wife June as they serve our Saviour.

(with thanks to Dr Robert Tong for the text.)

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