St. Andrew’s Cathedral Community Garden

Dean of Sydney Sandy Grant writes in the Cathedral newsletter about plans for a new ministry space at the Cathedral:

“Friends in Christ, it was a pleasure to show the site and plans for the Cathedral Community Garden to many in-person attenders last Sunday. It was obvious that seeing it ‘from the inside’ as it were is really helpful to imagining what an excellent outdoor ministry space it could be for the Cathedral and for the community.

For example, you could easily imagine a BarBQ there in the summer shade, and how much easier it will be to welcome people into the Chapter House, as well as improved wheelchair access to the Cathedral proper.

To remind you, the project will provide a community garden that will

Completing the Garden will also remove the eye-sore of a building rubble site that has stood unusable behind hoardings next to our beautiful Cathedral for well over two decades.

Let me put all that into a bit of historical context…”

Read about the plans at the Cathedral website.

Now, where and how for Sydney Anglicans – with Raj Gupta and Zac Veron

From the Pastor’s Heart, an important episode on the future of the Anglican Church in Sydney –

“We engage in a ‘Stockdale Paradox’ discussion, confronting the brutal facts about attendance, finances and National Church Life Survey data about mission, newcomers and maturity.

Plus we review the recent Sydney Anglican Synod debate where leader after leader poured out their heart.

The gap is widening between the diocese’s declining attendance and Sydney’s growing population.

We look at the hard facts and attempt to chart a way forward.

Zac Veron is the senior minister of Bayside Anglican Church, Sydney.

Raj Gupta is the senior minister of Carlingford Anglican Church, Sydney.”

Watch or listen here (though it’s recommended you watch so you can see the charts).

Bible colleges in the world’s poorest places

“Theological colleges, schools, health centres and biblical resources are the fruit of rich partnerships with Anglican dioceses around the world.

The Synod’s Mission Hour for 2023 shared stories that told of the Sydney Diocese’s service and support worldwide, particularly in areas of great gospel growth and great poverty. …

The Anglican Church of Congo runs more than 1000 churches, 700 schools and 90 health centres. A partnership began in 1992 when Sydney sent the late Peter Dawson as a missionary bishop to pioneer the Diocese of Kindu, in a remote central part of the country.”

– Tara Sing at reports on encouragement and the need which was shared at Sydney Synod.


Back in 1997, ACL News spoke with then recently-returned Bishop Peter Dawson. Amid the turmoil in the country at the time, he saw great opportunities for the gospel –

“People are hungry for biblical teaching and we have seen a new church being opened every two weeks for the last few years. New congregations, new people being converted, Bible colleges full. There is a great opportunity for someone to go out and be a lecturer in one of these new Bible colleges. Great opportunity for teaching the Bible and building up Christians.”

In our From the Vault section.

More ‘views from the pew’ at Sydney Synod

The Australian Church Record is continuing to post “views from the pew” – brief questions and answers with members of Sydney Synod –

Justice Michael Meek, Anna Davidson, Janet Austin, Andrew Buckle. and Doug Marr.

Photo: Russell Powell.

Synod sets out diocesan purpose and priorities

“The Synod has collectively confirmed that our main game remains unchanged – to make disciples.

The Archbishop’s document Purpose and Priorities for the Diocesan Fellowship was passed by the Synod on Tuesday, September 12, recognising the direction and focus for churches, schools and organisations within the Diocese. …”

– Tara Sing reports from Sydney Synod at

ACR Journal for Synod 2023

A special issue of ACR Journal – from The Australian Church Record – is out in time for Sydney Synod.

Download your copy from the Church Record’s website.

2023 ACL Synod Dinner Address — Archdeacon Simon Flinders on The Importance of the Local Church

Archdeacon Simon Flinders gave the address at tonight’s ACL Synod Dinner in Sydney.

His topic? The Importance of the Local Church.

Take the time to listen to his most encouraging address:


or download the audio by right-clicking here.

The transcript is available as a PDF file.

This would be great to share with members of your church.


The Robinson-Knox view of Church — Interview with Chase Kuhn.

Archbishop Kanishka Raffel’s vision for Sydney Anglicans

“I am bringing before the Synod a statement of purpose and priorities for the diocesan fellowship,” said Archbishop Raffel as he opened the Sydney Synod for 2023. …

In a wide-ranging speech taking in church networks, organisations and institutions, the Archbishop said that “under God we seek to see God multiply believers in Christ, multiply churches and multiply workers for the harvest field.” This, he said, was a work of God. “We need the work of God in us, so that we long for the welfare of our neighbours and friends and fellow Sydneysiders with the longing of Jesus who wept over Jerusalem, though it was hardened against him.”

– At, Russell Powell has details of this afternoon’s Presidential Address by Archbishop Kanishka Raffel on the first day of Synod for 2023.

You can also watch or hear the Archbishop’s address.

Resources for Sydney Synod members 2023

Sydney Synod meets this month. Here are three resources from the Anglican Church League for Synod members. The updated Synod Survival Guide will be especially helpful for new Synod members.

  1. The Synod Survival Guide by Dr Robert Tong, updated – free download.
  2. The ACL Synod Dinner – Hear Simon Flinders’ encouraging address.
  3. The ACL Synod Briefing Podcast – now online!

Latest posts below.

The ACL’s Synod Podcast now online

Hear the ACL’s 2023 Synod Briefing Podcast.

Our 2023 Pre-Synod Briefing Podcast aims to serve members of the Sydney Synod by highlighting the likely substantive issues and main debate points.

It’s also relevant for anyone who wants to stay informed and pray for the Lord Jesus to be honoured and churches strengthened through the decisions of the Synod.

Listen here:

or right-click on this link to download your copy.


0:00 – Introduction to the Podcast
2:36 – Introduction to Synod and Order of Business
5:25 – Discussion of Elections
7:30 – M4 (Purpose and Priorities)
10:40 – M6, B5 & B6 (Money Bills)
23:00 – B8 (Ministry Standards Ordinance)
24:45 – B1-B3 (General Synod Ordinances)
27:50 – M12 (Review of Governance Policy)
32:35 – B4, M16, M17 (Pastoral Supervision)
36:38 – 13.4, 13.5, and M20 (Discussion on The Voice)

And here are some relevant links:

The ACL Synod Dinner.

Sydney Synod 2023 – with reports and business papers.

The Synod Survival Guide, by Dr. Robert Tong.

About the Anglican Church League.

How to join the Anglican Church League.

Donald Robinson Library Lecture to remember Deaconess Margaret Rodgers AM

Coming up on Saturday 23 September at Moore College:

“Deaconess Margaret Rodgers AM (1939-2014) was an extraordinary woman who used her many talents to serve God through her work as Principal of Deaconess House, CEO of Anglican Media, President of the NSW Council of Churches, and other roles. She was passionate about lay women’s ministry and the Deaconess Order, and has left an enduring legacy in the Diocese of Sydney.

This event celebrates her life and work, with talks highlighting different aspects of her influential ministry.”

Details from the College.

When Margaret was called home in 2014, she was remembered as a dear friend and sister, a warrior for Christ.

Moore Matters Spring 2023 now online

The Spring 2023 edition  of Moore Matters from Moore College is now available in parishes – and also online. The theme for this issue is Trusting the Bible.

Head of Church History, Dr Mark Earngey, contributes an article, “The Bible in the English Reformation” –

“Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!”

These were the dying words of William Tyndale who earnestly desired that the ploughboy would grasp as much of the Scriptures as would the priest.

There years later his prayer was answered in abundance when King Henry VIlI authorised the Great Bible in 1539. Every parish in the realm was ordered to purchase it and have it physically chained to a convenient place, such as the lectern. It was great, not only because of its size, but also because of its authority. In its Preface, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer said, “this book … is the Word of God, the most precious jewel, the most holy relic that remains on earth.”

Cranmer knew that the Bible needed to be central to his Reformation agenda. He believed that the Holy Scriptures were God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. I:21) and that they judge the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Heb. 4:12). Thus, the sharpness of the written Word of God could cut out those errors of the church which had crept in through the Middle Ages. The penetrating clarity of the written Word of God could assist men, women, and children to understand the will of God for their own lives. …

Read online here.

Lessons from Lay Members of Sydney Synod

“With Sydney synod fast approaching, it is worthwhile remembering that two-thirds of the synod are lay members. Quite apart from the numerical majority, lay folk play an important role in the business of the synod, and in its ministry outcomes.

The ACR took some time to interview various lay representatives (old and new!) in order to gain a ‘view from the pew’. We hope this will be encouraging for lay and clergy alike. …”

The Australian Church Record begins its pre-Synod “Lessons from Lay Members” by speaking with the Chancellor of the Diocese, The Honourable Justice Michael Meek.


The Synod Survival Guide by Dr Robert Tong. An invaluable free resource for Synod members.

The ACL Synod Dinner 2023 coming up on Monday 11th September.

Photo with thanks to Russell Powell.

Will there be a ban on sports betting ads?

“Long-time campaigner for poker machine reform, the Dean of Sydney, Sandy Grant, has welcomed the Federal parliamentary report that recommends a ban on online gambling advertising within three years. …”

– Russell Powell reports at

Do not be afraid! — Encouragement from Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Archbishop of Sydney Kanishka Raffel has recorded this message of encouragement for church members.

Watch here on Vimeo – or on YouTube.

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