GAFCON Supporter Chosen as Bishop for South Sydney

Scholar bishop chosen for South Sydney

Read Scholar bishop chosen for South SydneyThe Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced he has chosen the Rev Michael Stead to be the next Bishop of South Sydney.

He will replace Bishop Robert Forsyth, who retires in December after 15 years in the position.

Dr Stead holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales, is an honours graduate of Moore College with a Bachelor of Divinity and a Diploma of Ministry, and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Gloucestershire in 2007. He is a part-time lecturer in Old Testament at Moore Theological College.

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney confirmed the appointment tonight (Monday 24th August).

In a speech to the Committee commending his new bishop, Archbishop Davies said “For the past sixty years, a scholar has adorned the ranks of the college of bishops in the Diocese of Sydney, including Marcus Loane, Donald Robinson, Paul Barnett and Peter Jensen. To my mind this is an admirable tradition which has served our diocese well, and I believe that Michael’s appointment as an Assistant Bishop will enhance our episcopal leadership in the Diocese, in the national church and beyond.”

Dr Stead has extensive experience in church affairs nationally and internationally.  He is a member of the General Synod Standing Committee and has been the Secretary of the General Synod Doctrine Commission for the past decade. Internationally, he is an active supporter of the Global Anglican Future Conference or GAFCON and played a key part in the operations team that coordinated GAFCON 2013, as well as being a member of the writing group that produced the Nairobi Communique. 

The Archbishop described Dr Stead as “intelligent, winsome and wise”.

“Michael has an extraordinary mix of skills and competencies, including computer science and accounting as well as theology. At the age of 46, he has already made an outstanding contribution to the life of our Diocese.” Dr Davies said.

Dr Stead is married to Felicity, and the couple have three teenage children. He has been on the staff at St James Turramurra since 2000, becoming rector in 2008. During this time, the church has more than doubled in size, growing from 4 Sunday congregations to 8, including 2 new church plants into local primary schools.

Dr Stead’s research interests include Biblical Theology, the Atonement, Hermeneutics and Eschatology. He has written four books and his latest work, a commentary on Zechariah, has just been released.

“I am humbled and honoured to be appointed Bishop of South Sydney. Felicity and I have always had a passion for parish ministry and this will continue as we support those ministering in the South Sydney region.” Dr Stead said.

“I am looking forward to working together with churches as we seek to proclaim the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ and draw people into a vibrant life of faithful obedience.”

The Consecration Service will be held in the Cathedral Church of St Andrew on Saturday 5 December at 10.30am.


I have high-lighted the paragraph in this communication from the Sydney archdiocese of the Anglican Church of Australia – announcing Archbishop Glen Davies choice of the next bishop of South Sydney, the Revd. Michael Stead – that proclaims his association with the arch-conservative claque of provinces of the Anglican Communion in the Global South, known  – by its own nomenclature, as ‘GAFCON’.

This group of Anglican Provinces – mostly located in Africa – has already declared war on the rest of the Anglican Communion whose provinces have accepted LGBTIQ people as part of the Church, worthy of being included as full members of the Body of Christ.

It is now well-known that the Sydney archdiocese – at one time led by evangelical Archbishop Peter Jensen, a founding member of the Gafcon group that formed its own para-Church with its ‘Jerusalem Declaration’ of independence from the rest of the Communion; is joined at the hip with GAFCON and FOCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans!), both of which organisations across the Communion are intent on subverting the more eirenic intent of those provinces of our Church intent on restoring the Anglican ethos of Unity in Diversity, which has long been the underlying charism of Anglicanism.

It is obvious that Archbishop Davies is intent on securing Sydney’s link with the GAFCON conservatives in the Church; while the rest of the Australian Province strives to keep together with the other Provinces – including the Church of England – labouring for the spread of the Gospel throughout the nations – the Good News of God’s love for ALL.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand


About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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4 Responses to GAFCON Supporter Chosen as Bishop for South Sydney

  1. Brian Ralph says:

    Pray for the inclusive anglo-catholic parishes of St James, King Street (my previous parish before moving to NZ) and Christchurch St Lawrence who will come under the jurisdiction of this person. Bp Forsyth was well known for his hypocrisy but generally allowed these islands of sanity in the Sydney Diocese to function unhindered. Their comparitve wealth helps. What this new person will allow, we will wait to see. I have a feeling those who felt thwarted by the election of fairly moderate Archbishop Davies may be having their revenge.

  2. kiwianglo says:

    Thank you, Lord God, for the witness to the gospel that is in evident in the outworking of the mission in the Parish of St. James, Sydney. I pray that its inclusive influence will continue to bear witness to the infinitely variable congregation that appreciates the pastoral and liturgical ministry of this inner city parish – without let or hindrance from those who would seek to diminish its eirenic outreach to ALL people; through the grace of Christ, our Living Lord. Amen

    (Thanks, Brian, for your input!)

  3. God save us all (even us Anglicans of whatever sober or rainbow hue) – though that’s asking a lot.

    • kiwianglo says:

      Thank you, George. Indeed, God save us all – from prejudice and injustice wherever it is found.

      I forgot to mention my affinity with Christchurch St. Lawrence, Sydney, mentioned by Brian in his response to this article. C.S.L. has a wonderful history of keeping the catholic faith going in the Diocese of Sydney; may it long continue!

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