Australian Bishop cites Sydney breakaway threat.

Gay clergy ‘tensions’ before Anglican conference ……/gayclergytensionsbeforeanglicanconference/

3 days ago – FRACTURES in the Australian Anglican Church on the issue of gay clergy are set to boil over at a national meeting of bishops in early March, … (Newcastle Herald)


This article, from the Newcastle Herald, brings news of threats of a coming rift in the Anglican Church of Australia.

“Cultural change: Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson has criticised the emergence of a “para Anglican Communion” led by the conservative Anglican Sydney diocese. He says there is a need for cultural change in the church.” – N. Herald –

It would seem that the Sydney diocese, long known for its conservative evangelical provenance, derived from its early association with Moore College, in Sydney; is set to lead a movement into separation from the current Anglican Instruments of Unity.

Sydney’s former Archbishop – Peter Jensen – current Secretary of GAFCON  – was one of the prime movers of Provincial Archbishops of the Global South to question the new movement in the other Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion to welcome LGBTQI people into the ministry and fellowship of their Churches.

This breaking news – of the Bishop of Necastle’s reluctance to attend the scheduled Australian Bishops’ Conference, which he fears will be outvoted by the sheer weight of the diocese of Sydney’s delegates on issues of Gay Clergy in the Australian Church – raises real fears of a Sydney takeover, which could lead to further schismatic severance from the official Anglican Church body in Australia.

A noted anti-Gay campaigner in the Anglican Church in Australia, the Revd. Peter Ould, is mentioned in the article as supporting Sydney’s stand against the Anglican Church. His prominence is Church circles in Australia is mainly for his campaign against the LBGT community and itys supporters:

“Prominent evangelical Sydney Anglican priest David Ould described the Sydney resolution as “robust”, in a blog in which he said Bishops Goldsworthy and Parkes were “undermining the Biblical doctrine of marriage and human sexuality”.

One awaits the outcome of the Bishops’ Meeting in March for further news of this impending threat of intentional schism

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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6 Responses to Australian Bishop cites Sydney breakaway threat.

  1. let us leave aside the ‘what’ that they would be voting about and let us look at the ‘how’, the process. You are writing that Bishop Greg Thompson is resisting going to a meeting of Bishops because “…he fears will be outvoted by the sheer weight of the diocese of Sydney’s delegates”. If the boot was on the other foot (or the mitre on another head) and Bishop Thompson was sure of a majority of delegates voting for what he believed would he then go and deride those disagreeing with that majority?

    One question here is about his view of democracy and organisations: does Bishop Thompson believe only in voting when it favours his position?

    Another question is a pot and kettle one: has made it clear in the media he sees conservatives as wanting to ‘break away’ while he refuses to take part in a meeting with them? Sorry, but am I alone in being confused by the logic of his approach?

    He is entitled to his views but it would be better if he was to argue their core principles and not try and put a spin on the actions of those he disagrees with.

    A final question for everyone – how do we treat those we disagree with on issues that are fundamentally important – it is easy to argue for ‘inclusion’, ‘kindness’ and ‘mercy’ until they are really needed in interaction with those with whom we disagree:

    • kiwianglo says:

      Yes, ‘Same-as-that’, democracy is something the Church needs to bear in mind – especially when the Sydney diocese threatens to boycott the Bishops Meeting ‘en bloc’ if the rest of the dioceses don’t go along with the Sydney majority culture of sexism and homophibia. That is what the Bishop of Newcastle is (rightly, in my view) protesting about.

  2. Brian Ralph says:

    Thanks for this information. I knew the previous Bishop of Newcastle had politely objected to the incursions by Sydney into his diocese which has been going on for many years. I am glad the new bishop is also making his objections known and also showing he will stand up to the bullying that has been occurring from Sydney for many years. Apparently his assistant bishop will attend this meeting of bishops. The Sydney diocese has spread its gospel of hate wherever it has an opportunity. On my first visit to the Christchurch cathedral in 2006 (when I still lived in Sydney), I was present at the dedication of the new altar frontal and when I asked why this had been delayed, the reply was ‘do you know about the Sydney diocese’ and I groaned. Peter and Philip (retired Sydney dean) Jensen were at university with me in the 1960’s and even then they were beginning to spout their narrow fundamentalism. Unfortunately even in retirement they are managing to gallivant around the world causing division. Peter Jensen is behind much of the evil views coming from the GAFCON primates. There was a time when the Archbishop of Sydney was almost automatically the Primate of Australia. That never occurs now and thankfully is most unlikely. The other Australia dioceses are only too aware of the havoc a Sydney based Primate would create.
    In the weekend of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras it is a shame that the Anglican church in that city only spews forth hate and is therefore often the butt of deserved ridicule in the processional floats. The Metropolitan Community Church (for gay people) in Sydney is very Anglican in its liturgy which I am told is not so elsewhere but where else would an Anglican gay or lesbian go in that city.

  3. kiwianglo says:

    Thanks, Brian, for your comment. I Think we’re all aware of the malevolence that, unfortunately, has come out of the Sydney diocese – on the subject of gender and sexuality. Yes, the Jensen’s have a lot to answer for in the present tendency to schism in the Anglican Communion. It remains to be seen whether Sydney’s attempts to coerce the rest of the Australian dioceses into co-opting their hateful pogrom against the LGBTQI community, will take root. Somehow, I thing most other Anglicans in Australia are sick and tired of Sydney’s ‘holier-than-thou’ attitudes towards other Anglicans in the Communion who do not think as they do.

    Has the Dunedin diocese yet encountered the ‘Ma Whea Report? We had our meeting in Christchurch the day after it’s release in Anglican Taonga. No spectacular revolution here. Let me know how it goes in your neck of the woods. Agape, Fr. Ron

  4. Brian Ralph says:

    Regarding Dunedin, I can only quote from +Kelvin Wright’s blog.
    “The report is long, and takes some reading. I will reserve my comments on it for General Synod, but in general I believe the report is a very good one and gives us a workable way ahead. We will make opportunities for people in the Diocese of Dunedin to discuss it before General Synod. We will hold seminars different parts of the diocese. As well, I recognise that, if the recommendations of the report are adopted by General Synod, there will be significant connotations for the lives of some of some of our people. I will be available to meet with individuals or concerned groups by appointment either before or immediately following General Synod.”

  5. kiwianglo says:

    Well, Brian, at least Bishop Kelvin sounds positive about the benefits that could accrue from an affirmative decision by General Synod. If you want to read the details of the Ma Whea Report for yourself, you can find the link on Anglican Taonga’s website. Agape, Fr. Ron

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