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December 2017

Dear Friends,

As Christmas approaches, may I convey my prayerful gratitude for you all?

I am particularly aware of the demanding environment we live in as I look back on some of

the complex matters that have dominated this past year.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has concluded its
work and submitted the final report, Same Sex marriage legislation passed in the Federal
parliament and Assisted Dying legislation has passed in the State parliament.

At a time when the public standing of Christian churches has been under such intense
scrutiny we have needed to engage with complex public issues where there are passionately
held, but diametrically opposed, views in the community and within the church. It is no
wonder that many of us may feel the weight of that tension pressing upon us as we
approach Christmas.

The politics of the Federal parliament meant that the same sex marriage debate was pushed
down into the community and the decision to launch a postal survey meant that community
rather than political voices were the most vocal. This has all come at a cost to our community
generally and in a unique way, to us as a church. It will take some time for the consequences
of this process to be worked through.

Responding well to the public debates and to the Royal Commission in a united manner has
been enormously demanding. We achieved remarkable unity in respect of our response to
the Royal Commission in the key areas of child protection, episcopal standards and redress
at our General Synod. I am very pleased that this momentum has continued with subsequent
Diocesan Synods signifying their consent to this legislation.

As I mentioned earlier, the legislation that has enabled same sex marriage and euthanasia is
unlikely to have reached the place of happy agreement for all of us. I am aware that views I
have expressed are not the views of all other Anglicans. At one level this is so obvious as to
not need stating but at another level I am extremely grateful for the space that I have been
able to speak into without my voice being contradicted by those who think differently. I think
that this is a sign of the grace and goodwill that we share in our church and especially in the
Diocese of Melbourne.

I am very conscious of the pain that members of our church who are in same sex
partnerships experience at this time when the society has changed in a way that the church
hasn’t. Beyond these members of our church there are the parents, grandparents and family
friends who will be sharing the family table at Christmas and wondering about what the
church says about the relationships of loved ones that are now equivalent at law to
heterosexual relationships.

From the Prime Minister to ordinary people there was an unmissable exuberance when same
sex marriage became lawful. I was very moved to receive a copy of an email from a retired
priest who reflected on his pain on account of the discipline of the church preventing him
from sharing in the joy that he saw being expressed around him. I quote it here with his
permission and without further comment:

"It is indeed a day for great rejoicing - and pride in our country. I celebrate (alone tonight)
with a deep sense of relief and thankfulness but as an authorised marriage celebrant myself, I
will remain unable to perform any marriage ceremony between people of the same gender,
even friends, should they honour me by asking. Why? Because my church will not allow me
to do so. And is unlikely to allow me in my lifetime. In order to have that joy I would need to
leave the church completely - the church of my forebears, the church of my lifetime nurture
in the faith, the church I have loved and served all my life. How’s that for justice? The “secular
nation” (which I also love as a proud and committed Australian), has moved on to new
liberty. And I am left behind. Not only I, but hundreds of wonderful priests and lay people
who long to join the festivities but cannot - except in wistful solidarity with our non-Anglican
sisters and brothers."

It will take more of the grace that I have spoken about for us to have a respectful
conversation about how the Church ministers in the tension between the changes to the
Marriage Act and our teaching on Holy Matrimony. I propose that we have intentional
conversations about this next year. It will be good to prepare for this well and I will be
looking for the best way these conversations can take place safely, gracefully and
productively. Please open up your own heart to the discernment of what contribution you
can make.

As the year draws to its close I pray that you will have opportunities for rest and, in its fullest
sense, re-creation. There is much healing needed, in the world and in the church. I hope that
you can personally enter into the grace of our beloved Saviour Jesus at this time when you
are especially attending to the needs of others.

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |
It has been a very demanding year for us all and I have felt this personally. I remain
extremely grateful for your prayers and fellowship and feel well sustained in what is a
sometimes complex interaction of roles.

I offer these few words as a personal appreciation for each of you and want you to know that
they come with the encouragement and support of my Assistant Bishops. Together, we
assure you of our prayers and our appreciation of your faithfulness in these complex times
for our Church and our Nation. Let us make it our particular intention in prayer at Christmas
that the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth.

Every blessing, as Advent draws us closer to Christmas.

Please click on the following link to see my 2017 Christmas message.

You can find the video on our YouTube channel:
Or, you can see the video with the full text of the address here:



We are finding ways to make the Church a safe place and to ensure those who have suffered
have the support they need. Pease find my full press release on the Royal Commission at


I will be on leave and attending the consecration of the Bishop of Kurunegala in Sri-Lanka
during the month of January. During this time Bishop Philip Huggins and Bishop Genieve
Blackwell will be Vicars General.
Bishop Philip Huggins from 26 December to 14 January
Bishop Genieve Blackwell from 15 January to the 19 January
Bishop Philip Huggins from 20 January to the 30 January


At its November meeting the Archbishop in Council implemented a longstanding

recommendation, arising out of Professor Sally Walker’s 2016 review, to endorse the
formation of a Governance Secretariat. Bishop Brad Billings was appointed to the new role
of Governance Secretary, and will be assisted in this by his current PA Maree Scopelliti.
Bishop Brad will formally commence these new responsibilities on 1 January 2018 for an
initial term of two years. He will continue in his current roles, including as Director of
Theological Education.

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |
The overarching purpose of the role of Governance Secretary is to support and facilitate the
good governance of the Diocese. To this end, the Secretary will be responsible for producing
and distributing the agenda, reports and other material for meetings of the Archbishop in
Council; progressing the major reviews and their findings and recommendations into several
aspects of diocesan operations commissioned and delivered in 2016; handling and
responding to enquiries about diocesan and parish governance; and updating and
maintaining a register of current diocesan policies and legislation.
The Governance Secretariat will work closely with the Registrar and senior leadership to
assist in the further implementation of good governance practice and to ensure alignment of
activity to mission. In this way the role is a further step toward mission shaping the activities
of the Anglican Centre in support of our Vision and Directions objective to better manage
our resources to enable mission.


A polite reminder to email copies of your parish reports (AGM) along with your parish
assessment to the finance group at


A collection of resources and opportunities for the ongoing professional development of

those engaged in ministry, lay and ordained, is now prepared and is posted at the link below.
Gathered here into one place in the 2018 Ongoing Ministry Development booklet, are details
of a range of training days, seminars, resources, and links to opportunities for professional
development in ministry, including details of:
• The diocesan ministry conferences;
• A two day seminar on understanding grief, loss and bereavement;
• A new course for clergy and parish officers on church law and governance;
• The diocesan supervisor training program;
• Opportunities for professional development at Trinity and Ridley Colleges;
Please review these opportunities for professional development.


The Bishop Perry Institute for Ministry and Mission held an inaugural Faith and Research
symposium in November 2017 at Ridley College. A number of original research projects
commissioned by the Institute into applied Christian ministry in the Australian Anglican
context were presented on the day. The presentations can be viewed at the link below.

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |

Please find the attached flyer from Anglican Communion Leader for Thy Kingdom Come, The
Very Reverend Bob Key promoting Thy Kingdom Come – dates and resources.


An updated information sheet can be found in the attachments. Please make this document
accessible for those within the church and in particular workers and volunteers.
This is to help organisations to identify behaviours that could cause significant emotional
and psychological harm. Contact information for Child Safe Standards can be also found on
the attachment.


It is anticipated that the following will be admitted to the Order of Deacons at a service in St
Paul’s Cathedral at 10.30am on Saturday 3 February 2018.

Roxanne Addley Geoff Hall Chris Porter

Baw Mu Htoo Bleh Da Moo Vijay Henderson Patrick Senn
Julie Blinco Tim Horman David Shannon
Matthew Browne Stephanie Judd Neil Taylor
Nick Coombs Robert Koren Moe Win Tun Kin
Conrey La’mont Ferreira Michele Moorhouse Stephen Zhang
James Hale Lynette Pearson

Please pray for the ordinands as they prepare for Holy Orders and to take up their ministry
placements, and for the retreat leader, The Right Reverend Rob Gillion, the Bishop of the


On Saturday 9 December the Diocese had a cultural celebration of worship at St Paul’s

Cathedral. Eighteen members of the clergy representing different ethnic and national
backgrounds joined together enriching the experience for all.
The liturgically profound and culturally colourful service had traditional acts of worship
performed in unique and authentic ways. The prayer dance of the Dinka youngsters, the
moving songs from the Maori community, the Karen community, the Indonesian community,
the Pakistani community and the junior orchestra of the CSI Malayalam community each
stood out for the passion, for the colours and the mood of celebration so genuine. The
Readings in Maori and Bari and the prayers offered for unity in Arabic, hope in Mandarin, joy
in Karen, Peace in Indonesian, love in Malayalam and the special prayers for South Sudan in
Dinka created a truly Pentecostal experience in the Cathedral.

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |
The planning efforts of a committed team of clergy and my Executive Officer are much
appreciated by myself and the truly multicultural congregation who attended in all gaiety.
We will be looking at continuing these cultural celebrations and worships yearly and will be
able to give you further information in the New Year.


Bishop Chris McLeod, The National Aboriginal Bishop, asks that parishes support indigenous
ministry in the Diocese by offering the following prayers:

 Giving thanks for ministry at Point Pearce Aboriginal Community, SA. Praying for
2018 and the raising up of Aboriginal Anglican leaders across SA.
 Praying for the Aboriginal Anglican Clergy and lay-leaders around Australia, their
spiritual health and physical well-being, and the people they care for.
 Praying that the Federal Government will take more seriously the aspirations of
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
 Praying for Aboriginal young people that they will flourish and be safe from harm in

The recent RAP meeting approved the Reverend Dr Garry Deverell to set up a Facebook
page to support the collection and provision of information around Indigenous Ministry in
the Diocese. Please click on the following link to “like” this idea.
This is an effort to lift the flow of information and engagement with Indigenous ministry…
Please become involved.


The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne requires all clergy to have a current Working with
Children Check. This is the individual’s responsibility to ensure their WWCC is current.
WWCC can only be updated by you. Please ensure you have a current WWCC and that you
have the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne listed as an organisation. If you haven’t done this,
please follow the two steps below.
To renew or check your WWCC please follow the following instructions:
1. Log on to
2. On the top right hand side of screen click on MyCheck Login
3. If you are an existing user log in using your email address and password
4. If you are not an existing user you need to register. Click on ‘I want to register’ and
follow the instructions (will take you 2 minutes)
5. Once you are logged on click on “Renew my check” on the left hand side
6. Follow the instructions to renew your check

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |
To add the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne as an organisation please follow the instructions
5. Once you are logged on click on “Change my details” on the left hand side
6. Scroll down to Organization details
7. Click on “Add an organization”
8. Fill in for the Diocese of Melbourne:

Organisation name : Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, 209 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Vic 3000


Jumbunna Episcopate

 Parish of Wandin, Seville & Mt Evelyn – (Vacant)

 St John’s, Healesville w St Paul’s Yarra Glen – (Vacant)
 St John’s, Upper Beaconsfield – (Vacant)
 Parish of the Holy Name of Jesus, Vermont South

Marmingatha Episcopate

 Holy Trinity, Balaclava

 St Stephen’s Richmond
 St George’s, Ivanhoe East
 St Luke’s, Melbourne South – (Incumbency Committee convened)
 St Peter with Holy Nativity, Murrumbeena with Hughesdale – (Vacancy beginning 20
Dec 2017)
 St James the Great, St Kilda East – Incumbency Committee convened)
 St Aidan’s, Strathmore
 St John’s, Camberwell – (Vacancy beginning 01 May 2018)
 St Martin’s, Hawksburn – (Vacancy beginning 01 Jan 2018)
 St Augustine’s, Moreland – (Vacancy beginning 27 Jan 2018)

Oodthenong Episcopate

 Lorne Anglican uniting Church (Vacancy beginning 31 July 2016)

 Lancefield-Romsey (Vacancy beginning 04 December 2010)
 Inverleigh-Bannockburn-Meredith

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |

I bring to your attention the following events:


The next Vocations Day is on Saturday 10 February 2018 at St James Old Cathedral West
Melbourne. Please consider whom you may invite to attend. Bookings (free) can be made at
the link below:


3 February 2018 Ordination of Deacons - St Paul’s Cathedral

27 March 2018 Renewal of Clergy Vows
14-16 May 2018 Jumbunna Ministry Conference
27-30 May 2018 Marmingatha Ministry Conference
30 May – 1 June 2018 Oodthenong Ministry Conference
30 May 2018 Reconciliation Evensong – St Paul’s Cathedral
2 October 2018 Retired Clergy Service and Luncheon
17 – 20 October 2018 Melbourne Synod
24 November 2018 Ordination of Priests

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |


I am delighted to announce that The Right Reverend Dr Matt Brain has been elected as the
10th Bishop of Bendigo. Please see the attached message from The Very Reverend John
Roundhill, Vicar General, Bishop Matt Brain and Bishop Stuart Robinson.


There is a job opportunity at St George’s College as Dean of the college. For more
information please click on the link below.

Grace and peace in Christ Jesus

Yours sincerely

The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier

Archbishop of Melbourne
December 2017

Making the Word of God fully known

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne | 209 Flinders Lane Melbourne Vic 3000 | +61 3 9653 4204 |