South Yarra's vicar elected new Bishop of Gippsland

Dr Richard Treloar chosen to succeed Bishop Kay Goldsworthy after her move to Perth.

Bishop-elect Richard Treloar: ordained for Ballarat diocese, he is to lead Gippsland Anglicans after more than 20 years in university and parish ministry in Melbourne.

By Mark Brolly

May 7 2018 

The Revd Dr Richard Treloar, the vicar of one of Melbourne’s most prominent churches, has been elected 13th Anglican Bishop of Gippsland.

Gippsland’s Diocesan Electoral Board chose Dr Treloar, who has been Vicar of Christ Church South Yarra for the past 11 years, on 3 May as successor to Bishop Kay Goldsworthy, who became Australia’s first female Archbishop when she was installed as Archbishop of Perth in February.

Melbourne’s Archbishop Philip Freier told his diocese the news today, noting that Bishop-elect Treloar had started ordained ministry in rural and regional Victoria “and is excited to be called to this new ministry in the Diocese of Gippsland, which he will take up later in the year”.

The dates for Dr Treloar’s consecration and installation have yet to be announced.

“I thank Richard for his ministry work within the Diocese of Melbourne and wish Richard, his wife Leanne and children Rachel and Nicholas every blessing as they make this transition to Gippsland,” Archbishop Freier wrote in his Clergy News announcing Dr Treloar’s election.

Bishop-elect Treloar has been Vicar of Christ Church, at the corner of Punt and Toorak Roads, and President of the adjoining Christ Church Grammar School since 2007.

Before that, he was Chaplain of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne and taught for nine years in the Trinity College Theological School, now part of the University of Divinity.

Dr Treloar was ordained a deacon for Ballarat diocese in 1990 and a priest two years later, serving as a curate in Ballarat and Warrnambool and then as Rector of Skipton from 1993-97, when he moved to Melbourne. Until 1998, he was an Associate Priest in St Kilda East.

From 2001-14, Dr Treloar was a member of the Standing Commission on Faith and Order in the World Council of Churches and in 2012, he was appointed to the Liturgy Commission of General Synod, the national parliament of the Anglican Church of Australia.

His doctoral research focused on biblical narrative and he was awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy by Monash University in 2003. His dissertation, Esther and the End of ‘Final Solutions’: Theodicy and Hebrew Biblical Narrative, was published in 2008.

Dr Treloar is an Honorary Research Associate of the University of Divinity, and has published articles on contemporary issues of faith and society in Eureka Street and other journals and edited volumes.

His wife, Dr Leanne Habeeb, is an Organisational Psychologist.

South Yarra parishioners heard the news at 10am Choral Eucharist at Christ Church on Sunday, 6 May.

In a message to his parishioners, Dr Treloar wrote: “The prospect of having to leave Christ Church in due course in order to respond to this call to serve the clergy and people of Gippsland is a most difficult one for Leanne and me, and for our children.

“We have loved being a part of this very special community – Parish and School together – and regard our eleven years here as a great blessing and privilege.”

The announcement from Dr Treloar’s new diocese said: “The Diocese of Gippsland is looking forward with great anticipation in welcoming Bishop-Elect Richard!”

The Chairman of the Australian Church Union’s Melbourne branch, Fr Mathew Crane, said Dr Treloar had been a friend, former chairman and member of the Australian Church Union for some years. The Union promotes the progressive catholic tradition of Anglicanism, with its emphases on the Holy Trinity, sacraments, worship, apostolic order and service.

“This announcement is wonderful news to Catholic Anglicans in the (Church’s) Province of Victoria,” Fr Crane wrote.

“We join with the Diocese of Gippsland in their joy as they prepare to welcome their new Bishop.”

Fr Crane extended heartfelt congratulations and an assurance of prayers and good wishes to the new Bishop and his family.

Gippsland diocese was established in 1902 and is based in Sale. Its parishes extend from just beyond the south-eastern edge of Melbourne at Westernport to Croajingolong, encompassing Mallacoota, Cann River and Genoa.

It was shocked by the sudden death of Bishop John McIntyre in June 2014. Bishop Goldsworthy succeeded him early the following year and led the diocese until December last year, after her election as Archbishop of Perth in August and two months before she was installed in St George’s Cathedral, Perth.