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Media release: Two new bishops for Melbourne

Dr Paul Barker and Dr Bradly Billings appointed as bishops.

The Revd Dr Paul Barker and the Revd Dr Bradly Billings have been appointed as Assistant Bishops in the Diocese of Melbourne.

April 1 2016Archbishop Philip Freier has announced the appointment of the Revd Dr Paul Anthony Barker and the Revd Dr Bradly Scott Billings as Assistant Bishops in the Diocese of Melbourne.

Dr Barker is currently ministering in South and South-East Asia as visiting lecturer in Old Testament, Biblical Theology and Homiletics, and as the regional coordinator for Asia for Langham Preaching and Langham Scholar Care.

He has ministered in parishes in Melbourne, including most recently as Vicar of Holy Trinity Doncaster, Area Dean, Examining Chaplain and Archdeacon. He gained a PhD — with the thesis Faithless Israel, Faithful Yahweh in Deuteronomy — from the University of Bristol, UK, in 1996. 

Dr Freier said: “I am delighted that Dr Barker has accepted my invitation to assume responsibility for the Jumbunna Episcopate.”

Dr Barker will succeed Bishop Paul White, who in July will take up the new part-time role of Assistant Bishop for Growth Areas Ministry.

Dr Billings is director of Theological Education and Wellbeing. “He is concerned with that part of the diocesan vision which has as its particular focus that most mission-critical of all resources – our people. Dr Billings’ priority has been establishing a culture of learning and well-being,” Dr Freier said.

Previous ministry experience in Melbourne parishes includes most recently as Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Toorak; Area Dean and Archdeacon. He gained a ThD — with the thesis “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22: 19-20) ¨The Disputed Words in the Lukan Institution Narrative — from the Australian College of Theology in 2005.  

Dr Freier said: “I look forward to Dr Billings continuing his leadership role in the Mission-Shaped Structures team and the development of well-being and theological education.”

He said that the appointments had gained the concurrence of Archbishop in Council during its meeting of 31 March 2016, under the Assistant Bishops Act, and that the dates of their consecration as Bishops will be announced later.