19 May 2024

There’s two paths for archbishop election – which should Melbourne choose?

New proposals aim to tidy up and modernise the archbishop election process. Picture: iStock
24 March 2022

Melbourne parishioners have been invited to comment on two proposals for new legislation to govern the election of an archbishop, set to go before the Melbourne Synod this year. 

Review committee chair Dr Elizabeth Alexander said that after several months of intense work, the seven-person committee has developed two possible approaches to the election legislation. 

She said the first would be to tidy up the current election legislation, dating from the late 1980s, while the second would be to take a fresh approach that better reflects contemporary society and the church’s place within it.  

“The second way forward is to draft new legislation that is simpler, cleaner and less convoluted,” she said.  

“It takes into account the environment we are in now, with social media and so much more, and considers how the church fits within it.” 

Dr Alexander said the committee wanted to hear the views of Melbourne clergy and lay people about the issue, so was seeking comments of up to 250 words. She said it would follow up individual comments if it needed to know more. 

Dr Alexander, a parishioner at Holy Trinity Church, East Melbourne, and a former member of Archbishop in Council, has a background as a specialist in corporate governance issues. The other members of the committee are the Reverend Megan Curlis-Gibson, Dr Jenny George, Dr Ian Gibson, the Reverend Canon Dr Colleen O’Reilly, the Reverend Dr Alex Ross, and the Reverend Malcolm Woolrich. 

Any comments need to be received by the end of April. The committee’s proposals can be found in detail at melbourneanglican.org.au/abp_elect_review.  

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