26 June 2022
Anglican and Catholic clergy and parishioners have marked 175 years of both dioceses in Melbourne with an Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Both Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Philip Freier and Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli were in attendance.
Anglican Dean of Melbourne the Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe gave a sermon on the legacy of both dioceses.
He spoke on Ecclesiastes 3, a passage relating to time and seasons.
He said the past was a story of the “good and courageous, the selfless and the saints,” and also “actions and decisions that have been wicked, unjust and destructive”.
He said that Anglican and Catholic figures such as St Mary McKillop, Frances Perry and St Mary of the Cross had been great catalysts for good.
But he also said that both mistreatment of First Nations peoples and systemic child abuse had left a “wicked legacy of loss” on the diocese.
He called the church to rediscover unity, joy and strength and be equipped to right past wrongs and share God’s goodness, justice, peace and love.
Clergy from the Anglican dioceses of Melbourne, Gippsland, Wangaratta and Bendigo also prayed for both the churches and the world.
Melbourne Bishop Kate Prowd prayed for the fruitfulness of the earth and the wise management of the environment, and for the generous sharing of the Earth’s resources.
Wangaratta Bishop Clarence Bester prayed for media and journalists across the world, especially for wisdom for those working in dangerous settings.
Both Anglican and Catholic choirs also performed at the event.
Catholic parishioner Richard Joseph said that as he and his Anglican fiancée Jessica Thomas were soon to be married, this day held personal significance as it represented a broader union of the two churches.
Attendee Andrew Carroll said that for him, the occasion was also a momentous one.
“It’s a very special day for Melbourne and Victoria where the two communities are united,” he said.