25 September 2022

GAFCON announces first bishop for new diocese, says strategy is primarily to encourage unity

Tasmanian Bishop Richard Condie is the chair of GAFCON Australia. Image: Supplied.

Kirralee Nicolle

17 August 2022

The first bishop of a new breakaway diocese in Australia has been announced at the Global Anglican Futures Conference Australasia.

Former Archbishop of Sydney Bishop Glenn Davies will be the first bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross. His commissioning is set to occur on Thursday 18 August, the final day of the conference.

The announcement came alongside the unveiling of the Diocese of the Southern Cross on Monday 15 August at the GAFCON Australasia Conference in Canberra.

Read more: ‘Orthodox … Biblical Anglicanism’, or an ‘outright lie’? GAFCON divides

GAFCON also announced that its first church in Queensland had already met. The name of the church is Southern Cross Anglican Beenleigh and Logan.

GAFCON board member Fiona McLean said the board did not anticipate there will be congregations from Melbourne who would wish to join the Diocese of the Southern Cross. She said GAFCON’s strategy would be to primarily encourage Anglicans to stay within their churches.

“In general, the strategy will be to stay in your diocese,” Mrs McLean said.

Read more: Anglican Church in ‘perilous’ position after failing to define marriage as one man, one woman, Raffel says

Bishop Davies was formerly the Archbishop of Sydney, having retired in March 2021.

Mrs McLean said Bishop Davies would offer pastoral support and oversight for those in the diocese. She said that he was a good fit as he was passionate about seeing people come to faith.

“He loves Jesus, he loves God’s word [and] he is a faithful teacher of the Bible,” Mrs McLean said.

“He’s got a good sense of humour as well.”

GAFCON Australia promised in 2020 to establish a parallel diocese for Anglicans who chose to leave the Anglican church where the decision was made to bless same-sex unions.

GAFCON Australia then established the Diocese of the Southern Cross in September 2021 as an Australian Public Company, limited by guarantee.

The office of the Australian Primate Archbishop Geoffrey Smith has been approached for comment.

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