Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sydney diocesan news

Updated Sunday evening

The Church Times has a report Sydney synod defies Tribunal decision by Muriel Porter.

THE diocesan synod in Sydney has reaffirmed its 2008 decision to permit deacons to preside at holy communion, despite the recent majority decision by the national Church’s Appellate Tribunal that diaconal presidency is unconstitutional.

The synod rejected several attempts to amend a motion, brought by a Sydney regional bishop, Dr Glenn Davies, which “noted” what it described as “the advisory opinion” of the Tribunal but reaffirmed the 2008 motion that the Tribunal declared unconstitutional…

…Since 2008, Sydney diocese has implemented a permanent diaconate, ordaining clergy to the priesthood only when they become parish rectors. Assistant clergy and chaplains remain in deacon’s orders. The 215 active deacons in Sydney constitute just over one third of the licensed clergy, and are increasingly leading new congregations and church plants.

There are also reports on the finances of the diocese. A further Church Times report is subscriber-only until next Friday, but instead there are these accounts:

Church of England Newspaper Mixed report on growth and income given to Sydney synod

…The archbishop told the Synod the diocese was still reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis and the “financial issues are grave.”

“In round terms, it seems possible that the amount of money available” he said “to support diocesan works in the next few years is going to be reduced from the $7.5 million of 2010 to something like $4 million.”

The cutbacks in diocesan spending in 2008 were “only the beginning,” he said and warned that parishes might be asked to pick up a larger share of the diocese’s expenses in the years to come…

Sydney Morning Herald Anglicans warned church is on its knees

The Anglican Church in Sydney is in diabolical trouble. Already battered by the global financial crisis, the diocese is planning further savage spending cuts.

The archbishop, Peter Jensen, told the annual synod on Monday: “The financial issues are grave…”

Update

Here is the official Sydney diocesan version of the story about the tribunal decision: Sydney resolute on deacons celebrating Lord’s Supper.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 3:34pm BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Anglican Church of Australia
Comments

I do not see how Sydney diocese can remain in the Australian Church or in communion' with the C of E if it practices this form of presidency of Communion. The only known and recognised Anglican way of authorising Deacons to lead the Communion service is by Ordination to the Order of Presbyter. (cf the BCP., 1662)

It is completely perverse way of proceeding. (And I am hardly a virgin when it comes to eucharistic diversity, but this seems crazy. For myself, I don't care, but it is very inconsiderate of their fellow-anglicans).

They certainly have not widely consulted the wider Anglican Communion let alone 'the Church Catholick'.

Are the various anglican churches going to go their own way on absolutely everything ?

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 4:10pm BST

Surely they've got to get into trouble in the Anglican Communion for this. This is not a development but a breach in catholic order.

Posted by: Wilf on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 4:28pm BST

Is that 3000 new people in just ONE year?

That's outstanding! Wonderful news.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 4:43pm BST

re: the Sydney note. It's not un-ironic that if you substitute "TEC" for "Sydney" and "full inclusion" for "the Lord's supper" in the underlying article, you get a surprisingly familiar concept.....

Posted by: RFSJ+ on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 5:00pm BST

Can we finally stop pretending that these Plymouth Brethren are Anglicans?

Posted by: JPM on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 5:18pm BST

Let´s see if I understand this...the selfwill running riot at The Anglican Church in Sydney includes snubbing the collective ministry of the greater church in Australia...meanwhile, Jensen/Sydney, are being shoved onto their knees because of using habitual bad judment in many of their ¨we know best¨affairs...still, +Jensen and Sydney blame others/international financial problems and refuse to take responsibility for their own greedy financial speculation/ignorance...sounds just like most other branches of the Global South to me...strutting through clouds of smoke, huffing and puffing about how wise/moral they are with little to support thunderous grandstanding at Church...ego´s blown way out of control.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 5:37pm BST

RFSJ: "re: the Sydney note. It's not un-ironic that if you substitute "TEC" for "Sydney" and "full inclusion" for "the Lord's supper" in the underlying article, you get a surprisingly familiar concept..."

I think the irony of the situation is certainly not lost of those of us who comment regularly on here, RFSJ. The likes of Sydney diocesan leadership have been taking a very high and judgemental moral line towards the rest of us for quite some time. I won't share with you the expression on my face when I read how money their archbishop seems to have lost them in the last year, as it would be uncharitable to do so...

Posted by: Fr Mark on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 7:53pm BST

Now is the time for the Sydney 'Anglican' diocese to declare it's incompatibility with traditional Anglicanism. There can be little doubt that it's demise is partly due to the idiosyncratic rule of 'Archbishop' Peter Jensen, whose fundamentalist leadership - now allied to the Dissenters at large within the Communion - has brought this sad decline in Anglican catholic and apostolic witness in the Diocese of Sydney.

It would have been better, perhaps, for Jensen to have resigned his office in the Church before his clones in the Diocese went ahead with this act of defiance of Anglican Orthodoxy - something that will bedevil the Anglican Church in Sydney and in the Australian Province in the foreseeable future - unless Sydney declares it's clear and obvious intention to defect from the Anglican Communion.

Where this will leave truly orthodox Anglicans within the Diocese of Sydney is a moot point. However, there could be an opportunity for a Faithful Remnant - led perhaps by St. James and Christchurch St., Laurence parishes - whose behaviour during this present stand-off has been truly exemplary.

We all need to pray for this Faithful Remnant.

Meanwhile the unorthodox Dissenters could perhaps join up with the similarly unorthodox party of faux-Anglicans who separated themselves from the orthodox Province of the Anglican Church in South Africa. The sooner, the better, for the sake of traditional Anglicanism! Then their corporate sodality could re-name themselves by any other name than 'Anglican'. Maybe 'Church of the Global South' would be an appropriate appellation.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 9:36pm BST

Sydney can weather the storm financially....the diocese is still very wealthy. Indeed Sydney congregations can pay for their churches..unlike some liberal congregations.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 9:43pm BST

Rather high church PBs at that JPM !

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at 11:04pm BST

"The Anglican Church in Sydney is in diabolical trouble. Already battered by the global financial crisis, the diocese is planning further savage spending cuts.

The archbishop, Peter Jensen, told the annual synod on Monday: "The financial issues are grave."

- Church of England Newspaper Report -

Well, one big saving might come from Archbishop Jensen's refraining from attending Global South meetings in all corners of the known world - in order to shore up the fundamentalists' intentions to disable the integrity of the Anglican Communion

So much money must have been spent in the past few years on subbing the travels of G.S. Prelates to GAFCON and the Jerusalem Declaration meetings, to the extent that the Sydney diocese might have been able to form its very own international airline from the fares paid. The shenanigans of the 'Prosperity Gospel' don't seem to have been of very much use to Sydney. To call Sydney's troubles by the term 'diabolical' says it all.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 2:19am BST

While the TEC Sydney comparison is noted, perhaps a crucial difference might be that the attitude of those who elected and consented to the election of the current bishop of New Hampshire toward the rest of the Communion and the world. That attitude was "live and let live," while the Sydney Diocese consistently took a "chosen remnant among the lost" view of the rest of the world.

Posted by: Counterlight on Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 2:02pm BST

We're all circling around the actual point at issue here.

That is this: Sydney diocese would have to surrender its huge endowment if it did something as far outside the boundaries of mainstream Anglicanism as legitimize lay presidency at the Eucharist -- under the present understanding of what it is to be an Anglican.

If, on the other hand, loose groupings and multiple non-concentric circles of like-minded churches came to define Anglicanism, then Sydney could have its lay presidency and keep its endowment, too.

It has been in Sydney's interest, therefore, to nurture GAFCON and the breakaway factions in America, and to push for the breakup of the Anglican Communion over the sexuality issue. And so they have done.

Foreseeing, correctly, that when push came to shove the Northern churches of the Anglican Communion could not really do without the Americans, whereas the Global South could, Sydney thought they could achieve their aims by using TEC as the stalking horse.

Allowing TEC to absorb the damage consequent on the breakup of the Communion, Sydney would emerge unscathed, in possession of its endowment, and fully independent of the rest of the churches, able to impose what theology it liked.

Unfortunately, the process has taken much longer than Sydney thought, and has been much more expensive. The Jensens doubtless found it necessary to put their endowment in high-risk, high-return investments: paying for the sock puppets of the Global South was an expensive proposition, even for them.

Now that the market has crashed, the Jensens have even less of their endowment to work with then they had before. They have a long train of Global South clerics expecting to receive their largess at the same rate. Some must be turning off already, because the Global South is much quieter these days.

Yet this did not come soon enough to save the Anglican Communion. So, in a way, Sydney will soon have what it has wanted all along.

It is almost unnecessary to add that there is nothing of God in any of this.

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 17 October 2010 at 5:14pm BST

A very interesting analysis Charlotte.How old are the Jensen brothers? They seem to have the younger clergy of Sydney in thrall but who is the heir apparent? I imagine both will be gone in 5 yrs time. I get the feeling the next generation are rather light weight...under all the stresses and strain there could be some sort of diocesan implosion!What will the rest of the Australian Church do about diaconal celebration? I imagine only a couple of country evangelical dioceses would be sympathetic.Will the rest of the Church initiate something in the courts, or simply distance themselves on the grounds of impaired communion? rather difficult to see how Sydney could sign up to the Covenant, and if not Sydney surely not most of GAFCON. I wonder at what point everyone will throw in the towel, admit the AC is fractured beyond repair and opt for some sort of much looser federation as the best that can be hoped for. For us in England, let us for goodness sake just get on with being the C of E !!

Posted by: Perry Butler on Monday, 18 October 2010 at 11:19am BST

The Anglican Church constitution ( which was carefully drawn up with Sydney in mind) makes Australian diocese virtually independent entities.

They are safe from liberal innovations.... and as I have pointed out, historically Anglicans have accepted non-episcopally ordained ministry before 1662.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 18 October 2010 at 7:43pm BST
Post a comment









Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.