Updated again Saturday
The diocesan website has this announcement: Sydney Anglicans have a new Archbishop.
A synod of more than 800 members has overwhelmingly elected Bishop Glenn Davies as the 12th Archbishop of Sydney.
Dr Davies replaced Dr Peter Jensen who held the post for 12 years. For much of Archbishop Jensen’s tenure, Dr Davies served with him as the Bishop of North Sydney.
The other nominee for the post was Canon Rick Smith, the rector of Naremburn/Cammeray, a large church on Sydney’s Lower North Shore.
The final vote came after a complicated process of elimination ballots involving both houses of Synod – clergy and laity (lay people).
During an earlier elimination stage, a mix-up in vote counting made it seem as though Canon Smith had progressed through to the second round of voting. Between the sessions, there was an exhaustive recount which showed he had failed to gain the required majority in both houses.
The election then moved to the final stage and Dr Davies was elected…
A biography of Dr Davies is here.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the election this way: New Anglican Archbishop of Sydney chosen
Bishop Glenn Davies has been elected as the new Archbishop of Sydney.
Dr Davies was elected on Tuesday afternoon by the church’s synod, the governing body comprised of 800 members from 280 churches around Sydney.
The church described Dr Davies’ election victory as “overwhelming”. But it was only reached after problems with vote tallying forced a recount…
Muriel Porter writes for ABC Religion and Ethics The end of the Jensen ascendancy? What the election of Sydney’s new Archbishop means
…It would be fair to say that more moderate Sydney Anglicans approached the Synod on Monday with trepidation, if not foreboding. Particularly those from the dwindling number of traditional Anglican and Anglo-Catholic Sydney parishes feared the worst. They believed they could trust Davies to treat them with respect, but they had no idea how they might fare under Smith.
But when it came to it, the unthinkable happened. Smith did not get enough votes even to become a formal candidate in the first round of Synod voting. Both clergy and laity supported Davies’s candidature, but neither group gave Smith a majority. So last night, it was all over very quickly, with Davies, the only candidate, elected Archbishop with overwhelming support in the 800-strong Synod.
Davies has a maximum term as Archbishop of seven years. By then, Phillip Jensen and many of Smith’s key backers will no longer be Synod members, having reached retirement age. So suggestions that Rick Smith will now be groomed in readiness for another tilt at the top job seem fanciful. This was his backers’ last chance.
Commentators have been suggesting for a while that the ascendancy of the two Jensen brothers and their cohort had passed its peak, which might explain why they banked so much on such a young and relatively inexperienced candidate. A win for Smith would have tied the diocese to a Jensen-style leadership for a couple of decades, giving time for the next wave of hardliners to cement their influence. That will not now happen.
Make no mistake – Davies will not suddenly support the ordination of women priests or the acceptance of same-sex marriage. He will keep allowing deacons to preside at Holy Communion, even though it flies in the face of the rest of the Anglican Church and a decision of the Church’s highest court. The Sydney Diocese will remain deeply conservative.
But hopefully, the diocese’s relationships with the rest of the Anglican Church of Australia – increasingly strained in recent times – will mirror once more the same level of friendship and respect Davies has built across the country. That is perhaps the most important and far-reaching result from this extraordinary election.
Muriel Porter also writes for the Church Times Sydney elects new Archbishop which contains more detail of the election process.
Julia Baird writes for the Sydney Morning Herald The spirit of unity brings peace to a fractured flock
…Three astonishing things happened.
First, kindness and decency punctured old-style bullying and politicking.
Second, openness and transparency trumped harmful innuendo.
Third, young men pushed powerful old men off their perch; and they did so with forcefully gentle arguments. The old way of doing politics in Sydney – at least that which has ruled for the past 20 years – of number crunching, backroom deals and character assassination – was stomped on by rhetoric and reason.
Those who have long defined the diocese as hardline, insular and in opposition to the world, suddenly found they no longer controlled a majority of the synod; not even their old, reliable clergy voting bloc. The long-dominant factional leader Phillip Jensen had made two unfounded attempts late last week to deride Davies as mediocre and theologically suspect on his blog, but this backfired. He is now widely perceived to have lost his influence.
Stephen Judd , veteran synod member and author of Sydney Anglicans, described it as a “changing of the guard”. Others called it a turning point for the entire diocese…