Things I appreciate about the Anglican scene in Sydney

Posted: February 28, 2012 by J in Church

Alright, so you won’t get a post like this every week here at The Grit, don’t get to like it too much.

But there are heaps of things I love about the Sydney Anglican Diocese – which I am part of. Here are some of them:

* RBS Hammond

* Biblical Theology. Where else in theworld do the churches have such a commitment to telling and hearing and thinking the Bible story?

* It’s not hierarchical. Not in practice. The administration is very hands off, there’s heaps of freedom. That’s rare and precious. Great attitude to the role of Diocesan leaders.

* Flowing from that, Diversity. Seriously. Different styles, different ministry approaches and structures, different ways of expressing the faith, different languages, co-existing and tolerated. There’s more diversity out there than you think.

* Its keenness for mission. I love that.

* The parish system. An awesome mission structure. We take responsibility for reaching our whole city, our whole diocese.

* We like church planting. Or at least tolerate it!

* Connected to those two, we’re simultaneously supporting/valuing the parish system, and also being flexible about it to make sure it doesn’t limit gospel ministry opportunities. And that results in messy structures. I love it that we do that.

* Deep breath: we (mostly) don’t encourage women to head up congregations. We allow it. They do it. We ordain women for ministry and leadership. All good. But we recognise that women as ‘senior ministers’ is not ideal. Even though we cop so much flack for it. I appreciate that. I think it’s the right stance, and it’s in line with what most people in our churches think.

* SweatCon – a conference dedicated to encouraging local leaders for gospel ministry in the churches of Sydney’s south west

* The EU at Sydney uni: some of the guys I admire most got their grounding in the gospel there. (I see this as part of the Anglican scene)

* Dan Webster, fighting the good fight at Revesby Anglican Church. He’s a hero.

* We don’t have lots of assets we’re sitting on. I like that!

* Andrew Cameron, one of our ethics dudes, who stays calm and treats people as humans even if he disagrees with them

* The Moore College class of 2009 – an extraordinary bunch of guys. I love and admire them.

* Richard Gibson, the best lecturer, teacher and inspirer I had at college. He also helped me be a less boring preacher.

* My rector Campbell King, a truly humble man

* The Diocese has produced scholars Bill Dumbrell and Peter Bolt. Check out ‘The Faith of Israel’ or ‘The Cross from a distance.’ Gold.

* It doesn’t support Fred Nile. (Please don’t tell me it supports Fred Nile!)

* Did I mention RBS Hammond? He’s the real hero of the Sydney church story. If I could be one fiftieth of him, I’d be thrilled. In fact, if the whole diocese was achieving what he achieved single-handed, I’d be happy. (to find out more, click here)

Yes, alright, you can go ahead and add to this with your favourite things that I haven’t mentioned.

  1. Well, on the Fred Nile front, there are some people within the Sydney Diocese that are fairly involved with Fred and Festival of Light ( or whatever it is called these days).
    I probably wouldn’t be so harsh on him either (though I’d disagree with a bunch of his tactics). I did work experience with Fred Nile’s political advisor back in the 90’s and it was fascinating to watch how he acted and then how it was portrayed in the media.

    My big appreciation is that people care.
    people in Sydney really care about getting it right

    • Jonathan says:

      This isn’t a post about Fred, so I’ll keep it brief. I try not to base my view of him on what the media says – they always try to make him look bad. Rather on reports from Christians who’ve been involved with him personally, and on his own published material and public statements. Fred doesn’t need help from anyone to look bad.

      I’m sure there are individuals who support him, but as far as I know he’s not getting publically endorsed by anyone in leadership in the diocese.

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