Welcoming the Archbishop

From the Dean

A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.

Originally Published:
7th August 2013

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We welcome Glenn Davies to become our new Archbishop.  Glenn and his wife Di have two adult daughters and he is currently the Bishop of North Sydney.

Last Tuesday night, with an overwhelming support from the Synod, Glenn Davies accepted the invitation to become the next Archbishop of Sydney.  He will be inaugurated in our Cathedral on 23rd August.

Glenn is well known in our diocese, having been the Bishop of the Northern region for the last eleven years.  He grew up in the Northern suburbs, attended Shore and Sydney University, before becoming a teacher in a private school in Willoughby.

He was a member of St Paul’s Seaforth, and after theological study in America, finished his training at Moore College.  He was ordained in our Cathedral in 1981, by Archbishop Loane, to serve a two-year curacy at St Stephen’s Willoughby.  He returned to Moore College as an Old Testament lecturer in 1983.  Glenn undertook doctoral studies at the University of Sheffield, being awarded his degree in 1988.  He returned to Moore to lecture in New Testament till 1995.  From 1995 till 2001, Glenn was the rector of St Luke’s Miranda.  It was from that post the he was invited to become the Bishop of North Sydney.

Glenn is an articulate preacher and a man of great grace and warmth - a man of transparent honesty and integrity.  His concern for the careful exposition of Scripture, his retentive memory of its words and his impressive mind make him an able teacher of God’s word.

He is a people person with his ready wit and relaxed ability to relate warmly to all manner of people.  He engages people with his infectious laugh and good humour.  Yet he is a man of serious concern, whose pastoral advice is delivered with loving wisdom.  He is a man in whom many have great confidence, as they trust him with their burdens.

We need to be praying for Glenn as he takes up his role as Archbishop as he will have some very difficult decisions to make in the coming few months.  The Endowment of the See has not recovered from the financial collapse of a few years ago.  This will require some serious restructuring of the diocese, especially in the number of assistant bishops we will be able to afford.  We are also anticipating that he will be engaged in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  Then there is setting the direction of the next mission of the diocese, and the ongoing concerns to reach our many new citizens (over 1000 new residents every week!).  The future of our multicultural city means we have the opportunity to be missionaries at home as we share the gospel with people from all over the world, but it also means we can no longer rely upon the Anglo-Saxon Christian heritage to maintain our membership.

Prior to the election I informed both candidates and the Administrator of the Diocese, that Helen and I would not be able to attend the inauguration as we will be speaking at a conference in Tasmania.  We had accepted this invitation some considerable time prior to the diocese setting the date of the inauguration.  All concerned thanked me for this communication and wished us well in our ministry in Tasmania.

We welcome Glenn as our Archbishop not only in the formal sense of occupying his seat (his cathedra – his seat), and his formal place as the chairman of our Chapter but also as a member of the family of St Andrew’s Cathedral congregations.