In an ad clerum issued last night Archbishop Philip Freier of Melbourne, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, announced to his clergy that has has “obtained the concurrence of the Council of the Diocese” to appoint Genieve Blackwell, currently Assistant Bishop in Canberra-Goulburn, as the new Assistant Bishop in Melbourne.

Archbishop Freier wrote,

She comes to us with great experience of fruitful ministry and leadership in some tough places. Bishop Genieve will give very effective leadership amongst us in the Diocese of Melbourne. Please pray for Bishop Genieve, her husband John and their two children as they prepare for this transition. The commencement date is to be agreed.

From the Canberra Goulburn Diocese website:

Bishop Genieve Blackwell

Bishop Genieve BlackwellThe Right Rev’d Genieve Blackwell is Regional Bishop in Wagga Wagga.

On March 31 2012, she became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Province of NSW and the third in Australia, at a service held at St Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn.

Bishop Genieve was born in Western Australia, the daughter of a Methodist minister, but grew up near Wagga. After university, she trained at Moore Theological College, Sydney, from 1989 to 1992 and ministered in the NSW central-west parishes of Gulgong and Grenfell before moving to Yass, near Canberra in 2005. She was Archdeacon for Rural Ministry from 2007 to 2012.

Bishop Genieve is also Rector of St Paul’s,Turvey Park, a suburb of Wagga. She is married to John and has two children, Baith and Harry.

Bishop Genieve replaces Bishop Barbara Darling who retired earlier this year.

 

47 comments on “Bishop Genieve Blackwell translated from Canberra to Melbourne

    • Brother, I think you might be confused regarding what the Anglican Futures Conference is about. The conference and its sponsoring organisations (FCA, EFAC etc.) do not in any way position themselves against ordained and episcopal ministry by women in the church. Nor did GAFCON. So really this appointment has no significance for that conference at all. Indeed I am sure Bishop Genieve would be welcome to be involved in the conference if she wished to do so!

      I am delighted to welcome Bishop Genieve to Melbourne. I praise God for his providing us a leader who can be commended in the ways she has been in this thread. May her ministry bear much fruit amongst us to the praise of his glory.

        • Bruce, you are thinking of Bishop Kay Goldsworthy who was just appointed Diocesan of Gippsland. Bishop Genieve has never been in Perth Diocese.

          I did not ‘suggest GAFCON is pro-female episcopal ministry’, I just said they ‘do not position themselves against’. Which is precisely what the link you provided affirms in detail. GAFCON recognised that there was a divergence of views amongst orthodox Anglicans on the roles of women in the church and chose not to make that divergence a division between us.

          • Thanks Matthew for your insight and correction. I stand corrected on this claim.

            Yet, AAFC in Melbourne 2015 remains important against SSM, and for those who cannot subscribe to female Bishops.

            Indeed. Which is why AAFC is so useful, to provide alternate episcopal oversight for those who cannot in good conscience submit to a female diocesan bishop, or even sufferage female bishops, of whom there are more than a few.

  1. As Chair of Parish Council of St Pauls Turvey Park Wagga Wagga, I wish to affirm that Genieve has had a much appreciated ministry at St Pauls for the last nearly 3 years.She is a godly and gracious woman, a proven leader, a good people person, and above all a good preacher of God’s Word (her Moore College background really shows especially in her OT preaching !!), so while it will be a big loss for Wagga and the Canberra and Goulburn Diocese, it will be good gain for Melbourne. We wish her well.

    • Thanks Peter – that’s a fantastic endorsement and I know that Melbournians are hoping and praying for such a ministry within our diocese.

    • But Peter,

      1/ does Bishop Genieve preach against same sex marriage and blessing of same sex relationships ?
      2/ does Bishop Genieve affirm the 39 articles, in particular the bodily Resurrection of Christ as a real space time factual event ? and the miracles ?

    • Peter, that’s great to hear, and it indicates she is a great minister of the gospel. But she can’t be a bishop. The scriptures are very clear that only men are called to that ministry, likewise to the ministry of presbyteros (priest) leading a congregation. If the Anglican Church of Australia persists in going against God’s word like this, it will eventually call down the Lord’s righteous discipline on itself.

      • 100% with you Michael.

        The scriptural pecking order in my Bible says God the Father, God the Son, husband then wife. Hence wives submit to husbands and husbands submit to Jesus.

        Woman was created from man and husbands have an inbuilt natural instinctive authority….it’s just something inbuilt in men.

        There is no way a woman will have the same authority or respect as a man, it’s the natural order of things and as l see it will produce a falling away of the male congregation.

        If we sow this seed, give it time and we’ll harvest emptier churches than we have now.

        Why women want to do a mans job always beats me.

        • Indeed. Which is why AAFC is so useful, to provide alternate episcopal oversight for those who cannot in good conscience submit to a female diocesan bishop.

        • Hi Nigel,

          I was genuinely unsure about whether this was a troll. However just in case it isn’t: I think there are some quite sophisticated arguments in favor of a “complementarian” reading of Scripture but your argument here strikes me as patriarchy rather than careful exegesis. I think it is probably more helpful not to use phrases such as “pecking order” which strongly imply inferiority – something that I’m sure you don’t mean in the case of God the Son and assume you don’t mean in the case of women. Furthermore, whatever Scriptural support there is for male authority in the church I just don’t think you can get “inbuilt natural instinctive authority” for men from Scripture.

          Finally on the topic of women wanting to do a “man’s job” can I refer you to Dorothy Sayers excellent little essay, many decades old now, entitled “Are women human?”. It is particularly addressed at this question and while not the last word on the subject is very thought-provoking I think.

          I doubt that much fruitful discussion is likely to arise here so, apart perhaps for minor clarifications if required, I don’t propose getting into a debate.

          • Hi Jenny,
            Yep agree to disagree. The bottom line is, in my mind Gods intent that man should “lead and head the church”, not women.

            Women wanting to do this is also in my mind one of many multiple phenomenons happening today which clarify to me that the end is very near.

          • Of course, there are some Christian Churches that have rejected completely the episcopal system of church overseers being a single male person entirely, due to the litany of episcopal failures and abuses of power throughout church history, and opted for a Presbyterian style of church governance to replace a single person Bishop with a group of clergy who act as ‘bishop/overseer’ when they come together in a constituted grouping …

            This has one advantage of removing the ‘sex’ of the person from the debate of male / female overseer …

            For example, Presbyterian Church of Australia …

      • ‘The scriptures are very clear…’. It would be great if those who make such assertions prefaced them with ‘in my opinion’.
        It may be ‘very clear’ to you, Brother, but there are other interpretations of the same Scriptures!

        • well it’s certainly true that there are other “interpretations” of a number of things but surely the simple fact that they exist doesn’t in itself validate them. I assume that MichaelA is refering to statements such as

          1Tim 3:2The “bishop” [“overseer” in the greek] is to be … the husband of one wife.

          I have to agree that there would certainly be other “interpretations” of that statement but any that don’t get properly to grips with the fact that Paul clearly expects the overseer to be a man really have to come under some questioning.

          • Agree with you 1001% David!

            It also beats me why for the last 2000 years it has been men as Bishops and now women want to usurp a mans role in so many areas……no wonder young guys growing up in today’s world now have an identity crisis as to what a man is.

            This in my mind could be a subliminal flow on from the women’s lib movement.

            As for saying “in my opinion”, well, if God clearly says it in God breathed scripture that’s good enough for me i.e. Gods dictated word via Paul.

            If we want to slice and dice the Bible and reinterpret what is as clear as day then we might just as well throw the Bible out the window.

          • ‘Paul clearly expects the overseer to be a man’. At that time and place? – of course. But are you saying, David, that the prevalent gender stereotypes of the Mediterranean world in the first century AD and instructions for historically specific contexts should remain set in stone for Christian people for all time? This rather negates the concept of the Scriptures as the ‘word of God is living and active’ (Heb. 4:12), engaging with and challenging people’s lives at a somewhat deeper spiritual level. Should women still be wearing hats (but not mitres!) in church?!

          • ‘Paul clearly expects the overseer to be a man’. At that time and place? – of course. But are you saying, David, that the prevalent gender stereotypes of the Mediterranean world in the first century AD and instructions for historically specific contexts should remain set in stone for Christian people for all time? This rather negates the concept of the Scriptures as the ‘word of God is living and active’ (Heb. 4:12), engaging with and challenging people’s lives at a somewhat deeper spiritual level. Should women still be wearing hats (but not mitres!) in church?!

          • “‘Paul clearly expects the overseer to be a man’. At that time and place? – of course.”

            Hi John, why would you assume that? What in Paul’s words makes you think that he is restricting his words to any particular time?

            “…the prevalent gender stereotypes of the Mediterranean world in the first century AD and instructions for historically specific contexts…”

            Come now – when Paul says “the overseer must be the husband of one wife”, what in those words is hard to understand? He neither says nor implies that his words are directed to a particular time.

            Let’s take your argument to its logical conclusion, by looking at the words that follow in 1 Timothy 3:2: Paul says the Bishop must be “not a drunkard” – do you therefore argue that today a Bishop is permitted to be a drunkard because it’s no longer the 1st century AD? And Paul then says that a Bishop must be “not violent” – do you therefore argue that he can now be violent because it’s no longer the 1st century AD? That is where the argument you are using inevitably leads.

            There is nothing to indicate that Paul means his words otherwise than in their plain sense – as an Apostle commissioned directly by God to give His commands to the whole church.

            “This rather negates the concept of the Scriptures as the ‘word of God is living and active’ (Heb. 4:12), engaging with and challenging people’s lives at a somewhat deeper spiritual level.”

            I don’t understand your point – Hebrews 4:12 says this: “ For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” What in those words justifies us in trying to wriggle out of Paul’s plain words?

            “Should women still be wearing hats (but not mitres!) in church?!”

            Read the scriptures and the answer will become apparent to you (the relevant passage is in 1 Corinthians 11).

          • yes, I’m always intrigued when people suggest that the same apostle who wrote

            Rom 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

            actually simply conformed to the pattern of this world.

        • “It would be great if those who make such assertions prefaced them with ‘in my opinion’.”

          Everything I write is my opinion John. Just as everything you write is your opinion. If you assume that everything written by everyone about anything is prefaced by “in my opinion”, you will have no problem.

          If you have reason to believe that my opinion is incorrect, by all means feel free to explain why.

  2. On behalf of Tumbarumba, congratulations Genieve. God grant you safe travel and an ease of transition. Donna McLean-Beehag

  3. Dear Melbourne brothers and sisters – you are receiving a truly beautiful daughter of Christ, who will share with you her God given gifts unstintingly. I have worked with her when I was a lay member of Braidwood Parish Council and +Genieve was Archdeacon for Rural Ministry and more recently, after my own ordination as a Deacon, on a Diocesan committee. + Genieve, may God continue to bless you and your family in your new calling.

  4. I am not going to enter into prolonged ill-informed and unnecessary debate. I refer fair minded people to Matthew William’s gracious and wise comments in this thread, and to more generous evangelical views on the subject in the latest edition of EQUIP Issue 23 DEC 2014 where articles on gender issues and women’s ministry by Gordon Preece and Denise Cooper-Clarke bear very careful reflection by all who wish to have a rounded view of the contemporary evangelical world and its challenges, and I am one of those.

    • Hi Peter, we all like to label those who hold different opinions to our own as being less “rounded”, “generous” and “fair minded” than we are – its a natural human reaction.

      The issue for those who hold to the same view as the Christian church has held for millenia is simply this – our fair minded and informed reading of the scriptures indicates that the Lord has taught that only men (and only some of them) are called to be leaders of churches. We therefore cannot accept the ministry of Genevieve or Kay as a bishop.

      They may well be all that you and others describe, and very well suited to Christian ministry and called to it, but not as a bishop or priest.

  5. Reflecting on the overall subject I cannot help express my dislike for the admittedly ecclesiatical term “translated”. It sounds pompous, and Genieve is anything but that. It sounds old fashioned and antiquated. I think it would go way above the head of the average person in the pews, let alone people in the street !
    Why not use much simpler language “like Bishop Genieve has accepted the call of God to move to Melbourne to a full time assistant bishop position.” ??
    I know for one that she found the dual role of regional bishop and rector of a parish (plus caring for family) in Wagga very demanding. But she has done a good job with all three !

    • I think I agree in part, Peter. Although “translated” is the correct term. Some, of course, may argue that there is altogether too much pomposity about some bishops! Glad to hear that Genieve has done well in Wagga. I’m one of those that are opposed to the consecration of women but we can still recognise the sincere efforts to be faithful and work towards gospel outcomes.

  6. And, the reason we cannot accept it is it is not scriptural.

    I feel so sorry for new bottom rung Christians trying to make sense of things when the “learned and wise” go against scripture with such things as women bishops, homosexual ministers, homosexual marriage and the denial of the virgin birth for starters.

    Woe betide to those that teach this and are responsible for new Christians giving up and/or the unsaved shunning Christianity.

    Oh for Paul to review today’s churches and write additional letters.

    Just as well we have a long suffering patient God or l could see so many getting zapped off the planet.

  7. In response to:

    January 12, 2015 at 7:35 pm
    yes, I’m always intrigued when people suggest that the same apostle who wrote

    Rom 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
    actually simply conformed to the pattern of this world.

    Absolutely. Very much food for thought. Love it !!!

  8. Congratulations Genieve! May God continue to bless you and use you to do great things in Melbourne as you respond to this calling to serve as a bishop there. You will, of course, be much missed by your friends in Canberra and Goulburn!

    • Hi Consuela …….Re Genieve’s “great things”, the greatest thing we can ever do save people from an eternity in hell and keep on sowing the seeds that cause the fallen to come to realise they are sinners and their need to repent of their sin and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

      This leadership role in the church has for 2000 years been the male role as per scripture ………and now women all of a sudden want to change things. In years to come l am sure we will see the folly of this too late when the churches have lost the respect of the masses and are empty.

      There is something so strange and unnatural when a man goes to church and the preacher is a woman.

      I also believe this phenomenom has undertones of the battle of the sexes in the same way today that wives are aghast that they are supposed to submit to their husbands. Women will never have the same authority as a man. That’s how the world was made.

      You only have to look at a simple family……who is the father? Who has the natural overarching authority. Not the mother, that’s for sure. One parent fatherless families are another example in our faces today…….does the mother have authority? Certainly not, look at all the fatherless out of control teenage boys who have gone astray because they have not had the authority and discipline of a father……this is something only a man has.

      Similarly in the church, the man has a natural God given authority that gets through, not the woman.

  9. As one who has been called to ministry at different times in four dioceses (including Sydney) I have been privileged work with and to be ministered to by women (lay and ordained), while respecting and working with people who do have different views on this matter. With respect, Nigel, I do not feel any sense of this being “strange and unnatural”, nor do I believe I have compromised my evangelical faith and respect for the authority of scripture. I do find some of your comments puzzling. The change concerning the role of women has not been “sudden” and has not been driven only by women. It as not a “women’s rights” issue and should not be seen as a “battle of the sexes”; rather, it is a theological question concerning the nature of authority and our understanding of ministry. I agree entirely on the place for both father and mother in our families, but the simple presence of a father does not guarantee a functional family, nor does a single-parent family necessarily become dysfunctional. I personally know several mothers who have loved and nurtured children well despite the absence of a father within the family. Recently I have been led to consider how the same passages of scripture used to justify male headship have been used to justify slavery. Church history has many examples of leaders who have argued from scripture that slavery is a “natural, God-given” part of human society (as well as those who have argued otherwise, of course).
    As assistant priest at Sale Cathedral I am awaiting with my colleagues the coming of Kay Goldsworthy as our new bishop. We face interesting times!

    • Lloyd, how do you reconcile yourself as an “evangelical” and “sola scripture” with 1 Cor 11:3

      “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”

    • Good point, Bruce. To which I would add:

      “Therefore a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife … he must manage his household well …for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” [1 Tim 3:2-5]

      “appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers” [Titus 1:5] The word “elder” is presbyteros in Greek or as we shorten it in Anglicanism, “priest”.

      The scriptures are clear that bishops and elders require a number of qualifications, including that they be male.

  10. Bruce . . the interpretation of this verse has been much discussed by theologians from Augustine onwards . . how do we understand “head” in this context? Paul is writing about church order and marriage and is surely speaking about voluntary submission as exemplified by Christ himself. To embrace the concept of the eternal submission of the Son to the Father is to be inconsistent with the scriptural doctrine of the Trinity. I would read this verse in conjunction with other Pauline passages e.g. 1 Cor.11:11, Gal. 3:28 and especially Eph. 5:21ff..
    Are you implying that as an evangelical I should not hold an egalitarian view? This view is consistent with evangelical scholars such as Michael Green, Leon Morris, F F. Bruce and, more recently, Kevin Giles.
    As an ordained Anglican minister I subscribe to the rule of “sola scripture” as expressed in Article VI which stresses the sufficiency of scripture. Its authority does not exist apart from its interpretation . . both of which derive from the Holy Spirit who continues to work within us.
    I won’t make any further comments here . . but let’s continue to prayerfully and gracefully reflect on this matter!

    • Lloyd, the problem with this argument is it avoids the explicit teaching of scripture on this point. See my post above, in particular the references to 1 Tim 3:2-5 and Titus 1:5. The scriptures are clear that bishops and elders require a number of qualifications, including that they be male.

    • I am truly gosbstopped Lloyd.

      Your comment reveals, what is in my opinion, a severe depletion of and orthodox and correct understanding of the Trinity itself and the Godhead.

      I know you wish to make no further comment. But I find myself absolutely needing to correct this misunderstanding. To suggest that Jesus is not eternally in submission to God the Father ?

      Where on earth does this crazed concept arise? Because it does not seem to me to arise in the Scriptures.

      You seem to suggest that God the Father in the scheme of eternity, abdicates?????

  11. Bruce . . I don’t have all the answers on the complex doctrine of the Trinity but the concept above is hardly “crazed” being consistent with orthodox understanding as expressed in the Nicene and Athanasian creeds, writers such as Augustine and Calvin and the Anglican Articles I an II . . not to say Scripture passages such as Phil. 2:5-11, Col. 15-20 and John 10:30, 10:37-8, 15:26 et. al. No more comment from me . . let’s continue to study and pray with humility and grace . .

  12. ……and, dare l say it, guidance from the Holy Spirit and not mere man’s interpretation.

    What rings in my ears with all the theology geniuses and elite is:

    1. 1 Corinthians 1 v 27: God confounds the wise; and
    2. Mathew 18 v 3: Unless you hear as little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Now that’s scary, very scary.

  13. So, here we go again…..yet another woman bishop.

    With the unbiblical UK consecration of Libby Lane subconsciously playing on my mind l awoke in the early hours of this morning with the following words of Satan ringing in my ears……..”Did God really say”.

    Yep, as Eve was deceived, the aspiring New Eves of the church have now being deceived with these same words….with the New Adams of the church going along with it.

    But there is hope with one person, the Rev Paul Williamson speaking out at the consecration service saying that it is unbiblical. Good on him for saying what the voiceless majority wanted to say!

    And lastly, what a terrible shame for this anti God irreverent act to happen under the roof of the beautiful York Cathedral. Another thing our forefathers would never ever have dreamt of.

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