For the last 6 months members of the Diocese of Sydney have been having conversations amongst themselves about who should replace Peter Jensen as Archbishop when he retires in a few months. Several names have been canvassed and considered. Options have been aired and then rejected and a few names have kept cropping up.
This weekend what many have known became official. The first candidate has thrown their hat into the ring. Glenn Davies, current bishop of the Northern Region of Sydney has allowed himself to be nominated for the position of Archbishop. The announcement was made in the form of a brochure sent to many synod reps (being not yet officially appointed I haven’t received my copy but I saw one at another minister’s house this morning). The brochure sets out the argument for Davies and points readers on to a website, glenndavies.info.
Commending Dr Glenn Davies
For the Office of Archbishop of Sydney
In August, we will meet to elect the twelfth Bishop of Sydney. Our prayer is that God will raise up a godly and gifted shepherd to pastor and lead us, to engage publicly with our wider society, and to defend, preserve, and strengthen our evangelical Anglican heritage both within and beyond the Diocese.
For this reason, we are writing to commend to you the Rt Rev Dr Glenn Davies, Bishop of North Sydney, for your prayerful consideration as the next Archbishop. We believe that Glenn is the man whom God has raised up and equipped for this difficult task, for the following reasons.
Glenn exemplifies all the qualities of a Bishop, as set out in the Pastoral Epistles. His ministry as Bishop of North Sydney over the past 12 years has demonstrated this, confirming the judgment of our present Archbishop in appointing him.
Glenn has the proven ability to lead and manage an organisation as large and complex as our Diocese. With his experience as a Bishop overseeing 64 parishes, and his long involvement in many key Diocesan entities, there is no one better placed to be able to take on this demanding role. He is a team player who leads collaboratively and effectively.
Glenn has the theological acumen required of the chief pastor-teacher of our Diocese. Glenn is respected, nationally and internationally, as a teacher, preacher and theologian.
Glenn has a pastor’s heart. He engages others with a pastoral sensitivity that is compassionate and engenders trust.
Glenn is an accomplished media spokesperson, with considerable public exposure and media experience that has won respect in the wider community.
Glenn has demonstrated the grace and courage to commend and defend the gospel in Australia, and globally through GAFCON and other international bodies.
We warmly commend Glenn to you.
There’s no doubt at all that Glenn is a strong candidate and the website seeks to set out exactly why that is the case. It’s no secret that here in Sydney he’s long been considered the default heir of Jensen’s seat, but that’s not the same as saying his election in the upcoming election synod is a foregone conclusion. Precisely because there are many who have their doubts about Davies there’s been talk of other candidates and again it is no secret to tell you that Rick Smith (the current rector of Naremburn/Cammeray) is very likely to be officially nominated in the coming weeks. There will probably be a couple of other names added too but at the moment Davies and Smith are widely acknowledged to be the main candidates.
Which to pick? It’s a dilemma that would be wonderful for pretty much any diocese in the world, but Sydney is particular about it’s Archbishops. We won’t settle for a good choice, we want to make sure we get the best choice. And yes, I’ll be having more to say about that choice in the weeks to come.
Given the importance of Sydney Diocese, particularly within the FCA/GAFON movement, I join with many here in Sydney, no matter who they’re backing, in asking for your prayers for this enormous decision.