Kanishka Raffel, who was announced as the new Dean of Sydney Anglican Cathedral this Sunday, was good enough to sit down this weekend and answer a few questions for our readers.
I’m very grateful to Kanishka for giving this time in what is an obviously very busy few days!
1. What will you miss most about leaving Perth?
We’re leaving at least one of our daughters behind, so we are going to miss her! It has been wonderful to be part of the St Matthew’s church family over the last sixteen years. Were going to miss the joy and privilege of sharing life in Christ with them – receiving God’s life giving Word in trust and hope and prayerful dependence in all the circumstances of life.
2. What do you think the distinctives of Cathedral ministry are?
I’m looking forward to finding out! My guess is that there are opportunities associated with the location of the Cathedral. It’s place in the city puts it at the intersection of humanity – the homeless, the harried, the high and mighty! Bringing God’s word to people is the heart of ministry; the Cathedral has a distinctive opportunity to reach a very wide spectrum of people with God’s word.
Historically, Cathedrals have associations with preaching, music, mercy and education, to name a few. I suspect there are ministry opportunities associated with each of those spheres. Similarly, Cathedrals have a place in what used to be called civic life which may present unique opportunities for gospel engagement.
Perhaps more than most, Cathedrals attract the ‘off the street’ visitor. They are big, old, anonymous places that many people feel free to walk into in a way they might not of their local suburban church.
No doubt there are distinctive challenges. But maybe I’ll just wait and see!
3. What are you most looking forward to?
It’s a while off yet, but I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the opportunities for preaching and evangelism. I’m looking forward to meeting the Cathedral church family, getting to know them, the challenges they face and the opportunities they have in living for Jesus. I’m looking forward to meeting those already engaged in gospel work in the city and seeing how we can support one another in advancing the interests of the Lord in ‘that great city’.
4. How can people pray for you?
We have five or six months left in Perth. Please pray that we’ll work hard at the things that the Lord still has for us to do here. Pray for the St Matthews church family and the ministry team as they absorb the news and continue in the Lord’s work without us. Pray for the Parish Nominators in the work they will have to do. Please pray for our family as we work through who is going to live where and prepare for the many changes for all of us.
image: Russell Powell, SydneyAnglicans