Potential Candidates for Bishop of Newcastle

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davidould.net has learned that there are at least three potential candidates for the position of Bishop of Newcastle (the position being vacant since the early retirement of Bishop Greg Thompson).

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Arthur Copeman

Archdeacon Arthur Copeman is the Archdeacon of Newcastle in the Diocese of Newcastle.
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John Stead

John Stead is currently the Bishop of Willochra.
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Peter Stuart

Peter Stuart is the current Bishop Administrator of the Diocese of Newcastle and has served as assistant bishop under Bishops Farran and Thompson.

Readers will be seeking some analysis of the candidates. While, no doubt, in days to come various comments will be made we make the following observations:

  1. Copeman is an evangelical. We understand the diocese would be expected to elect someone regarded as progressive and thus Copeman is unlikely to be elected. There are not enough conservatives in the diocese to influence the election.
  2. Bishop John Stead is a known progressive.
  3. Bishop Peter Stuart may be unable to garner sufficient support across the diocese.

Here at davidould.net we don’t advocate gambling, but if we did our money would be on Bishop Stead.

The bishop discernment process is set out by the diocese here, including a helpful diagram.

Update: The Election Synod has been scheduled for Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 November.


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This Post Has 32 Comments

  1. Bruce Lyon

    There is only one sane and Godly choice.


    1. Bruce Lyon

      But preferably, the Diocese itself should be dissolved, and merged with … say Bathurst .. or Sydney … and become fundamental, and fundamentally, evangelical.

      1. Andrew Lewis

        +1. The Royal Commission allegations were just too shocking to keep this Diocese operational. Is there a legal mechanism to do this though, since dioceses operate independently of each other?

  2. bainesy1980Mark Baines

    I was going to say- “Copeman’s a good guy, isn’t he? He won’t get in.”

    1. Bruce Lyon

      Humanly speaking, it would be less certain. But the Lord can and does work His sovereign Will.

      1. Bruce Lyon

        Need to await the Royal Commission final report and recommendations as to how that door might be opened. Ity would not surprise me if the RCRICA makes some suggestions in such a direction. It would not be a bad move. There are now signs more evangelicals are making ground in Newcastle, but the Episcopal leadership recent track record leaves deep questions. Especially any move to active gay clergy or support for SSM.

      2. Bruce Lyon

        1/ The current Bishop Administrator recently refused to meet with Evangelicals from the Uniting Church including myself in an ecumenical motivated approach.
        2/ He has previously tried to steer me towards a ‘moderate’ middle ground evangelical ‘centre’, Fulcrum. A doomed move.
        3/ He also recently suggested that the Anglican conversation on marriage at General Synod was not certain and definitive, as has been reported at least.

        So I have some concerns for at least one choice of the three, theologically speaking from a conservative evangelical standpoint.

        1. Bernard

          Don’t you think Bishop Peter will be appointed? Isn’t he doing a good job as administer?

  3. Son of Newcastle

    I agree with David in that Stead will get it. For whatever reason Newcastle doesn’t tend to like its own. My guess would be that people let personal issues get in the way of seeing the big picture.

    I have only ever met Coperman in passing (even though I was present at his instalment as Archdeacon) but I find him to be plesent enough and having worked in the same area as him he is kicking goals where others are failing. I think that track record speaks for itself.

    If you had asked me twelve months ago about Stuart I would of said he was past his used by date in the dioces and I was dissapointed when I did not see his name up on any of the selection lists for Bishop in any other dioceses. However the way he has stepped up to the crease since Thompson’s departure has changed this and I think he could have a good go at the top job. He certinally has done well so far being out of Thompson’s and Farrens shadow.

    As to Stead I don’t know anything about him accept he is a progressive (what ever that means these days) which means he will get some support from the more useless factions of the dioces who are content at the troughs. However I think his biggest issue is going to be that he is everyone’s second choice which means he will not have much effective support. This worries me!

    However God will do what he wills and hopefully the faithful of Newcastle will listen. That they can put aside their personal problems and elect a strong and vibrant shepherd.

  4. Neil Payne

    in STEAD of speculating how about a Day of Prayer around the Diocese. If not already considered. Thy will be done.

    1. Greg the Explorer

      We are constantly in prayer around the diocese interceding on behalf of whomever God will chose for our new Bishop.

  5. Greg the Explorer

    Do publishing what is meant to be a confidential list sits well with you does it reverend Ould?

    1. David Ould

      you’re a bit late to the fray, aren’t you Greg?

      1. Greg the Explorer

        Interesting choice of words. I see you still can’t answer a straight question. Late or not you’ve published a confidential list and don’t seem to care about that.

        1. David Ould

          Greg, I care as much as any other journalist when they get a scoop. Enough with the belated faux outrage.

          1. Greg the Explorer

            You’re no journalist so enough with your self righteousness – wether I’m late to your postings or not – you were wrong to post the list and you know this – you understand the way these elections work and the need for confidentiality – the fact that you deem it more beneficial to mock me than to address the issue at hand tells us all we need to know about you and your secretive little gossip circle.

            1. David Ould

              “self-righteousness”? You’re the one who came here to declare people as unrighteous.

              As for a “secretive little gossip circle”, I will only observe that:
              1. It’s not secretive. In fact quite the opposite. This post seeks to make things open and public.
              2. It’s not gossip. It’s the list.

              We’ll obviously disagree on the merits of publishing and we’re all clear now on what you think about it.

              1. Greg the Explorer

                By “secretive little gossip circle” I mean you and your ‘sources’ whose confidentiality, funnily enough, you will no doubt insist upon maintaining.

                Broadcasting what is meant to be confidential is the very definition of gossip David.

                1. David Ould

                  it’s not “funny” to refuse to disclose sources. It’s just good practice.

                  And you’ve already made it clear what you think about the list being published. We’re all in no doubts about what you think.

  6. Greg the Explorer

    By the way you should be grateful you don’t advocate gambling as you would lose your money. Neither you nor your sources have any insight into our diocese.

    1. Geoff Fletcher

      . . . but courtesy of the soon-to-report Royal Commission the world at large has gained much insight into some traditions at Newcastle that we all hope will be abandoned. I do so wish the next Bishop strength & wisdom. Perhaps a new era of transparency might be a good start? Godly action alone, and not church chatter, is what will achieve anything good.

      1. Son of Newcastle

        Umm I think you will find Geoff that those “traditions at Newcastle” are not traditions at all but rather the actions of a small but powerful number of men who abused their positions of trust and powers.

        Greg as to the lack of incite; really? It is not hard to see that the Newcastle Anglican diocese is one that is split along many lines and its members tend to focus on the individual issues rather than the big picture. To name a few of them Catholic v Evangelical, Socially Conservative v Progressive, Theological conservative v progressive, Ministering Communities in Mission V the Parish model, OLMs V stipendry ministry (a little dated now but still there). This is just to name a few of the splits I am sure there are many more lines Novocastrians split along. I do wonder what barrow you are pushing.

        BTW I am not one of Ould’s sources nor do I live in the diocese. However i did grow up there and do hope to return home & work there one day which is why I am using a pseudonym.

        1. Greg the Explorer

          I do wonder what barrow you are pushing.

          I have no barrow – I’m a newly ordained Deacon, so I won’t be present at the election synod. I’m just sick of people outside of the diocese who think they know all about how it works from the inside. The lines are there, yes, but are decreasing in strength and depth. I saw a Catholic speaking to an evangelical at the last clergy learning day!

          hope to return home & work there one day which is why I am using a pseudonym.

          Thats a god idea I suppose.

          1. Son of Newcastle

            If your not using a barrow then why are you having a spray at someone who is giving some fair commentary?

            Also it is ridicules to think that people from different polarities of the Newcastle Diocese don’t talk to each other. A catholic and an evangelical talking to each other is hardly worth noting.

            As to the remark about me using a pseudonym it is called decorum. That is smart!

            1. GregColby

              it is possible to disagree with someone without having a barrow to push

              1. Son of Newcastle

                It is possible to disagree with someone and not have a barrow.

                However given everything else that has been said on this thred & the blog in general it is not a big stretch of the imagination to see a barrow

  7. GregColby

    And you’ve lost your money!

  8. Greg the Explorer

    What happened to your post updating your audience that Bishop Peter was actualy able to “garner [more than] sufficient support across the diocese”? Embarrased that you were so far wrong? Upset that the Synod was actually a hugely positive event, and not divided along the theological party lines as you argued it would be? Why did you post an update and then delete it?

    1. David Ould

      nothing, since I never promised one. I updated my audience through other channels. But since you raise the matter, I am happy to confirm that Bishop Peter Stuart was elected diocesan bishop of Newcastle.
      In the last round of voting, a formality of confirmation, he garnered 71% of the clergy and 74% of the laity.

      1. GregColby

        Am I imagining that you posted an update with those exact numbers either the same or the next day, which has since been deleted?

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