Friends, I’m truly saddened to report to you the news that Bishop John McIntyre of Gippsland passed away this evening at around 8pm. He leaves his widow Jan and three children.
John was acknowledged by all who knew him to have a fierce love for and desire to protect those who were marginalised in our society, which he saw as a natural outworking of his love for and understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will be sorely missed by many.
I would urge you to pray first and foremost for his family for whom his sudden sickness and loss must be an almost incomprehensible blow and, of course, for the Diocese of Gippsland.
Condolences to family & friends. May John rest in peace, and may we all be moved by his faith and commitment.
David, I thank you for the lovely tribute you have paid to my brother. It is indeed an almost incomprehensible blow to all his family. John's devotion to the gospel of Christ did drive his life; he loved and encouraged all people, yes especially the marginalised, just as Jesus loved and accepted the people he encountered, including those sidelined by others in the society of his day. Jesus made no demands other than that people should follow him. John studied the Scriptures with a careful, intelligent, and humble approach seeking always to reveal the true heart of the gospel. John sought without compromise to the gospel, to take this message of love, this grace, to a postmodern world in a way that can be heard, and seen to be relevant, compassionate and compelling, so that anyone may simply and freely draw near to and serve a loving and accepting God.
Very sad with you, Barbie. xxx
Condolences to his wife Jan and 3 children and his extended family. May his soul rest in peace with the Lord. On behalf of ex Selwyn College students in the Solomon Islands whom Bishop John and his father McIntyre taught.
Barb, Sorry to hear about John. Lovely tribute to him and his work.
John McIntyre was a beacon to all working with Aboriginal people and showed the way to many Christians wanting to work for a better Australia. We are greatly saddened by this loss.
I am sorry.
A great friend, cannot believe he is gone, such a good man, my prayers for Jan and kids Maureen
I'm sorry to hear that Barb.
Barb, sorry for the delay in replying. Thanks for your gracious words. I publicly disagreed and challenged John but I never for a second doubted his genuine zeal or compassion for those he cared about. Many of us who found ourselves on the "opposite side" to John will, nevertheless, be attending on Tuesday and/or praying for you all. We were shocked by the suddenness of his passing.
David, in the month since your reply I have been considering how best I might reply to you. I hope that my words to you will always be ‘gracious’ because this is the true heart of the gospel, embracing notions of acceptance, inclusion, compassion and redemption. It is the environment in which we can grow and become more than we ever thought we could be. And it is this gospel that Johnny sought to bring to many. I will always remember a sermon of John’s at St Saviour’s Redfern where he spoke of our God who approaches us ‘gently’.
With this in mind I want to say how sad it is to see the comments on your blog. After your tribute to John, the next entry was a a diatribe against Bishop Sarah McNeill. I know that Johnny chose not to continue to engage with you through your blog some time ago. I want you to know that your comments are made to living, breathing human beings who are engaged in the gracious work of bringing the love of Christ to hurting people. Your comments are not mere ‘challenges’ , they hurt and can even crucify such gracious messengers of God. ‘Right belief’, as I believe you think your comments are, has often got in the way of true goodness, even the truth. So i would graciously invite you to reflect on the import of your words to real people. Thank you for attending Johnny’s funeral. May we all seek to be united in the gracious work of God.
Thank you for your comment and the gracious spirit in which it was written. I trust you and your family are grieving well (if you understand what I mean).
But with your call for graciousness, can I please take you up on the language of “diatribe”. I’m not sure exactly which piece you’re referring to (and certainly there is no piece about Bishop Macneil immediately after this piece) but whichever it is I am very sure that “diatribe” is certainly not an accurate description. I have sought in all my reporting to state the facts without resorting to personal attacks and the language of “diatribe” is quite unfair. Pointing out what someone has done is not the same as personally attacking them.
Sadly, I didn’t get to go to John’s funeral. I trust it was a helpful time for all.
[…] Goldsworthy has been appointed the new Diocesan bishop of Gippsland, replacing John McIntyre who passed away suddenly earlier this year. (No announcement on the Gippsland website […]