The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced that a church planter, with experience in Australia and overseas, is to be the next Bishop of North Sydney.
The Rev Chris Edwards was the founding minister of Holy Trinity Adelaide Hills, in South Australia, which grew more than tenfold under his leadership. He later led St Paul’s Anglican Church, Tervuren, Belgium and was chairman of its school.
He is 52 years old.
Since returning to Australia, Mr Edwards has been the Mission Director of Anglican Retirement Villages, ARV, in Sydney.
Mr Edwards worked as a marketing executive in the finance and banking sector before studying at Moore Theological College and entering the ministry in 1994 as curate at St George’s Church, Engadine.
The post became vacant when Dr Davies, who had been the Bishop of North Sydney since 2001, was elected Archbishop of Australia’s largest Anglican diocese in August.
The Northern Region contains 64 parishes, including some of the largest churches in Sydney and emerging multicultural ministries.
“Chris is a proven leader, a very effective minister of God’s word, and a faithful and committed pastor. This is an exciting time for outreach in the Northern Region with the good news of Jesus.” Archbishop Davies said.
The Standing Committee of the Diocese overwhelmingly endorsed the nomination of Mr Edwards at its meeting on Monday 11th November, 2013.
The motion to confirm the appointment was moved by Dr Mark Thompson, the principal of Moore Theological College, who described Mr Edwards as “a personal friend as well as a trusted fellow-worker in the service of Christ.”
“In all the time that I have known Chris he has impressed as a man who combines great personal warmth with a determination to be shaped by the teaching of the Bible in the way he approaches everything in life, especially his Christian ministry. His ministry has been a source of great rejoicing and thanksgiving to God in Sydney, Adelaide and Belgium.” Dr Thompson told Standing Committee.
Dr Thompson spoke of the Bishop-elect’s experience, saying “He has exercised effective leadership in what is now an impressive array of situations: parishes in Sydney, Adelaide and Belgium, the Arrow Leadership program in South Australia, African Enterprise in Belgium, a British Primary School in Belgium, a mission society (RETRAK) in Belgium, and most recently the Anglican Retirement Villages in Sydney. What he has brought to each of these settings is a commitment to equipping and enabling others to join in the work of making and growing disciples of Christ.”
“Many of us here might not know him — that’s true, he has spent 17 of the last 20 years outside of this diocese — but those of us who do will be confident that he will continue the good work done by Glenn in the northern region of our diocese” he said. “He is a son of this diocese who understands us and will champion what we stand for. He values our heritage, loves our College, understands both our strengths and our weaknesses” Dr Thompson says.
Mr Edwards will be consecrated Bishop in St Andrew’s Cathedral next May.