Adelaide gathering for cathedral deans

Twenty four cathedral deans met last week at St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide for the first joint meeting of the deans of Australia and New Zealand. The Dean of Adelaide, the Very Rev. Frank Nelson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he was honoured to be hosting the 30 July to 3 August gathering. “It’s a great time of celebration; it’s wonderful to have people prepared to travel so far,” he said. The 18 Australian and 6 New Zealand deans discussed the challenges of urban ministry in a period of declining church attendance. “It’s a time for colleagues to get together, we all work in isolation; you only have one dean per diocese in the Anglican Church, so it’s a time of collegiality of some pretty open and frank sharing and mutual support,” Dean Nelson said. “It’s a well-known phrase in the church that the church is always only one generation away from extinction, and that’s always been true because if the message isn’t handed from one generation to the next it’s going to die out,” he said, telling the ABC: “So it’s always a challenge and sometimes it’s more of a challenge than others, and at one cathedral it might be more of a challenge than other places.”

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