Two former bishops and the outgoing bishop of South Sydney gathered at St Andrew’s Cathedral for the consecration of the new bishop of the region.
Previous bishops John Reid and Peter Watson as well as Rob Forsyth, who retires in three weeks, joined metropolitan Archbishops from around the country in the laying on of hands to consecrate Dr Michael Stead as the new Bishop of South Sydney.
87 year old Bishop Reid, who was bishop of South Sydney from 1972 to 1993, was the oldest present and had to be assisted by other bishops in the long procession of clergy and other leaders.
Dr Stead, who has been rector of Turramurra since 2008, was appointed by Archbishop Glenn Davies in August, with Dr Davies describing him as one of a line of ‘scholar bishops’ in Sydney.
The sermon given by Dr Stead’s colleague and mentor at Turramurra, the Rev Robert Jones, made mention of the new bishop’s academic gifts.
“There is no doubt that you are a gifted teacher – the congregation of St James’s Turramurra knows this, the theological college of this diocese knows how gifted you are, the wider church in Australia has come to realise how gifted you are and to endorse your giftedness and has been blessed in the use of those gifts.” Mr Jones said.
“But there is a further step in this teaching gift which is required of you” Mr Jones told the new bishop. “As a teacher of God’s word and as one who is overseer in the household of God – if you are to introduce others to Jesus, you must constantly be encountering Jesus yourself, listening to him as you read his word and responding to him in loving obedience.”The leaders applaud as the new bishop is presented to the congregation.
The Primate, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier and Adelaide Archbishop Geoffrey Driver were among the leaders attending, and Dr Stead was presented for consecration by the outgoing bishop of South Sydney Robert Forsyth and Archbishop Roger Herft of Perth. Former Archbishops Peter Jensen and Harry Goodhew also took part in the consecration.
The South Sydney region is a diverse area of the Sydney Diocese, including Eastern, South Eastern and inner suburbs of the city as well as Norfolk Island.