Bishop of Newcastle (Australia) asks clergy to declare any ‘interest’ in GAFCON

1824

The Bishop of Newcastle, Rev Dr Peter Stuart, has asked all his clergy to declare any “interest” in GAFCON or participation in the recent GAFCON Australasia Conference.

The instruction was issued in a letter from the Corporation Secretary and Registrar:

“Dear colleagues,

During the week, at the conference of an organisation called GAFCON Australia, an announcement was made that a company limited by guarantee had been established to enable the creation of an entity called the Diocese of the Southern Cross and that the directors of the company had appointed the former Archbishop of Sydney, Bishop Glenn Davies, as the Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross. Later in the conference, a ceremony was held in which Bishop Davies was commissioned for that role.

Bishop Peter Stuart, as the Diocesan Bishop and Organisation President, has been asked whether the actions of GAFCON Australia in establishing the Diocese of the Southern Cross conflict with the interests of the Diocese of Newcastle and whether a member of a governance body or in leadership role has a conflict-of-interest if they are a member of GAFCON Australia or participated in the formation of the Diocese of Southern Cross. The Bishop has been informed that a member of the Diocesan Council will raise the conflict-of-interest question at each meeting of the Diocesan Council regarding anyone who has the perceived conflict-of-interest engaging in any decision making regarding this Diocese.

The initial legal advice the Bishop has received is that reasonable grounds to examine a conflict-of-interest exist.

In order that the Bishop can consider the steps, if any, which should be taken, could you please advise by return email if

you are a member of GAFCON Australia

you attended the GAFCON Australia Conference in Canberra in August 2022

you attended the event at which the former Archbishop of Sydney was commissioned as the Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross at the GAFCON Australia Conference, or

if none of these apply.

Regards,

Linda Wilson

Corporation Secretary and Registrar”

davidould.net has seen a number of Pastoral Letters sent by various bishops across the country. This communication appears to have a very different tone.