New Bishops announced for the Diocese of Wollongong - Australia, South West Florida - USA and the Diocese of Oxford - England.
Archbishop Jensen announces the new Bishop of Wollongong
Last evening Archbishop Peter Jensen brought to the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Sydney the name of the person he seeks to appoint as Assistant Bishop to be the next Bishop of Wollongong. The clergyman is the Rev Alan Stewart, presently CEO of Anglican Youthworks in the Diocese of Sydney.
The Standing Committee overwhelmingly supported the Archbishop's nomination of Alan Stewart as Regional Bishop in Wollongong.
Dr Jensen's statement to the Standing Committee runs as follows:
Alan James Stewart
'Having given you the necessary 25 days' notice of my intention, I wish to bring before the Standing Committee the name of the person I would like to appoint as an Assistant Bishop, to be the next Bishop of Wollongong. I have consulted widely and over a long period, and believe that I have an eminently suitable candidate.
'Alan James Stewart is well known to you all. He is 47 years of age. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Theology and Diploma of Arts in Theology. He studied at Moore College, and served in the parishes of Tregear and Centennial Park. In both parishes he had significant pastoral and administrative responsibilities, including a stint of 18 months as acting minister in charge in Tregear, and the charge of church plants for the parish of Centennial Park. In fact he has considerable experience with the whole business of church planting.
'Since 2002 he has been CEO of Anglican Youthworks, and has exercised a strategic and effective ministry there, being in charge of an organisation with a turnover of over $11 million, and supervision of some 140 persons. He is a well-known and effective platform speaker, and his leadership gifts have recently been recognised by his appointment as chairman of the Katoomba Christian Convention.
'Alan Stewart is a man of great wisdom and godliness. He is full of energy and enthusiasm, and is passionate about the spread of the gospel. He has exhibited skill in the area of strategic planning, and will bring energetic leadership to continue and expand the work of Bishop Piper. I believe that he has the abilities and qualities needed to serve as Bishop of Wollongong, and I recommend him warmly to you, and seek your approval of this appointment.
'He is married to Kathy, and they have four children, Amy, Beth, Gareth and Jo, who are both adult and teenagers. Kathy Stewart is a supportive ministry co-worker with her husband. She has been a member of Council of St Catherine's School for Girls since 2004 and was a member of the Women's Ministry Leadership Teams when they were at both St Matthias and Wild Street congregations. She is noted for her welcoming Christian hospitality and I am certain she will be a valuable pastor and friend to clergy wives in the Wollongong region.
'After an outstanding and significant ministry, Bishop Reg Piper will retire from the position of Bishop of Wollongong in February 2007 to become the rector of Gymea parish. At this stage it is anticipated that the Rev Alan Stewart will become Bishop of Wollongong in early April after his consecration in St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney.
'As required before this appointment is made, the majority of the Metropolitans, as required by the Ordinance, have certified that a sufficient stipend will be provided.
'The new Bishop would be paid the usual stipend and allowances for an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese, as previously agreed by resolution of Standing Committee.'
Southwest Florida elects Dabney Smith as bishop coadjutor
The Rev. Dabney Smith was elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Southwest Florida on the first ballot Saturday, December 9.
Smith, 53, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, New Orleans, was elected out of a field of six nominees at St. Peter's Cathedral in downtown St. Petersburg. Smith was elected with 133 lay votes and 50 clergy votes. An election on that ballot required 107 votes in the lay order and 45 in the clergy order. A total of 301 votes were cast.
Smith will become the fifth bishop of the diocese when Bishop John Lipscomb, 56, retires in 2009. Lipscomb has been bishop since 1997.
Under the canons the Episcopal Church (III.11.4(a)), a majority of the bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan Standing Committees must consent to Smith's ordination as bishop.
Smith has been rector of Trinity Church, New Orleans, since January 2005. The church, with about 2,500 members and seven associate clergy, includes Trinity Episcopal School, and a counseling and training center.
Earlier Smith served at Holy Trinity, Melbourne, Florida; St. Michael and All Angels, South Bend, Indiana; and Grace Church, Port Orange, Florida. He earned a B.A. in broadcasting production from the University of South Florida, Tampa (1980); an M. Div. from Nashotah House in Wisconsin, cum laude (1987); and a D. Min. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, with special focus on congregational development (1999).
Smith grew up in Florida. He and his wife, Mary Ellen, married in 1975 and are the parents of three grown children, two daughters and a son.
New Bishop of Oxford Announced
The next Bishop of Oxford will be the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Downing Street announced today. He will succeed the Rt Revd Richard Harries who retired in June this year after 19 years in office.
Bishop John, who is 58, is currently Suffragan Bishop of Jarrow in the Diocese of Durham. He has previously been Archdeacon of Canterbury and Warden of Cranmer Hall in Durham.
The Bishop of Oxford leads the Church of England in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. As the senior bishop in the Diocese, he leads a large team and is expected to have a wide-ranging role across the Thames Valley area as well as national responsibilities.
Bishop John has a special interest in mission and evangelism, and in new ways of framing and expressing the gospel. He is committed to world development issues and their relation to national and personal choices. He has an enthusiasm for equipping adults to be everyday disciples, and has long been involved in training for ministry.
Bishop John said: 'Coming to the Diocese of Oxford is an unexpected honour and privilege. Through the years I have looked at the Diocese from afar and much admired what I've seen. Little did I think I would have the opportunity to make a contribution to the life and vitality of the Diocese and the wider community. I shall give it everything I've got but will need to start with a great deal of listening and learning. Please be patient!'
Bishop John was commended to the Queen by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Crown Nominations Commission, which included six people elected to represent the Diocese. The appointment follows extensive public consultation across the Diocese.
The Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester, who has been Acting Bishop of Oxford during the interregnum, said: 'I've know John for many years and I am delighted he will be joining us here in the Diocese of Oxford. I know he will be a strength and an inspiration to the team.'
Penny Keens, who chaired the Vacancy-in-See Committee, said: 'Bishop John has a track record as a leader in mission, he is passionate about faith in Jesus Christ and making known the good news of the Gospel, a man of prayer, and has a great knowledge of the Scriptures. We warmly welcome his appointment, and look forward to getting to know him - as he gets to know us - and moving forward together in our vision for 'Sharing Life' in the Diocese of Oxford.'
Bishop John's ministry in Oxford will begin with a service of inauguration early next summer. The date has not yet been set.