Archbishop’s term extended amid applause, tears

The Diocese of Sydney has announced the extension of the term of office of its most senior cleric, Archbishop Glenn Davies.

Standing Committee has voted overwhelmingly to extend the term of Archbishop Glenn Davies until 2020.

Without the vote, Dr Davies would have been due to retire on attaining the age of 68 years on 26 September 2018.

Dr Robert Tong moved a motion in Standing Committee on Monday, 15th February, 2016 that the Archbishop’s term be extended for another two years.

Dr Davies was elected in August, 2013.

Dr Tong told Standing Committee that the Archbishop has shown leadership in three key areas.

“Clearly by his preaching and modelling servant leadership, he has demonstrated spiritual leadership” he said.

Dr Tong also cited the Archbishop’s leadership in Anglican organisations within and outside of the Diocese and his leadership in the ‘public square’.

“He is across the issues, he makes a contribution and offers leadership from his own experience and learning” Dr Tong said.

The motion, seconded by the Principal of Moore College, Dr Mark Thompson, passed overwhelmingly and was announced to the applause of Standing Committee.

Glenn Davies has been the Archbishop of Sydney since 2013; previously, he was the Bishop of North Sydney.

The news of his extension, however, comes in the wake of discomfort over remarks that Davies recently made at an Anglican Service for Anglican School Leaders. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reports,

Before delivering a speech to year 12 prefects during the Annual Service for Anglican School Leaders on Thursday, Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies faced a series of robust questions from male and female students about the place of women.

In explaining his view that the Bible says men and women have different roles in society and that God intended men to be the “heads” of women, many present believed he was saying women should not aspire to the same career heights as men. …

A prefect at one of Sydney’s most prestigious girls’ schools, who declined to be identified because the students had been advised by their school not to speak to the media, said she and her friends were “angry” and “confused” that the Church was telling them the opposite message about gender equality to that told to them by their parents, educators and society in general. …

However, some school staff in attendance said they did not see anything “out of the ordinary” at this year’s service and that it proceeded as normal. They said if offence was taken, it was because the comments were misinterpreted by the school students.

But one school staff member, who declined to be identified, said he “felt like crying coming out of it”, because it was exactly the opposite of the message that the schools had been trying to drum into their girls.

The Sydney Anglican Diocese told The Drum there was no transcript of the speech delivered by Archbishop Davies, nor would it confirm what was said during the service.

There is one woman listed among the senior clergy on the Diocese of Sydney web page – she is Kara Hartley, the Archdeacon for Women.

Photo: Archbishop Glenn Davies, via Diocese of Sydney



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