Page 1


Annual Review

2015-2016 1

Contents 3

Charge to Synod


Archdeacon of Newcastle


Year in Review


Our Organisations


Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation


Anglican Savings and Development Fund


Vocational Discernment and Formation

Mission Giving


Social Justice Task Force

36 Samaritans 38

Anglican Care

40 Manning Valley Anglican College 42

Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College

44 Lakes Grammar - An Anglican School 46

Scone Grammar School


Mission to Seafarers


Mothers’ Union


Anglican Women

51 Cursillo Cover photo courtesy of Murray Hicks Bishop Greg visited the Albion Farm Gardens in Woodville in September to bless a multi-faith bridge, constructed from stone given by a variety of faith communities.

Acknowledgement of country and traditional owners We acknowledge Aboriginal Peoples are Australia’s first Peoples and the Traditional Owners and Custodians 2

CHARGE TO SYNOD Presidential Address to the Third Session of the Fifty First Synod of the Diocese of Newcastle The Right Reverend Dr Peter Stuart ASSISTANT BISHOP INTRODUCTION

Wiyalita Yirri Yirri With these words from the Awabakal people meaning, “We gather to speak in a sacred way”, we begin the important work of an annual Synod. I welcome the members of the Synod together with those visiting to observe and encourage us in our work.

Facing the past and shaping a healthy future Our gathering is affected profoundly by the absence of our Bishop. The events surrounding the Royal Commission have had a significant impact on him and his family. I know that you join with me in offering our love and our prayers to Bishop Greg, to Kerry and to their family. I had never imagined that I would be giving an address to you at this Synod. Bishop Greg and I have talked a lot about what would need to come after the hearings were completed. In October, we met with a group of people to explore the work that this Synod needed to do around healing and growth. Our shared passion was shaping a healthy future as we continued to face the past. My words today draw from those important conversations while recognising that our context is different to what we imagined it might be. My words are also shaped by the amazing experience of grace that I encountered in the corridors of the Royal Commission. I was deeply moved by some private conversations with survivors of abuse within our Diocese. I honour those who have bravely brought their testimony before us and continued to do so even when we weren’t listening. We are offered an undeserved gift of healing and grace when any survivor extends a hand towards us. My words are also affected by the reality that, this week, a priest who served in this Diocese in the seventies and eighties has been gaoled for child abuse within the Diocese. I encourage members of Synod, who are able to, to read the Newcastle Herald article and seek to understand the experience of victims and survivorsi. We are often reminded that a very significant part of the healing for some victims is to see their perpetrators brought to justice through the courts. They look to us to be openly supportive of those processes.

In this room there are survivors, family and friends of survivors, clergy and members of congregations affected by abuse. Members of Synod, I invite you to stand in silence and hold before God all who have been affected by abuse and those who support them. They are amazing people. As I have wrestled with my thoughts for today, I have been drawn a number of times to Holy Saturday – the day between Good Friday and Easter Day. In the more liturgical expressions of Anglicanism, the movement from the Last Supper to the Resurrection is celebrated with varied liturgies and solemnities. It is often described as a journey as people rehearse the events of those holy days of such cosmic significance. Interestingly, the Western Church, both catholic and reformed, does not provide a specific liturgy for Holy Saturday. However, the Orthodox Church does engage with this day of waiting. They call it, “Great Saturday”. It “is the day between Jesus’ death and His resurrection. It is the day of watchful expectation, in which mourning is being transformed into joy”. “The solemn observance of Great Saturday helps us to recall and celebrate the great truth that ‘despite the daily vicissitudes and contradictions of history and the abiding presence of hell within the human heart and human society,’ life has been liberated! Christ has broken the power of death.”ii Right now, I think our Diocese is experiencing something of Holy Saturday. We are caught between lament, as we face the past, and hope, as we see some of the fruit emerging as we seek to embrace a healthy future.


Our shame in art There is no doubt that Holy Saturday is a complex place to be. I carried a sense of it with me in the days following the Royal Commission hearings. The enormity of what I had heard over many days weighed heavily on me. The words of a Royal Commission staffer continued to ring in my ears. She said, “Will anything change as a result of all of this?” In an endeavour to rest awhile I went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In the contemporary art section I was confronted by a new acquisition created by the artist Nell (she doesn’t disclose her surname). The piece is entitled Where Newcastle meets Maitland. You will see that the name of the two cities is depicted in the form of a cross. The artwork is described as “a banner of passionate protest”. This protest is identified in the art gallery note as focussed on “sexual violence against women”. Yet, when reading the news articles that form

part of the work, the harm caused within the Anglican and Catholic churches, that are identified with these cities, is also plain to see. Nell draws to our attention over 150 years of sexual violence. The cross does not sit in this art as a sign of redemption but of condemnation. We are at a profoundly difficult time in our history. The wider community is very uncertain about us. They are watching carefully to see what we do. This scrutiny has been underway for some time. The gift that many offer to us is that they want us to succeed. Even if they never darken the door of a church building they affirm the good that the Church can be. We are at a watershed moment. We can receive the gift of hope that people still offer us or we can squander it by failing to seize the moment that is before us.

Artwork by Nell Australia, b1975 Where Newcastle meets Maitland 2015 In the centre of this work the names Maitland and Newcastle, two cities in New South Wales, intersect to form a cross. Maitland is Nell’s hometown and, as a teenager, she would often catch the train to Newcastle to go to the movies and see live music. The two names, shaped to suggest a Christian cruciform, are set within a wider collage of painted text that includes song titles and band logos as well as quotes from local news articles about sexual violence against women. With its assortment of typefaces and handwritten words, this powerful work can be seen as both private account a personal scrapbook of records and thoughts - and public declaration - a banner of passionate protest - that evokes an uneasy mixture of vitality and aggression in a landscape close to home.


Facing the past INDIVIDUAL TRAUMA One of the most profound stories associated with Holy Saturday is the Road to Emmaus in Luke’s Gospel (Chapter 24). In that story, two of Jesus’ disciples are leaving town following his death. As the story begins, they have no idea about the resurrection. They are living into the reality that their hopes, dreams and vision have collapsed. Serene Jones writes about this story in her book Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World. She says, “These disciples, these disoriented witness to a devastating event, are trauma survivors” (p38 – 39)iii. Her book is a collection of essays, most of which were written in response to the events in New York on 11 September 2001, and explores individual and collective trauma. One of the deepest learnings for us and the wider community about child abuse, domestic violence, the stolen generation and child migrants has been to properly hear the experience of victim and survivor as an experience of trauma. In his book The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, Dr Bessel van der Kolk outlines how trauma changes the way our brains work. Trauma changes people psychologically and physiologically. Each day, they continue to live with their trauma. It is a book that has embedded itself in my thinkingiv. Some of the thoughts that remain with me are: •

trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body; trauma changes not only how we think and what we think about, but also our very capacity to think; as long as the trauma is not resolved, the stress hormones that the body secretes to protect itself keep circulating, and the defensive movements and emotional responses keep getting replayed.

Our response to people who have experienced and continue to experience such profound distress needs to be trauma-informed. The Royal Commission itself released an important discussion paper on trauma informed responses in Octoberv. Our Holy Saturday realisation is that rather than bearing Christ to those in need, our church was an environment in which trauma was inflicted by abusers, often repeatedly and sometimes working together, but also by those who failed to see the abuse, and those who failed to respond to disclosures of abuse. I have no doubt that across the Diocese we need to become trauma-informed in our ministries and most especially to those who have experienced the seismic trauma of abuse and violence. The Blue Knot foundation has some very good resourcesvi.

the essence of trauma is that it is overwhelming, unbelievable and unbearable;


COLLECTIVE TRAUMA Serene Jones wrote her book Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World as a way of considering the impact of collective trauma. There is quite a deal of writing about the experience of people in New York, Sri Lanka and other places. It explores how they were affected and how they responded. Various sociologists have also looked at the way trauma affects nations, social groups, and communities which they might describe as a culture or collective. The sociologist Jeffrey Alexander proposes that for a group to recognise a collective trauma, and incorporate its lessons into their shared identity, it must see the traumatic event as a fundamental threat “to who they are, where they came from, and where they want to go.”vii The wider group needs to embrace a new story by understanding: • • • •

What actually happened – what is the nature of the pain? Who was affected by this traumatising pain? How does the wider group identify with or see their connection with the victims? Who was responsible?

In part, that work has been going on for us through the Royal Commission but it has also been going on in parishes and communities across the Diocese. We have begun to consider who in our midst, and who


was among us in the past, has been traumatised. We are rightly asking the question, “how did it happen?” These questions invite and require us to realise our connections with the victims and survivors; to know them for what they are or were – members of our Anglican family. We are being called to engage in a new narrative about our past. A narrative which will bring with it a new understanding of our culture and of the trauma people experienced. Our new insights bring consequences both for some of the victims and some of the perpetrators. The sociological studies indicate that there will come a time when the collective has formed a new identity. When the new identity emerges there is a desire for many to move on. The intensity of concern decreases. We must take care that we do not to try close down the important journey that we are on. Every parish and agency and the Diocese as a whole needs to be open to profound change. We are still in the process of hearing the story that will change our identity. The experience of those most harmed is still in the process of being accepted as a collective story – as the story of the Diocese of Newcastle – as our story.

RESPONDING TO TRAUMA The disclosures of child sexual abuse have rightly rocked the Church, and the broader community, to the core. The imperative upon us is to continue to work together to create an environment in which people who have been abused and witnesses of abuse can come forward in safety. Will we as a Diocese join with our Bishop, as we must, in sending a clear message that abuse of all kinds will not be tolerated and must be brought into the light? Will we commit ourselves, without reserve, to the culture and practices needed so that no child is again exposed to such betrayals of trust? As we become properly trauma-informed every part of the Diocese, our leadership, policies processes and practices must be reviewed and potentially modified to include a basic understanding of how trauma affects the life of an individual in our community. This includes having an understanding of triggers for trauma survivors that may be aggravated and lead to further traumatisation. The Royal Commission’s research articulates the five principles which we should embrace: •

having a sound understanding of the prevalence and nature of trauma arising from interpersonal violence and its impacts on other areas of life and functioning; ensuring that practices and procedures don’t undermine and indeed promote the physical, psychological and emotional safety of survivors; adopting cultures and practices that empower individuals in their recovery by emphasising autonomy, collaboration and strength-based approaches; recognising and being responsive to the lived, social and cultural contexts of survivors (for example, recognising gender, race, culture and ethnicity), which shape both their needs as well as recovery and healing pathways; recognising the relational nature of both trauma and healing.

I used a video from the Blue Knot Foundation just before. It was previously known as ASCA (Adult Survivors of Child Abuse). The Foundation identifies some of the ways that institutions contribute to re-traumatisation: • •

Reports of past and current abuse are minimized and not addressed. Survivors are told (whether overtly or implicitly) that what happened was “a long time ago”; to “forget the past” and “move on”. Failure to acknowledge actions of the perpetrators and role of the institution compounds the wrongs and impedes healing. Trauma-based behaviours of survivors are seen as “individual” rather than through the lens of the institutional abuse they have sustained and its many impacts on psychological and physical health. Continued implication, whether direct or indirect, that survivors, rather than the institution/s in which they were abused, are to blame for the adverse effects of such abuse (clear messages to the contrary must be conveyed).

I hope that the Diocese will embrace the principles outlined by Blue Knot Foundation, as we embrace a trauma-informed approach to ministry. They ask us to enable: Safety - physical, emotional, environmental, cultural, systemic. Trustworthiness - clarity, consistency, interpersonal boundaries. Collaboration - maximizing individual choice and control. Choice - maximizing collaboration and sharing power. Empowerment - prioritizing empowerment and skills.

“It is absolutely imperative that we continue to work together to create an environment in which complainants/witnesses of abuse can come forward in safety.”


THE CATHEDRAL You will know that Bishop Greg, Dean Stephen Williams and I have been clear in our hope that the Cathedral Parish will be at the forefront of this work. There is a right expectation from the Diocese, that its mother church, and from the community, that a place at the heart of its spiritual life, will be a safe place for all people. I was heartened by the feedback from the congregational meeting last Sunday which affirmed its commitment to becoming a safe place for survivors, and to accept a collective responsibility and regret for the harm that has been caused. I am very heartened to

hear of the strong desire expressed by the congregation to restore a relationship with the Bishops. Please be assured that I am exploring appropriate steps to put in place a foundation for that to occur in an environment that is safe for all those involved. There is a profound level of hurt and distress that is felt by many of us, and we must have patience that it will take time to move through an appropriate process of restoration. I know that there is strong support across the Diocese for the Cathedral congregation as it recovers from the distressing revelations of the Royal Commission.

PARTICULAR TRAUMA I recognise that there are quite a number of people here who have watched the hearings each day, read the statements and documents tendered to the Commission. You will no doubt have many observations and many questions. There are amazing legal minds that are considering all of this material. Sometime after February the fruit of their deliberations will be in the public domain and, sometime after that, the Commissioners will deliver their formal consideration of the submissions made to them. All of that will also be in the public domain. Many will rightly be criticised. Bishop Greg has expressed publicly his profound admiration for the work of the Commission and Commission staff. I affirm strongly these sentiments and hope that we, as a Synod, will also honour the work of the Commission. Those who have been following the Commission will recognise the immense stress that the office and relationships in the office have been under. There will


be a better time and place to explore these things and it would be unhelpful for me to go into them now in much detail. I simply want to say to you that the people who serve the Diocese based at 134 King Street have shown immense resilience and, where possible, a commitment to build and re-build personal and professional relationships. I personally honour them and hope that you as Synod will recognise the overwhelming demands that have been on all of these staff. Members of Synod may be aware of the article in the Newcastle Herald today about Mr John Cleary. Late yesterday afternoon the Newcastle Herald contacted the Diocese and just before the Synod service our lawyers contacted me. While It might be hoped that I might give to give more detail to the Synod, I have not received the sort of advice that I would need from our lawyers and insurers. This simply cannot occur until next week. Given this, it will not be appropriate to consider this further.

Shaping a healthy future I have spoken quite a bit about Holy Saturday and my comments so far have been somewhat like looking back to Good Friday. With the disciples on the road to Emmaus we have been alert to trauma. Holy Saturday also looks forward to Easter Day to the reality that Christ, risen from the dead, has opened the pathway in which death, evil and sin are vanquished. We look forward to the fulfilment of all that God promises, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more” (Revelation 21: 3 & 4).

Bloom. There are some important insights from that model for us which are outlined in this videoix. While I am not yet in a position to recommend that the full Sanctuary Model could be implemented in the Diocese I can affirm that it contains some key principles which could positively shape our life. I wonder what it might mean for us to embark upon a path where we could make a commitment to: • •

POST TRAUMATIC GROWTH • In the book, The Body keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk says, “Nobody can “treat” a war, or abuse, rape or molestation, or any other horrendous event, for that matter; what has happened cannot be undone. But what can be dealt with are the imprints of the trauma on body, mind and soul.” Van der Kolk, like many other psychologists, is outlining what has come to be known as post-traumatic growth in which thriving and flourishing is possible. Post traumatic growth does not suddenly appear leaving behind the grief, pain and suffering of the traumatic event. It emerges when a person experiencing trauma, with the close support of companions who, with optimism and care, help the one carrying deep pain to: • •

find ways to become calm and focussed; learn to maintain that calm in response to images, thoughts, sounds or physical sensations that are reminders of the past; • find ways to be fully alive in the present and engaged with the people around; and • discover they do not need to keep secrets from themselves, including secrets about the ways they have managed to survive. It is clear that post traumatic growth is possible for organisations as well as individuals. One approach is outlined by the Sanctuary Modelviii developed by Sandra

Nonviolence - building and modelling safety skills and a commitment to higher goals. Social Responsibility - rebuilding social connection skills, establishing healthy attachment relationships. Growth and Change - working through loss and restoring hope, meaning, and purpose. Shared Governance - creating and modelling civic skills of self-control, self-discipline, and administration of healthy authority. Emotional Intelligence - teaching and modelling emotional management skills and the integration of thoughts and feelings. Social Learning - building and modelling cognitive skills in an environment that promotes conflict resolution and transformation. Open Communication - overcoming barriers to healthy communication, reducing acting-out, enhancing self-protective and self-correcting skills, teaching healthy boundariesx.

Our Bishop has invited us to embrace a healthy culture. This will require people to step back from undermining behaviours and embrace positive behaviours. The principle of the Sanctuary Model is that everyone in an organisation makes these commitments and chooses to work this way. My hope and prayer is that we can embrace these commitments and move away from what so often feels like a parent-child command-control model in which your bishops feel like they are called to police rather than shepherd.


SOME HELP TO FURTHER POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH Parish recovery work - Last August, Bishop Greg and I worked with Gill Fletcher and, later, also with Tim Dyer to establish and implement a parish recovery model whenever there are disclosures of sexual abuse or misconduct. The program that was designed by Gill and others is based on approaches used nationally and internationally. Gill has recruited a team from the Anglican Church, the Baptist Church and other church communities. She has consulted with the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and she has implemented a process of continued improvement where new insights and learning are integrated into the recovery work. So far, teams have been involved in supporting around a dozen parishes. I see the parish recovery process as embodying the commitments of the Sanctuary Model. Circles of Trust Retreat - Bishop Greg has been familiar with the work of Parker J Palmer for a long time and encouraged the introduction of the circles of trust approach with retreats for clergy and laity. Again, the circles approach embodies the commitments of the Sanctuary Model. Those who attended the full retreats have spoken very powerfully of their experience. The Centre for Courage and Renewal in Australia and in the United States have both been holding us in prayer since they first began their engagement with us. Parker J Palmer has invited Bishop Greg to a leadership retreat next March in the US. Survivor support - It has been evident to me for a long time and was plain to see at the Royal Commission that Michael Elliott and Bishop Greg are seen as champions and supporters of the survivors. We are made better because both of them are making the pathways, for survivors and witnesses of abuse, to come forward so much easier. I also want to recognise the significant role that John Cleary has played with others in putting into place redress processes that endeavour to be prompt, pastoral and fair. John willingly accepted the role of being a caring face of the church in what, at times, could be extended and complex engagements.


Ministries with families, children and youth - Across the Diocese there is engaging and uplifting work with young people. The school holiday program in the Camden Haven, Messy Church and Mainly Music in so many parishes, the combined parishes youth group in the Maitland Deanery, the kids ministry at 9am at Cooks Hill are just to name a few. Alongside this are the tremendous services offered to vulnerable young people and their families through Samaritans and the care and education offered in the five schools associated with the Diocese (Newcastle Grammar School, Scone Grammar School, Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School, Manning Valley Anglican College and Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College). Our commitment to funding redress – Last year this Synod and the Diocesan Council made a strong commitment to a financial strategy aimed at ensuring we could fund redress claims. The vast majority of parishes and all of the organisations have brought their accounts into the Anglican Savings and Development Fund. Anglican Care and Samaritans along with schools have made this transition. You will hear in the course of this Synod that a greater understanding of some trusts means that our strategy use reserves is unlikely to proceed. You will also hear that the Diocesan Council is committed to finding a workable way forward which limits, even not completely removing, the burden on parishes. Doing well what we normally do – When we are at our best our parishes are places in which people are cared for and nurtured - they have opportunities to worship and to serve. When we are at our best the needy are assisted and the vulnerable are supported. Our parishes are places where people demonstrate their love of God and love of neighbour. Gracious spacious for our Bishop – I have seen the tremendous outpouring of love and affection for Bishop Greg within the wider community and within the church. So many people acknowledge his bravery and vulnerability. They affirm his leadership of the Diocese. We show our character as a Diocese by the way we respond to Bishop Greg’s appropriate need for rest and recuperation at this time.

SOME STEPS TO FURTHER GROWTH Governance Review - Bishop Greg and I have been exploring for some time the need for governance review in the Diocese. Our decision-making processes are shaped primarily by nineteenth century models and there are insights from contemporary corporate governance that we do not utilise. I welcome at this Synod Mark Jones and Jared Lawrence from KPMG who have been engaged to look at our governance and operational processes to identify areas for improvement. Work is also underway through diocesan lawyers to review the ordinances for agencies to ensure that they incorporate the best contemporary governance practices. Professional Standards Review – In keeping with the resolution of the 2014 General Synod and with the support of the Diocesan Council, Professional Standards Committee and Director, Bishop Greg has engaged an experienced external consultant to undertake an audit/review of aspects of our professional standards work. This review is already underway. We will hear of and see the product of these reviews during 2017. The Anglican hearing in March 2017 – This special hearing of the Royal Commission is aimed at speaking to the Anglican Church of Australia. We will hear some of the broad themes and issues that have been identified.

HOLY SATURDAY TO EASTER DAY Each year, we do look forward to Easter Day on Holy Saturday. We polish brass, practice music and arrange flowers. People who are in church once a week or once a year get ready to attend an Easter celebration. In John’s Gospel we are reminded on that first Easter Day, Thomas was not there and wasn’t convinced by their recollections. John tells us that, “A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you”. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe”. Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” I repeat this story because it reminds us that the Risen Christ bears on his body the scars of trauma. Our healthy future is not in covering over the story or hiding blemishes. We will forever carry the scars of our current wounds – and we should.

In the Road to Emmaus account in Luke’s Gospel, the traumatised disciples are met by the Risen Jesus but do not recognise it at the time. Jesus ministers to them by listening to them, encouraging them, teaching them, being present with them and eating with them. Luke recounts, “When Jesus was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’” I repeat this story because it says to all who have experienced trauma, evil and sin that God - who is truly loving and good - reaches to us by his presence and in word and sacrament. God has promised to be our companion in the deepest and darkest valleys; even when we are convinced he is not there.

“Our healthy future is not in covering over the story or hiding blemishes. We will forever carry the scars of our current wounds – and we should.”


Acknowledgements I want again to acknowledge those who have come forward to speak of the harm that occurred to them within the Church in this Diocese. I also want to acknowledge their families and those who support them. I want to state again our commitment as a Diocese to face the wrongs of the past and, where you see it as appropriate, to assist in your journey of recovery. I have spoken of Bishop Greg many times this morning. I want again to express my deep appreciation for his leadership and the loving support he receives from Kerry. I pray for them often. They have given so much in the service of Christ and his church especially in this Diocese. I want to affirm the role of the various media outlets based in Newcastle but particular the Newcastle Herald, ABC1233 and NBN. I also want again to acknowledge Joanne McCarthy’s leading role. Their commitment to investigative journalism has meant that critical matters have had transparency in the community. I have spoken of Michael Elliott’s work. In the course of the Royal Commission I learnt a lot more about what our Diocese has been involved in and what he has carried. We owe a debt of gratitude to Michael and I am pleased that he is now joined by Cathy Rose who brings a wealth of experience in responding to child sexual abuse. I also want to acknowledge Geoff Spring as the Chair of the Professional Standards Committee together with each member of the PSC. Theirs is a voluntary role and they work hard to help our church be safe and address professional standards issues.


As a Diocese we have continued to attend to a number of strategic matters. Jessica Murnane with the support of John Cleary has assisted the smooth transition for parishes and agencies into the Anglican Savings and Development Fund. John and I worked closely to enable revision to the governance of our diocesan schools. John and Lorin Livingstone negotiated further improvements to the lending arrangements for the school loans. As we gather as Synod we feel John’s absence while he remains on personal leave. It is not clear at the moment when he will be returning to work. Bishop Greg has expressed to John our good wishes and the assurance of our prayers. I have spoken of the office staff but want to single out three people for particular mention. Linda Wilson is exercising her role as Acting Diocesan Business Manager with professionalism, diligence and compassion. Alison Dalmazzone and Jemma Hore provide exceptional care and support to the bishops. We are served very well by the team in the office and schools corporation. It is the privilege of a bishop to work closely with some key leaders in the Diocese. I acknowledge in particular the heads of agencies and schools together with Sonia Roulston, Arthur Copeman and all the archdeacons.

Episcopal ministry


At the ordination of a bishop, other bishops gather around the bishop designate and lay hands. There are no priests, deacons or lay people engaged in this action. The new bishop has a sense that as the Holy Spirit is invoked they are joined with those who have gone before them, as others will join with them in the future.

In a few moments I am going to ask you to consider the Holy Saturday experience that we are in as a Diocese. In your table groups, I invite you to identify an insight into trauma that you have gained during this last year or even today. Then I would like you to look forward and consider the seven commitments of the Sanctuary Model. Which of the seven commitments can you imagine engaging in your parish or place of ministry.

As a bearer of the episcopate to you I apologise to you the clergy and people of the Diocese for the failure by bishops to exercise ministry in the way you rightly expected of them.

Speaking personally Last weekend a priest quipped to me, “yours has been a most interesting episcopate�. It is just over 8 years since Bishop Brian announced that he had invited me to minister among you as a bishop. There have been many and sometimes some very difficult challenges along the way. This year has been the most demanding of all.

As we prepare for this work, I affirm that now to God who is powerful and mighty be power and glory for ever. Amen. Kaiyu Kan Kaiwal Killi Bin Bin Yanti Katai As you prepare for the table conversation, I invite you to be alert to the presence of the Holy Spirit moving in this placexi.

Bishop Greg and I are conscious every day of the prayers and good wishes of the people of the Diocese. We have been sustained by these expressions of grace. Words are insufficient to express my appreciation to my wife Nicki and my children Ben and Rebekah. They have never ceased in their love and support.

i. Proudman, D (2016). Former Anglican priest Lindsay Thomas McLoughlin jailed for preying on two boys in 1980s. Newcastle Herald. ii. Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. iii. Jones, S (2009). Trauma and Grace: Theology in a Ruptured World. Westminster. John Knox Press World. iv. van der Kolk, B (2014). The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma. Penguin. v. Trauma-informed approaches to child sexual abuse. vi. The Blue Knot Foundation. For Anyone in the Workplace. vii. Alexander J (2004). Toward a theory of Cultural Trauma in Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity. Jeffrey Alexander (ed) & others University of California Press. viii. Bloom, S. Sanctuary Model. ix. Philhaven Hope. The Seven Commitments of the Sanctuary Model. x. Bloom S and Yanosy-Sreedha S The Model of Trauma-Informed Organizational Change Reclaiming Children & Youth. Fall2008, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p48-53. xi. Evans, D.J (1986). Be still for the presence of the Lord.



In ministry there are some songs we come to know through hearing them played during the Pastoral Offices. One of those songs for me (and probably a number of others) is the Slim Dusty song, Looking Forward, Looking Back. As I came to write this piece for the Diocesan Annual Review this song came to my mind: Looking forward, looking back I’ve come a long way down the track Got a long way left to go Making songs, from what I know Perhaps these are apt words with which to begin this reflection. The first, and obvious, thing to say is that this year has been a year for the Diocese unlike any other. The impact of the hearings of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, and the testimonies we have heard has been profound. On his 500th day as bishop of the diocese, Bishop Greg gave an apology to all who had been harmed by the church, and began us on a journey of “Facing Our Past and Shaping a Healthy Future”. The Royal Commission hearings have been an essential part of this facing our past, for without doing this we will not have a healthy future. During this time many people have been praying for the Commission, the bishops and other diocesan leaders, and victims and survivors of abuse. This has been a very important work, and one will continue in for some time yet. The “Songs we shall make from what we know” in this area of our life will be songs about shaping a new future, in which all people are safe in our church, and in which we will seek to embody the grace and love of God deeply. This will be a journey of prayer, listening, honesty and faithfulness. I invite you to be part of this healthier future.


The timing of Royal Commission hearings has also meant that some of the regular routine of our diocesan life has been put on hold this year, to enable us to focus on this important work. We do thank you for your support and patience in this. On the other hand, some of our regular diocesan events were held and were a great source of blessing to us all. Circles of Trust Retreats – February In February Bishop Greg invited the Centre for Courage and Renewal to lead us in two Circles of Trust Retreats. This invitation came out of the recognition that this work would be helpful in helping us to address issues of culture within our diocese as we face our past and look forward to shaping a healthy future. Through poetry, silence, reflection, journalling, sharing in small groups and the larger group participants explored their inner life and the issues of our lives today. Essential to this were the tools of “open questions” and “double confidentiality”. Though the numbers for these were small, those who attended spoke highly of the experience. The “Songs we shall make from what we know” include songs of openness, trust, respect and faithfulness. Clergy Retreats – May and June This year our three diocesan clergy retreats were led by Bishop Graeme Rutherford, Bishop Doug Stevens, and the Rev’d Susanna Pain. These retreats covered the range of silent retreat, creative retreat, and teaching retreat. We are very happy with the range of retreats we are able to offer to our stipendiary and locally ordained clergy, and also pleased that some retried clergy are also able to participate in the retreats. The songs of these retreats are songs about the God who is present, creative, and in whose life our lives are embraced.

The Diocesan Convention, Diocesan Leader’s Conference, and CLM Training Day – August The Diocesan Convention this year came at a time when we were expecting the Royal Commission hearings to be completed. Instead we found ourselves right in the middle of them. In the morning Mrs Gill Fletcher and Mr Tim Dyer led us in working together in a session based on their Parish Healing and Recovery work. This was a very late change as we faced our new context and I was personally very grateful to Gill and Tim and also Robin Greenwood for working together to bring this change about. Their work was well received by participants. In the afternoon session Canon Dr Robin Greenwood, visiting from England, led us in reflecting on our church context and what it is to be people who are living on living in the shadow of the cross, but who are never alone in that place. As part of this he led us in an experience of listening deeply to scripture. In the week following the Convention, Robin Greenwood was keynote speaker at our annual Diocesan Leader’s Conference, and again at a following training day for clergy in local mission leading us in reflections on abundance, transformation and acedia (the noon-day devil). The CLM Day was the first of such days for a while and participants were keen to see this gathering repeated. The “Songs we shall make from what we know” and were learning through Robin, Gill and Tim are songs about encountering God in places of shadow and grief as much as in places of light and joy. They are also songs of openness, of naming our truth, and of listening deeply.

Diocesan Discernment and Pre-Ordination Groups Those who attended this year’s pre-Synod meetings heard Canon Katherine Bowyer tell us that one of the good news stories of our year was the extraordinary increase in the numbers of people seeking to discern whether they have a vocation to ordained ministry, and the numbers in the formation and pre-ordination groups. We have, for three years running now, a full complement of eight people in the Discernment year, working with Mrs Sue Williams in exploring various aspects of call. As we move into the new year we will have 14 people in various stages of formation. Four people have been ordained at our Synod service. This is a song about the Spirit who is bringing life into our midst. It is a song to be thankful for. Finally, I wish to pay tribute to Bishop Greg as our Diocesan Bishop for his open, honest and courageous leadership of the Diocese in this most difficult time of our lives; and pay tribute to his Senior Leadership Team of Bishop Peter, Michael Elliott and John Cleary. I also want to acknowledge the incredible commitment of the Diocesan Office staff over this year. They are all an amazing team, who give of themselves very generously for us, church in this Diocese. Our song is thankfulness to each one of them! Back to Slim Dusty, who goes on to sing in his song Looking Forward Looking Back: There are strange days Full of change on the way But we’ll be fine I’ll be leaning forward, to see what’s coming.

The Morpeth Lecture – September Our final visitor to the Diocese of 2016 was the Rev’d Professor Clifford Green who delivered the Morpeth Lecture, speaking on Bonhoeffer’s “Worldly Theology”. Professor Green is a world renowned Bonhoeffer scholar. Bonhoeffer’s song is a song of costly grace, a song of belief put into action, and a song of faith that engages with its local context. This is a timeless song.


Year In Review

TRI DIOCESAN COVENANT SERVICE On May 25 our bishops joined with the bishops of our neighbouring Catholic dioceses to celebrate our common baptism and commitment to prayer at the Tri Diocesan Covenant Service at the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay.



POKEMON CRAZE TAKES OVER THE WORLD – AND OUR CHURCHES Pokémon Go, a game where users walk around their neighbourhoods with the aim to “capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world,” took over the streets and even found its way into our churches.

MORPETH LECTURE The Morpeth Lecture was held in September at the Conservatorium of Newcastle. This year, we welcomed Emeritus Rev’d Professor Clifford Green who presented Bonhoeffer’s “worldly Christianity”.


INTERFAITH DIALOGUE The second annual Interfaith Dialogue took place at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College in May. The event was an opportunity for the Muslim and Christian communities to join together to explore the true sense of what peace means to our religions. Bishop Bill Wright (Catholic), Bishop Peter Stuart (Anglican), Farooq Ahmed (Newcastle Muslim Association), and Shaikh Muhammed Thalal (Mayfield Mosque) formed a panel for a Q&A dialogue.

ARCHDEACON ROD BOWER RECEIVES DOHA’S INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR INTERFAITH DIALOGUE The Venerable Rod Bower from Gosford was awarded the 2016 International Award for Interfaith Dialogue. Rod travelled to the State of Qatar to receive the Doha award for Interfaith Dialogue and to speak at the international conference.

BLESSING OF THE MULTI-FAITH BRIDGE Bishop Greg visited the Albion Farm Gardens in Woodville in September to bless a multi-faith bridge, constructed from stone given by a variety of faith communities. Stone came from as far as Jerusalem, as well as from local faith groups including Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, Uniting, Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim. The Jewish community gave a stone from a synagogue. Bishop Greg also gave a piece of stone from one of his earlier parishes.

NASC SCHOOLS CELEBRATION DAY Students and teachers from Newcastle Anglican Schools came together at Christ Church Cathedral in November to celebrate and reflect at the NASC Schools Celebration Day. Students came from Lake Grammar – An Anglican School on the Central Coast, Bishop Tyrrell Anglican School at Fletcher, Scone Grammar School and Manning Valley Anglican School at Taree.


BUILDING FRIENDSHIPS WITH AN EMERGING CHURCH IN THE PACIFIC Bishop Greg represented the Primate of Australia and the Diocese of Newcastle at the enthronement and installation of the new Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, The Most Rev’d George Angus Takeli in April. Bishop Greg was among more than 4000 local and international guests gathered to witness the service at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral, Honiara.




The Parish of Merriwa hosted a lovely Garden Ramble in October, taking in the sights of the gorgeous gardens throughout the town itself.

The Parish of Muswellbrook held a special Messy Day Camp in October. The camp ran over three days as a vacation activity and is part of their Messy Church program.

SAMARITANS WELCOME NEW CEO The President of the Samaritans Foundation, Bishop Greg Thompson, appointed Mr Peter Gardiner as the new Chief Executive Officer for Samaritans in February.

ANGLICAN CARE LAUNCH NEW LIFESTYLE RESOURCES VAN ON CENTRAL COAST Following the success of the Lifestyle Resource Van operating in the Manning and Hunter Regions, Anglican Care expanded the service into the Central Coast in October.



In October the Parish of Muswellbrook held their inaugural “Wave of Light” Remembrance Service for International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. 28 people gathered together the remember and reflect during the moving one hour service that was held at the Garden of Innocents in the Muswellbrook Lawn Cemetery.

Archdeacon Arthur Copeman, along with fellow Australians Bishop Sarah Macneil, Garth Blake SC and Primate, Archbishop Philip Freier, travelled to Lusaka, Zambia in April for the Anglican Consultative Council conference (ACC16). The focus of ACC-16 was “Intentional Discipleship in a world of difference”.


YOUNG ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH PASTORS REOPEN ANNA BAY CHURCH The lights to the Peace Lutheran Church in Anna Bay were turned back on in September, and flicking the switch were three young men who are spearheading its revival. Jack Torr, 17, Josh Govan, 16, and Liam Kearton, 17, will run the Anna Bay church, which closed in December 2013.

A TIME TO FACE OUR PAST Throughout August, and later in November, the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle was the subject of the Case Study 42 for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Commission inquired into the experiences of survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and lay people involved in or associated with the diocese. This was a confronting and painful time for the diocese and one of intense scrutiny, as we heard evidence from survivors and their families, as well as those who were in positions of authority within the diocese.




The Circle of Trust Retreats were held in the beautiful surrounds of the Centre for Courage and Renewal in Kincumber in February.

Michael Elliott, the Director of Professional Standards, was nominated for a Newcastle Business Club Annual Award by colleague Cathy Rose, Professional Standards Officer, to recognise his ongoing commitment to the professional standards of the diocese.



One of the lovely young parishioners at the All Saints Nelson Bay Talents Market in November.

Anglican Care’s new residential aged care home, Kilpatrick Court at Toronto, officially opened in July. The home is able to accommodate 147 people.


RELIGIOUS LEADERS COME TOGETHER The Parish of Gosford united in many faiths with the Venerable Rod Bower, Bishop Greg Thompson, Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, Gen Kelsang Dawa from the Wamberal Buddhist Centre and Aunty Robyn Reid in August. People from all faiths, backgrounds and traditions came together as a show of solidarity at a multi-faith service.

BUILDING BRIDGES TOGETHER The Parish of Gosford and Building Bridges Together held an interfaith women’s lunch in October. The luncheon was an opportunity for the women of the parish to share conversations with Muslim women over a light lunch.


COUNTRY GOSPEL SERVICE HELD AT ST PAUL’S STOCKTON At the end of July, St Paul’s Stockton held a Country Gospel Service where they sang and learnt about Australian gospel songs.

ANGLICAN CARE 60TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS On May 27 Anglican Care celebrated its diamond anniversary; 60 years of providing the aged with excellence in care and enhanced lifestyles. Anglican Care celebrated in style with a cocktail party at Club Macquarie on the date it all began. Anglican Care also held celebrations throughout the year to homes throughout the area. They held their final function in November.

MU LADY DAY Lady Day was hosted by Mothers’ Union on April 4 at Christ Church Cathedral. Special guest speaker Dr Paul Craven, CEO John Hunter Children’s Hospital, spoke about the work that he and his team do in Vietnam. MU presented Dr Paul with a cheque for $5,000 for the NICU in Newcastle and a cheque for $2,000 for the work in Vietnam.

CPE GRADUATION The CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Graduation took place in November at St Thomas’, Cardiff. Michael Marklew was presented his graduation certificate by the Rev’d Barbara Howard, Centre Director. Three Diocesan Ordinands, Michael Marklew, Michaela Sorensen, and Greg Colby, successfully completed the 400 hour Basic Unit this year, as part of the Intensive Formation Program.


Appointments, Ordinations, Resignations and Retirements The Anglican Church of Australia The Archbishop of Adelaide, Bishop Jeffrey Driver retired on 19 August 2016.

Diocesan Appointments and Moves The Reverend Andrew Harrison was appointed Chaplain to Anglican Care on 6 December 2015.

The Reverend Chris Jackson was appointed Associate Priest of the Parish of Gosford on 1 May 2016.

The Reverend Michelle Hazel-Jawhary was appointed Rector of the Parish of Cessnock on 14 December 2015.

The Reverend Paul West was appointed Canon Residentiary at the Cathedral and the Chaplain to Newcastle Grammar School on 15 May 2016.

The Reverend David Hesketh was appointed Priest to focus ministry for the Parish of Windale and joining the team working in Charlestown and Belmont North/ Redhead on 16 December 2015. The Reverend Rob Llewellyn was appointment Priest in Charge in the Parish of Gloucester on 27 January 2016. Reverend Chris Orczy was appointed Rector of the Parish of Morpeth on 28 January 2015. Mr Peter Gardiner was appointed CEO of Samaritans on 1 February 2016. The Reverend Jane Trigg was appointed Priest in Charge of the Parish of Branxton, Greta and Lochinvar on 4 February 2016. The Reverend Brian Ford was appointed Area Dean of the Manning Deanery on 4 February 2016. The Venerable Canon Arthur Copeman was elected to the Pearson Canonry on 24 October 2015 and installed on 7 February 2016. The Reverend Canon Mark Watson was installed a Canon on 7 February 2016. The Reverend Angela Dutton was appointed Rector of the Parish of Scone on 8 February 2016. The Reverend Richard Loh was appointment Chaplain to Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College on .8 February 2016. The Reverend Chris Beal was appointed Intentional Interim Priest of the Parish of Taree on 10 February 2016. The Reverend Canon Mark Watson was appointed Rector of the Parish of Terrigal on 15 February 2015. The Reverend Scott Dulley was appointed Area Dean of the Newcastle Deanery on 16 February 2016. The Reverend Jenny Foley was appointed Priest in Charge of the Parish of Cockle Bay (1/2 time) and Associate Chaplain to Anglican Care (1/2 time) on 3 March 2016. The Reverend Robyn Fry will continue ministry as Associate Priest n the Parish of Swansea and Canon Janet Killen will continue her role as Supervising Priest. The Reverend Walter Firth was appointed Priest in Charge of the Parish of Toukley Budgewoi on 17 April 2016.


Ms Cathy Rose was appointed Professional Standards Officer on 14 June 2016. The Reverend Loy Buckley concluded her ministry at the Parish of Southlakes in June 2016 and became part of the Toronto Ministry Team in August 2016. The Reverend Theresa Angert-Quilter was appointed Rector of the Parish of Mount Vincent Weston on 4 July 2016. Mrs Jemma Hore commenced as the Executive Assistant to the Diocesan Business Manager/NASC CEO and the Assistant Bishop of Newcastle on 27 July 2016. The Reverend Bronwyn Marchant was appointed Rector of the Parish of Kempsey in the Grafton Diocese. Bronwyn completed her ministry at Wyoming on 31 July 2016. Ms Sonia Gibson was appointed Receptionist at the Diocesan Office on 30 August 2016. The Reverend Martin Davies was appointed Priest in Charge of the Parish of Stroud on 12 September 2016. Ms Cheryl Sorensen was appointed Debtors Officer for Lakes in the NASC on 19 September 2016. Archdeacon Les Forester concluded his ministry as Priest-In-Charge of Stockton on 28 September 2016. He will continue as Regional Archdeacon for the Manning and Paterson Regions.


Visitors to the Diocese


Bishop Doug Stevens

The Reverend Robyn Pullin concluded her ministry as the All Age Ministry Consultant for CEY ministries on 14 November 2015.

Bishop Graeme Rutherford The Reverend Susanna Pain The Reverend Canon Dr Robin Greenwood

The Reverend Brian Gibbs retired on 16 November 2015.

Emeritus Reverend Professor Clifford Green – Morpeth Lecture

The Reverend Michael Birch retired on 22 November 2015.


Resignations / Departures from the Diocese

The Reverend Michael Marklew was ordained a Deacon on 9 December 2015. The Reverend Marianne Reynolds was ordained a Priest on 9 December 2015. The Reverend Stephen Shrubb was ordained a Priest on 9 December 2015. The Reverend Christine Plumridge was ordained a Deacon on 9 December 2015.

The Reverend Andre Jacobs resigned as Associate Priest of the Parish of Charlestown on 27 December 2015. Mrs Danielle Rodway (nee Veronesi) resigned as Executive Assistant to the Diocesan Business Manager and the Assistant Bishop on 26 February 2016. The Reverend Bryce Amner resigned as Priest in Charge of the Parish of Williamtown Medowie Mallabula on 27 March. The Reverend Will Johnston resigned as Deacon of the Parish of East Maitland on 2 May 2016. The Reverend Glen Hughes resigned as Supervising Priest in the Parish of Merriwa & Murrurundi on 3 July 2016. The Reverend Pirrial Clift relocated to Melbourne in September. Archdeacon Les Forester concluded his ministry as Priest-In-Charge of Stockton on 28 September 2016.


Deconsecrations, Consecrations and Blessings St Margaret’s Jesmond in the Parish of Lambton on 25 June 2016.

Special Anniversaries The Reverend Robyn Pullin celebrated 20 years of being made a Deacon on 2 December 2015. The Reverend Robin Lewis Quinn celebrated 20 years of being made a Priest on 2 December 2015. The Reverend Brian Gibbs celebrated 20 years of being made a Priest on 7 December 2016. The Venerable Charlie Murry celebrated 10 years of being made a Priest on 17 December 2015. The Right Reverend Dr Peter Stuart celebrated 25 years of being made a Priest on 8 December 2015.

In Memoriam Among the faithful departed, we make special mention of: The Reverend Campbell Brown died on 18 October 2015. Br Brian SSF died on 29 October 2015. Mrs Gwen Burgess, mother of Mrs Pam Mainprize died on 23 November 2015. Mrs June Paul, mother of Mrs Wendy Butterworth died on 27 November 2015. Mrs Betty Tate, wife of the Reverend Bob Tate died on 8 December 2015. Mrs Jeanne Marsden, mother in law of Bishop Brian Farran died on 19 December 2015. Mrs Margaret Hudson, wife of The Reverend Jim Hudson died on 29 December 2015. Bishop John Reid, died on 2 January 2016. Ada Campbell, The Reverend Anne Lye’s mother died on 7 February 2016. The Reverend David Simpson died on 19 May 2016. The Reverend Garry Kerr died on 26 July 2016. Professor Trevor Waring died on 13 August 2016. Mrs Jenny Johnston, wife of The Reverend Lance Johnston died on 24 September 2016. The Reverend John Speers, a former priest of this Diocese who served as Rector of Weston, Lambton and Branxton died on 11 October 2016.


Our Organisations



NEWCASTLE ANGLICAN SCHOOLS CORPORATION Lorin Livingstone ACTING CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND BUSINESS MANAGER The Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation (NASC) continues to serve and support the four member schools of the Corporation, under the direction of the Board. The Schools Management Division (SMD) provides Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School, Manning Valley Anglican College, and Scone Grammar School, with centralised financial processing services such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, financial management reporting, and other financial compliance requirements. In order to allow for expansion of the SMD’s services in the future, the team moved into a newly renovated, larger office space in late 2015, within the Diocesan office. The team have also been involved in the implementation of a new School Administration system at Scone Grammar School during October 2016, in readiness for the School’s participation in, and transition to, the SMD. This has largely been completed and is expected to be finalised with the payroll processes, in early 2017. The central banking initiative of the NASC continues to operate well with both the schools’ transactional banking, as well as a portion of the schools’ borrowings, being transferred to the Anglican Savings and Development Fund during 2016. It is expected that this initiative will lead to cost savings and operational efficiencies for the NASC and its member schools. The


NASC also continues to liaise with the member schools to negotiate group savings with suppliers. The established SMD team of seven employees, lead by Ms Xanthe Simpson, NASC Management Accountant, has continued to build relationships with member schools, parents and suppliers, and welcomed a new employee in September to meet the increased workload of Scone Grammar School’s inclusion in the SMD in October. The NASC has also assisted Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School, and Scone Grammar with large building projects in 2016, with all three schools having additional new classroom spaces available for use during the school year. In conjunction with the School Chaplains, the NASC assisted with the organisation of the Schools Celebration Day, at the Christ Church Cathedral, in November. This was a wonderful day where the Year 7 students from each of the member schools, joined together to celebrate the Diocesan mission, to meet students from other Diocesan schools, and to learn about the history and artefacts of the Cathedral building. The NASC continues to support the Diocesan schools that seek to provide affordable, quality education, with a strong emphasis on pastoral care and Christian values.

ANGLICAN SAVINGS AND DEVELOPMENT FUND Jessica Murnane ASDF MANAGER 2016 has been a big year for the ASDF. With the approval of the Designated Fund Ordinance in 2015, making the ASDF the financial institution for Diocesan parishes, agencies and schools, the Fund has more than tripled in size!

a smooth and efficient manner, providing the balance of good return to investors and ongoing support for the ministry of the Diocese. They also seek to strengthen the Fund, receiving regular updates from our investment advisors.

We are most thankful to the Diocesan parishes, agencies and schools who have embraced this change by transferring their accounts to the ASDF. This has been very encouraging.

The end of the year should see the launch of a new facility allowing parishes that use the accounting program Xero to upload their account transaction data from ASDF Online directly into Xero facilitating automatic updates and simple bank reconciliations.

The impact of this increase can be seen in the annual grant contributed to the Diocese which has increased from $75,000 in 2014 to $85,000 in 2015 and a forecasted amount of $250,000 for 2016. The parish commission paid for the year ending 30 June 2016 was $48,932 which was an increase from $33,689 in 2015 and $26,114 in 2014. The ASDF Board made the decision to cease parish commission as at 1 July 2016 however, the Board is committed to ensuring that the best possible interest rates are offered to account holders and expects that this decision will lead to improved interest rates.

We look forward to working with our members in the year ahead and remind you that we are here to help if you require assistance in anyway. Our best contact details are listed below. The ASDF staff would like to thank its members for their ongoing support and would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and new year. To get in touch please call us on (02) 4926 3733 or email us at

The Board has also, this year, reviewed some of its own strategies with the aim of ensuring the ASDF operates in

“The ASDF staff would like to thank its members for their ongoing support.�


VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT AND FORMATION Canon Katherine Bowyer DIOCESAN DIRECTOR OF FORMATION 2016 has seen all four streams of the Vocations discernment and formation pathways in operation. A new Year of Discernment began under the guidance of Ms Sue Williams, Director of Vocations. Sue also facilitated the Postulancy group, for those ordinands who have more study to complete before entering Intensive Formation. Canon Katherine Bowyer, Director of Formation, continued to facilitate the Intensive Formation and Post Ordination Training groups. Bishop Peter oversees all aspects of the programs. At the start of the year, all Diocesan ordinands attended the “Life in Abundance: Mission and Evangelism” conference at Trinity College in Melbourne. During the year, they attended Diocesan training events, teaching days, and made a retreat. They have continued theological studies through Trinity College, Melbourne, and those in Intensive Formation have completed the Clinical Pastoral Education Basic Unit. Ordinands in Intensive Formation have also worked in parishes and chaplaincies as interns. It is exciting to see God stirring up vocations in our Diocesan life, and a privilege to work with these people as they discern God’s call on their lives, and grow into that calling. In 2017, we rejoice that the Diocese will

have 14 ordinands, for both stipendiary and local mission and ministry. If you feel God is calling you to ordained ministry, please contact Ms Sue Williams SueWilliams@

MISSION GIVING Canon Katherine Bowyer DIOCESAN DIRECTOR OF FORMATION Once again, the astounding generosity and outward focus of the Diocese is reflected in the financial and practical support for mission outside our Diocese. At the conclusion of 2015, our Diocesan Mission giving through parishes and agencies was $366,004.92 – a wonderful result. The Diocesan Missions Committee recognises that this is but a small part of the total support for external mission from the Diocese. Our mission giving goes to support projects such as working with the effects of climate change in the Church in Melanesia; equipping missionaries to work cross-culturally; re-planting churches in places where the church had faded; and supporting and strengthening Indigenous leadership and resources, to name but a few areas. All these projects, and many more, are made possible through the prayerful and financial and physical support which stems from a deep commitment and desire to further the work of the gospel. In the pre-Synod meetings, I spoke of a dear friend, a clergy widow, who once said to me that the sign of a healthy, outward looking parish was its support for mission external to itself. She said that when parishes


failed to look beyond themselves, stopped believing that they had something to share, then it wasn’t a good sign. For us as a Diocese, our ongoing commitment shows hope and faith for the future. Thank you for all you do to enable the work of mission.

SOCIAL JUSTICE TASK FORCE Fr Chris Jackson CHAIR The work of social justice is incredibly rewarding and faith-enriching. Yet it also has its costs. In choosing not to look away, you make yourself vulnerable to feeling the pain and frustration of the other. As you see so many instances of injustice, it’s natural to ask the difficult questions, “Where do I start? And what difference can I make?” Our Task Force has been working to promote the work of social justice on three fronts: initiating new projects, supporting existing events and raising awareness of social justice issues. Initiating New Projects We were thrilled to partner with Samaritans and the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council to once again host a NAIDOC Week celebration at Christ Church Cathedral. This year we focused on celebrating the stories of local Elders. We recognise the importance of continuing to deepen relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We also note that next year is the 50 year anniversary of the landmark 1967 Referendum, as well as the ongoing conversation around constitutional recognition and/or treaty. We partnered with the local Catholic and Uniting Church to host a second social justice training day called “Social Justice: Faith in Action”. This was coordinated by an ecumenical social justice network of our three denominations. We are grateful for the passion and commitment of this network. We have been particularly active on the issue of domestic and family violence. A small group of people have been working on this issue over a number of years.

Arising out of this work and the contribution of the Task Force, a Diocesan Working Group on domestic violence has been recently formed. Material has been provided to each parish and each church has been asked to appoint a link person to continue to engage on this issue. The Working Group continues to explore the possibility of a diocesan policy on domestic violence and the provision of training to both clergy and lay people. Once again we worked with the Catholic and Uniting Church to promote the Give Us A Sign campaign. This year the theme was “Peace”. During the month of May schools and churches were encouraged to display a message of peace on their respective noticeboards and to post these on social media. We particularly commend the excellent and creative messages posted by a large number of Catholic schools. Supporting Existing Events Through the year we also continued to support, promote and attend a number of events and campaigns. These included events throughout Refugee Week, Stop the Traffik, the Hiroshima Service at Christ Church Cathedral, Journey to Recognition - a Community Forum at Belmont, weekly vigils for refugees and a Palm Sunday Picnic in Newcastle. Raising Awareness of Social Justice We have worked to raise the profile of social justice in our Diocese through regular contributions to the Encounter and Diocesan Messenger. We all have our part to play. Stay informed and spread the word! The work of social justice belongs to us all!


SAMARITANS Peter Gardiner CEO 2016 has been an exciting and busy year for Samaritans and the first one for me as the new Chief Executive Officer. I take great pride in being the leader of this wonderful organisation and having visited many services across the year, it is clear to me that the work that we do makes a real difference in the lives of the people we support.

Stories project. The Digital Stories project offers opportunities for people with a disability who are transitioning from large residential services to the community, to tell their story through video, including their wants, needs and dreams for the future. The project will continue to provide value to the sector for years to come.

In 2015, Samaritans became a registered housing provider and established a new company called “Samaritans Housing�. This will enable Samaritans to continue to meet the needs of the community in providing supported accommodation, community housing and private accommodation - currently supporting over 200 people.

Our organisation is fortunate to have the support of over 450 volunteers throughout the year working across a number of programs and events including our ever growing Christmas Lunches in Newcastle, Singleton and on the Central Coast. Volunteers also support our Emergency Relief Services, our Retail stores, Grandparents as Parents groups, Disaster Recovery and post-release services to name a few. Without our volunteers working in partnership with our staff, there are services that we could not deliver to our full potential. Two of our volunteers, Artemez Belenus and Lorraine Griffiths were recognised in the NSW Volunteer of the Year awards and we congratulate them and indeed all of our volunteers on their service and commitment to Samaritans.

Our services continued to grow throughout NSW, as we established a new regional office in Taree, an office in Penrith and also expanded throughout the Hunter Region. These developments will help us to continue to support people in need, including over 300 participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), over 200 homeless young people in the Hunter, 173 children in Out of Home Care and almost 13,000 people supported through emergency relief assistance. In 2015, Samaritans received funding to manage a specialist Community Justice program for people with disabilities and it is hoped that our capacity to support more people in need will continue to grow in the years to come. In January, Samaritans paid tribute and said farewell to Mr Cec Shevels, who was CEO of this organisation for 25 years. Staff came together at Warabrook to recognise the work and significant contribution of Cec in growing and sustaining the organisation to where it is today. Cec led Samaritans through periods of significant change and development in the sector and was highly respected amongst his peers and colleagues as an esteemed social justice commentator and advocate for the people we support. We thank Cec for his contribution to the sector across an illustrious career. In September, I was proud to attend The Anglicare Australia conference in Darwin with a team of staff and accept an award for Innovation on behalf of the organisation for the wonderful work on the Digital


This year, our Out of Home Care team achieved an additional five years of accreditation and our Homeless Youth Assistance Program received confirmation of recurrent funding to support young people and families with complex needs across the Newcastle, Hunter, New England, Central Coast and Mid North Coast regions. Samaritans is committed to supporting youth at risk through best practice initiatives and support networks that connect young people with their community and the right help when it is needed. The sectors in which Samaritans works are experiencing significant change. From the NDIS to specialist homeless services to emergency relief, we are working to remain responsive and agile in a rapidly evolving industry. Samaritans has evolved in many changing environments in its 32 year history and I look forward to a 2017 where we continue to do so whilst still delivering real compassion, integrity and justice to the people we support.


ANGLICAN CARE Achievements, changes, growth, successes REFLECTION FROM CEO – COLIN OSBORNE During 2016 Anglican Care celebrated 60 years of quality and supportive care to many frail aged people within the Diocese. From the few residents located at Booragul in 1956, we now provide care and services for more than 1300 residents and consumers, employing 850 staff, ably supported by 350 volunteers. We have grown to 12 different centres throughout the Diocese. This continued growth and expansion is due, in no small part, to the many people throughout the last 60 years, who have devoted their time and energy to Anglican Care; volunteers, family members, many parishes throughout the Diocese and to caring and loving staff. This support continues to this day for which are very grateful. I enjoyed the opportunity to attend many of the 60th Anniversary celebrations held throughout Anglican Care during 2016 and to spend time with the special people that make up our organisation. 2015-2016 has been a time of continued growth for Anglican Care in our commitment to providing quality facilities and innovative services to older persons. One of our major projects for this period was the construction and opening of Kilpatrick Court at Toronto. Kilpatrick Court has been the largest project undertaken by Anglican Care in its history and is also significant in that it plays a pivotal role in Anglican Care’s plans for future developments. Not only were residents from


Toronto Nursing Home relocated to Kilpatrick Court, residents from C A Brown were also relocated from Booragul to the Toronto Campus in order to facilitate a total redevelopment of C A Brown – a very complex logistical exercise! Our residents and their families were very supportive and patient during this process and the efforts of our staff who contributed to this milestone were outstanding. The redevelopment of C A Brown will also see the relocation of the existing food and laundry operations to a new purpose built facility at Cardiff which is well underway and due for completion in 2017. Additionally a change of location for our Day Therapy Centre clients was required. The Day Therapy Centre is currently operating out of Kilpatrick Court prior to moving back to a purpose built centre at Booragul as part of the redevelopment. Further progress has been made on the development of services at Gloucester. A site is being acquired close to Gloucester Hospital, which will allow for the construction of a new residential aged care home and retirement living villas. Construction is also underway on an additional 24 villas and a Village Centre at Northwood Retirement Living in Tenambit, with the development due for completion in June 2017. The existing residents of Northwood are very excited

that their village is finally being completed following the stalling of development by the previous owner. There have been major changes in our Community Care Services with the introduction of Consumer Directed Care to the delivery of home care packages. We also acquired additional community and dementia services following the acquisition of Lake Macquarie Care Services. In addition, Anglican Care was successfully allocated further home care packages within the Central Coast and Manning regions. This part of our organisation will continue to see changes in 2017 with more government reforms being introduced and the move to an open market. This means that organisations such as Anglican Care need to embrace the principles of a more market driven and competitive environment whilst remaining committed to meeting and exceeding the expectations of older people whose desire is to remain living independently at home as they age. Our very professional staff continue to be invited to present at seminars and workshops in Taree, Sydney, Alice Springs and Dubbo on our innovative initiatives including the introduction of the Life in Motion project which utilises the Xbox Kinect gaming technology. In addition, we were invited by John Hunter Hospital to participate in an innovative Telehealth Communication Project which is an exciting opportunity for Anglican Care. In August, Canon Keith Dean-Jones resigned from the Board and was replaced by the Rev’d Stephen Niland. The Rev’d Julie Turnbull and Richard Delbridge OAM were also appointed to the Board and Bishop Peter was appointed as the delegate of the President. All members of the Board give considerable time and energy to

the Board and Committees bringing special skills and expertise to ensure that Anglican Care continues to provide excellent care and this commitment is greatly appreciated. The many volunteers from the parishes and community have again provided wonderful assistance and support to our residents and consumers and we have acknowledged all of our volunteers at our special “thank you” functions. Once again the Auxiliary has been especially supportive. This year, their special project has been the provision of $25,000 towards the purchase of a Lifestyle Resource Van which will be very beneficial to all of our residents and consumers throughout the Diocese. The van is a unique and innovative new program for Anglican Care and the support of the Auxiliary members is much appreciated. The Manning Region Auxiliary was launched on September 23 with excellent support and coverage. Our Chaplaincy services form a vital part of Anglican Care, providing spiritual support to residents, consumers, staff, and families. We are very grateful for the ministry of the chaplains, led by Rev’d Andrew Harrison as Chaplaincy Services Coordinator, as they offer pastoral support in a caring and meaningful way. We thank Bishops Greg and Bishop Peter for their continued interest and support in this special ministry of our Diocese, as well as the Diocesan Business Manager, Mr John Cleary and his staff for their ongoing professional assistance and advice. Aged care ministry has come a long way over the last 60 years for which we thank so many people for their vision, courage, determination, faith, and passion for this wonderful ministry.


MANNING VALLEY ANGLICAN COLLEGE Mrs Sandra Langford PRINCIPAL It has been another year of successes for Manning Valley Anglican College, having completed a number of medium and long-term projects and now looking forward to brand new initiatives. Our strong academic focus has continued to yield pleasing results. Of our Graduating Class of 2015, more than three-quarters of our students are nearing the end of their first year of tertiary education, working towards jobs in a diverse range of fields including education, business, law, zookeeping, interior design and ministry and theology. From our Class of 2016, a handful of students have already accepted early offers and will continue their education in 2017. The College’s participation in the Schools Leading Learning Program for the past three years has seen a notable increase in academic performance across the school. I am delighted to announce that because of the impressive work done by staff in that program we are one of only 35 schools across NSW to be chosen to be a part of the Minister’s Literacy and Numeracy Action Plan to drive improvement in rural schools. Opportunities for learning beyond the classroom continue to grow as students enjoy our new Makerspace, perform at the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Night, participate in the Taree and District Eisteddfod or take part in Hunter Region Independent Schools activities. The Makerspace has provided students with equipment and a work space to bring their creative and innovative ideas to life. CAPA Night included a variety of fantastic musical and dance acts from our student body. Singers, dancers and debaters from all years were also able to take their talents to the stage during the Eisteddfod, walking away with a range of awards. MVAC continues to be a regular participant at HRIS events, including debating, the Cultural Festival and both Primary and Secondary sport. Our comprehensive Pastoral Care program has contributed greatly to the welfare of our students


throughout the year. Interest-based clubs have given Secondary students the chance to take part in an activity which they enjoy alongside like-minded peers. This project was also extended to the Primary School throughout the year. The regular provision of Chapel services and Christian Studies classes continues to complement our Pastoral programs. We have also seen great success in sporting endeavours. A number of students have gone on to represent MVAC and the Hunter Region at AICES all the way up to the New South Wales All-Schools Athletics and Swimming Carnivals. We also participated in a number of interschool competitions and galas through HRIS and in the Taree community and hosted the annual St Columba Anglican School vs Manning Valley Anglican College Challenge. 2016 was deemed to be the year of the COLA, and indeed it was. We are very grateful to many people for our Covered Outdoor Learning Area. It certainly was a team effort to raise the funds and I congratulate our P&F on their years of work to raise the capital needed. Also thanks go to St John’s Taree, Di Rose and the Clothing Pool, and the Commonwealth Government who all gave sizeable donations towards the COLA. May we have many interesting, stimulating and fun activities beneath its roof. MVAC’s success in 2016 has to be attributed to every single student. Whether sitting on the sideline cheering their heart out or putting those extra hours in at the desk, the collective efforts of Manning Valley Anglican School students allow our school to be what it is today. We acknowledged some of those successes on Presentation Night. It has been a great year for our school. We continue to grow and flourish and I thank our wonderful Staff for all they do for our students. I look forward to the challenges and joys of 2017.



Creativity, Respect, Empathy, Attitude, Tenacity and Empowerment. These keys areas of focus underpin the Secondary School Pastoral Care Program. 2016 is a year where we look to build and further develop excellence in each and every child. The CREATE project aims to allow students an informal opportunity to develop, reflect and engage with staff to ensure they are feeling supported in all aspects of school life.

Students from Kindergarten to Year 12 have had access to a new range of resources and activities during lunchtime. The Makerspace provides students with tools and materials and encourages them to create something new and innovative. The creativity and excitement of the students visiting Makerspace has been a joy to witness. We look forward to seeing all that they continue to create in the near future.


BISHOP TYRRELL ANGLICAN COLLEGE Mr Peter Moulds PRINCIPAL Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College continues to challenge, equip and encourage students to acquire a transformational world view, and to develop a generous spirit as well as a steely determination. When a community stands united in celebration of its children, it can provide a unique context in which young men and women can celebrate this unique and special time in their lives. Through our service, commitment, generosity and prayer, we are more than well equipped to provide every child with a unique journey of discovery and adventure that will honour their life, refine their beliefs and values, release their creativity, shape their leadership potential and equip them with a spirit of hope and possibility. As a community, we need wisdom, generosity, forgiveness, faith, hope, grace and love. It is my hope that all of our children can find the inspiration to become fine young men and women of integrity and principle who support each other in their journey towards excellence. Inherent in this is the notion of a community of care, based on values of faith, honesty and compassion in relationships, and respect for others. We strive to empower each other to


support one another, to lead with integrity and serve our community. We recognize the value of each person, our strength in diversity, our obligation to care for one another. We remain committed to acknowledging, nurturing, celebrating and extending the diverse gifts and abilities of all members of our community. Therefore, we recognize the importance of a safe and caring environment, in which students can thrive in learning, grow to be men and women of fine character and strive with others to achieve excellence together. 2016 involved significant planning and management of key building projects, timetable preparation, staffing allocation and induction of new staff and our new management model for the College. Construction was completed on the new state-of-the-art Primary building, on the new Sporting Courts and on the new Covered Outdoor Learning Area outside of the Long Building. A rugby/soccer sporting field is being created over the 2016/2017 Christmas holiday period and the College Master Plan is springing to life. We are determined that all our new and future facilities will be of the highest quality, reflecting our quest for excellence and our learning philosophy.

The strength of relationships, the sense of belonging and personal value, and the recognition and celebration of the students’ many gifts and talents, serves to create a memory and affection for friends, staff and the College community. To travel through time and space without moving is an entirely normal piece of Bishop Tyrrell. We do it in our memories and our imaginations. We did it as our purpose in our Senior Production Robin Hood: A Bard’s Tale, and the Primary School musical Alice in Wonderland, which so many of us marvelled at, must stand for a whole host of events in which our children transform an ordinary space for a while into a magical land and invite us to travel with them. Our musical concerts and Christmas Carol Service were likewise special, with different groups performing a wider range of music to a higher overall quality than ever before. And was it only the growing mastery of technique which we admired, or was it that the magical impulse to sing or to pick up an instrument and play was still so much alive, in the joy the children discovered and communicated in their performing?

With many new challenges before us, we are confident we have the vision and the leadership team to move confidently into the future. I wish to record my sincere appreciation for the work of the College and NASC Boards, staff, parents, and students of the College for their continued encouragement and support during the course of the year. Thank you for your foresight and for ensuring that Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College will continue to inform and create the future. I congratulate the many students and staff on their many successes during the 2016 academic year, and wish the class of 2016 our very best wishes and every blessing for the future. Leadership, Character, Spirit — these are the elements that will always be richly mixed in the hearts and minds of a Bishop Tyrrell child. I trust these qualities will be evident to all who have the privilege to meet and enjoy the company of a Bishop Tyrrell child today and in the years ahead.

One College, One Future


LAKES GRAMMAR - AN ANGLICAN SCHOOL Mr Michael Hannah PRINCIPAL 2016 marks 13 years since the opening of Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School in February 2004. As Principal for that whole period I’ve been privileged to see many children grow to be young men and women of whom we and their parents can be proud. It is gratifying and humbling to know that the staff of our school have played such a big part in the lives of so many young people. Not only do we now have some of our graduates teaching here but we are also beginning to see their children enrolled. A major focus this year has been on improving students’ learning through teachers’ collaborative professional learning. The Chair of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership, Professor John Hattie, has stated that, “the greatest influence on student progression in learning is having highly expert, inspired and passionate teachers and school leaders working together to maximise the effect of their teaching on all students in their care”. This is what we have been focusing on this year. Teachers in both Junior and Senior Schools began by analysing a wide range of academic data from our students. Strengths and weaknesses were identified and explicit strategies were planned to improve the areas of weakness. Alongside this, teachers have set their own professional learning goals related to the school’s goals. They have learned from each other by observing peers’ lessons, co-planning lessons and observing and improving the lessons for the next time (this is called “lesson study”), teachers present strategies to their peers at


staff meetings and co-ordinators have undertaken “learning walks” in which as a group they visit classes for 10-15 minutes and closely observe the learning that is occurring. These are just some of the ways teachers are working together to improve their own teaching practice and therefore the learning of their students. We have had the privilege of a grant from the Association of Independent Schools and the expertise of their consultants that have helped us to bring about significant change in our professional learning practices. In the Senior School we have been focusing on improving our students’ capacity for higher-order thinking by using “Visible Thinking Routines” and we have continued our implementation of Building Learning Power across the school. In the Junior School we have had a focus on explicit instruction in reading and writing by further developing Jolly Phonics. In K-2 across-grade reading groups have helped us to better target our resources. Our 2016 NAPLAN results showed improvements in a number of areas while some areas still show weaknesses. I was especially pleased to see that in some domains in particular grades our average increased while the averages of the state as a whole and independent schools as a whole declined. We are looking forward to seeing continued improvement as our changed practices have more impact on student learning.

The Cognito program in the Senior School this year saw many students enriched by pursuing their specific interests. Students were able to be involved in such activities as writing, poetry, debating, Mock Trial, Model United Nations Assembly, Da Vinci Decathlon, Momentum (STEM enrichment), Space Design – Terra forming Mars, art and the Climate Adapted People Shelter Design Competition. This latter saw our team compete against university students and design companies to design a solar efficient bus shelter for a Western Sydney council. The team made it to the finals and were highly commended. In the Junior School, on

top of the usual array of performing arts and sports options, we added Trinity College Speech and Drama lessons and a Drama Club. In terms of spiritual growth, our Girls and Boys Cru groups have continued to be popular in the Junior School and Cru groups also run in the Senior School. Our Chaplains, Reverend Matt Shorten and Mr Peter Oates have a key role in helping us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Our Christian foundations are essential for building our school’s culture and in pointing each of us to Jesus who calls us to follow him.


SCONE GRAMMAR SCHOOL Mr Paul Smart PRINCIPAL Scone Grammar School has had an amazing year filled with wonderful learning opportunities across the school. This learning has occurred both inside and outside the classroom due to the wide range of opportunities created for the students of the school by the teaching staff. We have had two significant focus opportunities to strengthen learning during the year, with the Schools Leading Learning program guided by the AIS and our continued development of Building Learning Power to assist us strengthen the capacity for all students to respond to the every changing fast paced nature of the world we live in. These focuses have help us move forward an improvement plan and work in a more collaborative way towards these aims. This will continue into 2017. Over the last 12 months we have also lived with the challenge of a large building project on site as the Secondary Teaching and Learning Centre (STLC) has been constructed. This modern flexible teaching space has been used during term 4 with great success and proved that the pain of the building process was well worth it. These teaching spaces provide for four classrooms and a large breakout space all with moveable walls to offer collaborative activities. The glass walls have also opened up the transparency of the teaching and the sharing across classes. We are looking forward to raising the funds to complete the upstairs classrooms in the same way. The STLC has been a highlight for SGS.


Our motto for the year is “Give Your Life a Twist” to encourage each member of the school community to fully develop themselves and be creative. What a wonderful challenge that was responded to by the Art Show committee who planned and produced a very successful “Swept Away” Art show with an excellent range of artworks from so many students, staff and community artists. The creativity was very evident in all aspects of the show. Debating has had a higher profile during the year with both Primary and Secondary teams being more than competitive in a range of competitions. The students worked very well together to debate some very challenging topics with success. Our sporting teams and individuals have kept up the high standard across the year with many students achieving representative honours at varying levels right through to state representation. The range of sports represented is also a point of celebration from the traditional swimming, athletics and cross country, rugby, netball to AFL and of course equestrian pursuits. Our Christian foundation and mission have been central to our year as we celebrate this being a central aspect of Scone Grammar School, especially through the outstanding Chapel program and the work of Rev’d Nate Atkinson.


MISSION TO SEAFARERS Peter Middleton CHAPLAIN Every day, 365 days a year, we at the Mission to Seafarers transport crew from their ships in the Port of Newcastle into Wickham, where they spend time at our Centre and then go out to enjoy some of the good things Newcastle city has to offer. In the past year we’ve transported just under 13,000 seafarers in our two 12-seater buses, making about 4,000 round trips to the various berths in the port, as well as many more trips to places of interest around Newcastle. We’ve taken seafarers to our local shopping centre, to Newcastle Beach, to walk the ANZAC Memorial Walk down to Bar Beach, and to our Cathedral, which seafarers often call “the Castle”. We love to see our Mission to Seafarers Centre as a place in which seafarers can feel at home and enjoy connecting with one another and with family members back home in a comfortable and safe environment. In October we were glad to facilitate a family get-together at the Mission. One of our visiting seafarers met up with his mother and two brothers whom he’d seen only three times in 22 years. This was certainly an emotional time! The seafaring life is not an easy one. When seafarers take up employment opportunities on ships around the world, it means that they are often working far from home, with limited opportunities to return to visit loved ones and friends. We were privileged to provide the transport and venue for this family reunion. Over the last 12 months we have served over 5000 meals to seafarers in our Centre and given away thousands of beanies lovingly knitted by people from Anglican and Catholic parishes, and lots of good-quality second-hand clothes donated by parishes and other organisations. In September we at the Mission to Seafarers, along with other Port users, were invited to the “Maiden Voyage”


party onboard the M.V. China Steel Vision. The captain, officers and crew were very excited to be visiting Newcastle for the first time and made our ship visitors feel very welcome, serving up a delicious lunch on the bridge, and then taking our visitors on a tour of the engine room and engine control room. We have a dedicated and growing team of ship-visitors who make it their aim to go on board most of the ships that come into the Port and attend to the needs of the crew, inviting them, if they have the opportunity, to come ashore for a time of refreshment. In the past 12 months we have visited over 1000 ships. The Mission to Seafarers in Newcastle, which is Anglican-based, continues to work closely with Stella Maris, our equivalent in the Catholic Church. The paid Catholic Chaplain, Larry Mervin, is a great asset in our leadership team as we work together to represent the broader Christian church in its care for international seafarers. Every Thursday evening we enjoy mass in our beautiful small chapel, where volunteers from all churches as well as seafarers join in Christian worship. Every month a lovely retired Christian couple on the Central Coast sends us a box of home-made fridge magnets (made out of old Venetian blinds cut into 7cm lengths). At the moment we’re adding these fridge magnets to our Christmas Packs that will be given to every seafarer who visits the Port of Newcastle over Christmas. Seafarers often ask us why we do so much to help them. So we have an opportunity to explain to them that we’re just doing what God does. God extends a warm welcome to all people, irrespective of their background and invites them into his safe space where they can grow to be the people God wants them to be. That’s our mission and our vision.

MOTHERS’ UNION Jeanette Johnston EDUCATION, PROMOTION AND DEVELOPMENT CO-ORDINATOR The MU Australia Mission Statement is “Sharing Christ’s love by encouraging, strengthening and supporting marriage and family life”. Members and Branches in the Newcastle Diocese try to live by this statement in many and various ways, but all involve prayer, worship and service. Our Theme this year was “Called to Pray the Hard Prayers”, and many of us found it quite challenging to delve more deeply into the hard places in our world, in our communities and in ourselves, and to pray more widely for wrong-doers and for victims alike in many aspects of life. Our first Diocesan gathering of the year was our first council meeting in February where we learnt from our guest speaker Mrs Teresa Brierly, Vice Chancellor of Parochial Ministries Catholic Council, about social justice issues such as ending poverty, promoting justice, upholding dignity and loving God and neighbour – good food for thought and action. At our second council meeting in June we heard about the inspiring ministry of Kairos Outside for Women, supporting women who are impacted by having someone in prison. A wonderful Lady Day was celebrated in March at Christ Church Cathedral with Bishop Greg presiding at the Eucharist, the Rev’d Roger Zohrab preaching on Mary Mother of our Lord, and Dr Paul Craven, CEO of John Hunter Children’s Hospital and head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), speaking of his amazing work with “premmie” babies in Vietnam twice a year. We were pleased to be able to present NICU with $5,000 for important and necessary equipment, and the Australian Vietnam Volunteers with $2,000, raised mainly from the sale of our greeting cards throughout the year. Later in the year NICU asked us if we could provide the new ward with 60 humidicrib day/night covers, so we rose to the challenge, funding and buying the colourful material, making them up and presenting them to the delighted hospital staff. A small band of hospital visitors continued to visit the sick, and another group continued to visit mothers in maternity hospitals with hand-knitted gifts for their

new babies. In addition, at least 91 large Baby Bundles were packed and delivered to maternity hospitals, women’s refuges and Samaritans for distribution by social workers and midwives to needy mums for their new babies. They are greatly appreciated. We have continued to attend Worimi Children’s Court every Monday and Thursday throughout the year to provide Coffee and Care and a listening ear to hurting parents or grandparents of children before the court. Mothers’ Union has over 4.1 million members in 83 countries worldwide, and this year we are celebrating 140 years since it began in England. One of our objectives is “to maintain a worldwide fellowship of Christians united in prayer, worship and service”, so it is our responsibility and privilege to provide prayer and financial support to help members carry out projects in places where the needs are great, their will is strong, but resources are few. One way we do this here in the Newcastle Diocese is to hold two luncheons each August (in Newcastle and on the Central Coast) in order to learn more about MU elsewhere, and to raise funds to send overseas and to Northern Australia - this year about $10,000 was raised. This year we learnt about Tanzania and how MU operates there from the Rev’d Dr Fergus King, Parish Priest of Kotara South, who spoke to us from his personal experience of life in Tanzania. We were involved again in June in the Wave of Prayer when each Branch learnt about and prayed for MU members in five other Dioceses across the world with which we are linked. At our recent AGM we farewelled quite a number of Executive members who had served diligently in this capacity over many years, one being our Chaplain, Rev’d Jan Deaves. However we welcomed some new faces to take up leadership roles, including Fr Gary Harman as our new Chaplain. After six years at the helm, our much-loved President, Laurel Brook, will remain in her position for one more year. And so MU Australia in the Newcastle Diocese continues on.


ANGLICAN WOMEN Marion Willey PRESIDENT During 2016 this “umbrella” group has provided a point of contact for ALL women. Operating in the Diocese of Newcastle since 1960, it continues to work toward the extension of Christ’s Kingdom through worship, study, service, fellowship and giving; promoting co-operation and understanding between the groups that may exist in any one parish and making provision for those not included in such groups. Lent Retreats, 2016: “Resting in God’s love’. Over hot summer days, 35 full-time and 15 day visitors gathered at the old mud brick Monastery in Stroud to enjoy a time of quiet contemplation, being still and listening to God. The retreats were led by the Rev’d Michelle Hazel-Jawhary. She reminded us that we all have a need for unconditional love - God loves each of us, a love that is not subject to ‘if...’ or ‘when...’. As we made this spiritual journey together, we grew closer as a community, united in our love of God and of each other. The Annual Diocesan Service was held on June 7 at St Peter’s, East Maitland, a location a bit more central for country parishes. The new theme for the year, JOY: ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Neh. 8:10) was the focus of guest speaker, the Rev’d Fiona Bergstrom, a retired American priest now living and serving in Woy Woy Parish. Bishop Peter celebrated and preached and the Hunter Valley Grammar School Senior Band presented a delightful afternoon program. Manning Deanery organised an Autumn Celebration at Wingham in May. Michelle Fauchon, who served in Chile with SIMS, spoke on “Where was I? Where am I now? Where is God leading me next?” Students from Manning Valley Anglican College led the singing and


Mrs Kara Ford shared a craft demonstration after lunch. A Quiet Day was held in Taree in early November. In the parishes, Anglican Women Sunday, the last Sunday in July, served to celebrate Anglican women in each parish and the good work they do. Spring Celebrations in the Deaneries: Over the first week of September, ladies from KOW (Kairos Outside for Women - Hunter) shared their stories and the ministry of KOW at services in Harrington, Mayfield, Raymond Terrace, Muswellbrook and Lakes Anglican churches. The inside program, Kairos, is for the offender who must serve their sentence; Kairos Outside however is the outside program for the family of those in prison, who often “do time” as well, even though they did not commit the crime. At Kairos Outside weekends, guests find a safe environment where people are willing to listen. They are blown away when they discover other women who have been through these same experiences, and these same feelings. Imagine their surprise when they discover women who have not only survived, but are also doing well. This is the beauty of Kairos Outside. They offer a listening ear without condemnation, as they seek to love and listen non-judgmentally. KOW offers hope and on-going support. Giving: The Thank You Box project for Alzheimers Australia (NSW) finished in September, raising $6,000. This will assist in providing services for sufferers and carers, and research into a condition which affects so many families. The project for the next 12 months is Kairos Outside for Women.

CURSILLO Helen Fraser & Brian Walsh CO-LAY DIRECTORS Cursillo, a movement of committed Christian laypeople and clergy of the Diocese working together to spread the Word of God and his amazing Grace to all who will hear the message of Jesus.

Highlights of the year and plans for the future: •

The Cursillo side by side weekend for 2016 was held at Kurri Hotel Academy again this year and some 53 attendees were given a short course in Christian Living. The Welcome Day soon after the weekend was held at Morpeth, and newly enriched people were officially welcomed into the wonderful world of Cursillo with great enthusiasm. Cursillo also was involved in the Annual Men’s Weekend held at Tahlee where 75 men attended and were treated to a very enlightening and enriching weekend with the theme, “God, me and the work that I do”. Kairos Prison Ministry as part of the Cursillo area is still very active, as is also “Torch” a ministry for young offenders, and Kairos Outside which ministers to those affected by the imprisonment of family members. Cursillo encourages lay people to rise to a new level in their faith and provides training to assist people to reach a goal of leadership that to them would not be possible without God’s help. The support of the parish clergy is paramount in the efficient operation of the Cursillo model and we are continually striving to encourage that to happen within all parishes throughout the Diocese. Our goal for the future is to develop a strong effective body of praying active Cursillistas in every Deanery throughout the Diocese. These groups are called Leadership Schools and Serving Communities. It is from these groups

that our future leaders are called and is the next step for our past candidates filled with the spirit to become involved. Our Diocesan Ultreya, which is one of our major events, was held at Singleton with around 150 people from around the Diocese attending and it was a most enjoyable day. At this event the replacement members of Secretariat were commissioned. Lyn Carter will replace Helen Fraser as co Lay Director for the next three years and Tony Farmer and Lesley Byrne have been commissioned as Lay Directors for M46 and W46 during 2017. Secretariat member Chris Palmer was decommissioned after her three year tenure was completed. A National Cursillo conference is held each year and we had good representation from our Diocese to the conference in Tasmania this year. Various aspects of the Cursillo model are discussed and modified as needed in order to keep Cursillo vibrant and uniform nationwide. Bishop Ian Palmer is the Spiritual Director of the National body and our own Steve Niland as a newly appointed SA. Please pray for the Cursillo Movement within our Anglican Diocese. Pray for its continuing enthusiasm and spirit-led work as it continues to minister the Gospel and love of God to our beloved people in Jesus’ name. There are many people within our parishes who would benefit greatly by attending a Cursillo weekend. Secretariat, the Diocesan controlling body, will continue to financially assist people who would like to attend by offering our early bird option. Please visit our website www.cursillonewcastle.

With our blessing and love in Jesus name, Helen Fraser and Brian Walsh


Telling my story POLICE

Everyone who has been abused or who has information about abuse is urged to come forward to the Police. The NSW Police are interested in receiving any information about criminal activity associated with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle including sexual abuse or the concealing of sexual abuse. People with information can call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 ROYAL COMMISSION

You are encouraged also to contact the Royal Commission by calling 1800 099 340 OR Email OR Write to GPO Box 5283 Sydney NSW 2001 PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS OFFICE

If you would like to speak with the Diocesan Director of Professional Standards you can call 1800 774 945 OR Write confidentially to the Director of Professional Standards directly at: Anglican Diocese of Newcastle PO Box 494 Newcastle NSW, 2300 OR Email YOU WILL BE HEARD AND YOUR MATTERS WILL BE TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY

Seeking Support Discussing child sexual abuse can be difficult. The Royal Commission has reminded us that is especially so for survivors telling their story for the first time, their families and professional staff supporting them. The Royal Commission provides an extensive list of care and support services which can be found at Support Services. These services connect people with counsellors or special support groups. If you need immediate support call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For more, visit:


Annual Review 2016  
Annual Review 2016