It has been announced that Reverend Dr Sarah Macneil will become the 11th bishop of Grafton, NSW.
Dr Macneil is a former Dean of Adelaide and archdeacon in the Diocese of
Canberra-Goulburn. She is presently Senior Associate Priest at Holy
Covenant in Jamison, ACT.
The news agencies are getting everything wrong. Dr Macneil will be the first woman bishop in Australia to lead a diocese. Not, of course, the first woman bishop. There are 4 other women bishops in Australia in the dioceses of Perth, Melbourne, Canberra-Goulburn and Brisbane. However they are all assistant bishops.
I was under the impression that the General Synod of Australia had not yet approved women as diocesan bishops due to the continuing opposition of Sydney and some others preventing a 2/3rd vote in favour. Apparently this has been overcome.
It is customary for bishops to be consecrated by the provincial archbishop, in this case Sydney.
Jensen declined to even attend the consecration of Bishop Genieve Blackwell in Canberra-Goulburn and she was consecrated by the Bishop of Newcastle.
It will be interesting to see what the newly installed archbishop Glenn Davies does.
If he also declines, he can change his name to Canute.
Every 10 years my senior class of 1973 holds a reunion. Even though I moved 3000 km away I did not want to miss it this year. I do not know about 2023.
Besides teaching them Geography, I also led the Travel Club which during 1972 raised money for 66 students and 10 teachers to go on a month's camping trip to New Zealand.
The Travel Club was started by another teacher in 1965 (to Central Australia) and at the end of 1966 (my first year of teaching) I joined it for my first visit to New Zealand. I still keep in touch with some of those students.
In 1967 we went to North Queensland, in 1968 to Central Australia and Darwin then I took over and led another group to NZ in 1969.
In 1970/71 we went to Tasmania and in 1971 to North Queensland again.
Then followed this 3rd trip to NZ and it was the biggest group. At the end of 1973 I took the following year group back to Tasmania and then, to the annoyance of many parents, I set off on my own trip to Asia and Europe in 1974 and the club folded. Such trips would probably be impossible today due to the red tape demanded now.
Anyway I flew to Sydney 2 weeks ago, stayed with my sister and joined one of the students, Graham, in a hotel for the weekend. Graham and I became very close and later I was best man at his wedding. We drove to the Southern beach suburb of Cronulla for afternoon drinks on the Saturday followed by a dinner/dance then back again on Sunday morning for a breakfast cruise of Port Hacking. I am told over 80 ex-students attended and there were over half the students from the trip to New Zealand.
Here is a photo of those in the Travel Club who were present at the dinner. I am holding the blackboard.
Then there is a photo taken of the original group in New Zealand in January 1973. I am on the far right back to van, aged just 29.
You will have to click on the photos to see them properly
After visitng the Auckland Botanical Gardens on Day 12, I began driving back south but disaster struck when, after driving over 160 km, I stopped about 1pm for lunch in the little town of Tirau and realised I had left all my shirts hanging in the cupboard back in Auckland or actually Manukau (20 km south) where I had spent Sunday night.
I immediately began the drive back and, although delayed by an accident on the motorway, collected my shirts about 3.30pm, rang my accommodation for that night to say I would be very late and drove back stopping first for petrol and coffee and later a hamburger. I arrived Turangi just after 8pm having driven over 650 km instead of the planned 306 km. Obviously I have no photos from that journey.
I stayed 2 nights in Turangi and so on Day 13 walked about 8 km along the river in the morning.
In the afternoon, I drove past the 3 volcanoes on the plateau to the skifield at Ruapehu. I had only been there in summer previously.
1. Mount Tongariro 1,978 metres, erupted in August and November 2012
2. MountNgauruhoe, 2,291 metres, last erupted 1977 and is better known as it was filmed as Mt Doom in "Lord of the Rings"
3. Mt Ruapehu, 2797 metres, last erupted in 2007 but there have been regular warnings in recent years
On it's slopes are Chateau Tongariro
and the Whakapapa skifield
On the way back to Turangi there is a great lookout over Lake Taupo.
On Day 14, snow was forecast so I hurried along the Desert Road which is often closed by snow. I drove on the other side of the volcanoes and stopped for morning tea just south of Taihape with a view down to the Rangitikei River.
Rain had set in as I stopped for an hour in Palmerston North and I had lunch in Levin then drove down the Kapiti coast to Upper Hutt.
was in the local news defending the recent ordination as deacon of Rev
Juan Kinnear, a man living openly in a gay relationship. Juan later
became a priest and was associate priest at the cathedral. He is now
Priest enabler at St John's Waikouaiti.
disappointed when I finally moved to Dunedin in 2010 to find David Rice
was now Bishop of Waiapu with the cathedral in Napier where I worshipped
However he was still able to support the
cause of GLBT people in the Anglican church of Aotearoa New Zealand and
Waiapu has been a leading diocese in this development.
Last year the Diocese of Waiapu put forward the following motion to General Synod.
The diocese of Waiapu, which covers Bay of Plenty and Hawkes
Bay, has put forward a proposal for dioceses which wish to be able to bless
same-sex unions to be able to do so, and for gay priests to be ordained.
The Diocese of Waiapu strongly believes that sexual orientation
should present no barrier to ordination, the Motion says.
As a diocese, like others, we have experienced first-hand
the ministry of gay and lesbian clergy, some of whom have been in faithful,
loving, committed same-gender relationships, and believe them to have enriched
the life of our Church.
We are therefore grateful that successive bishops have
discerned within the lives of these people a call to ordination, and
acknowledge this work of discernment is a serious and significant aspect of
We have become concerned in recent years that bishops of
this and other dioceses appear to have come under pressure to withhold discernment
for ordination because of a person's sexual orientation and their living out of
that orientation with a loving, faithful relationship, the Motion continues.
As a diocese we believe such pressure runs contrary to the
traditional understanding that the responsibility for discerning and acting
upon the call of the Holy Spirit on an individual to a life within the holy
order of priests or deacons rests firmly in the hands of the bishop of the diocese
We therefore ask that:
This General Synod /
Te Hinota Whanui affirms the long tradition and practice of episcopal autonomy
in the discernment of a person's call to ordination.
The Diocese of Waiapu has also put forward a Motion for the
General Synod to:
Move forward with
the provision of an authorised liturgy for the blessing of same-gender relationships
to be adopted for use by those dioceses which wish so to do.
I am sad to learn that Bishop David is to return to the USA as
provisional bishop of San Juan. I know San Juan needs all the help it
can at this time but pray that a similarly brave bishop is appointed to
continue the good work in Waiaipu
On Day 10 of my trip I travelled on the ferry to Waiheke Island passing Rangitoto Island, one of the extinct? volcanoes.
I took a walk around the coast of the island. Unfortunately I did not take my stick and walking boots and the track was very muddy and slippery so I only completed about two thirds.
On Day 11 I attended Eucharist at the Auckland cathedral.
Then I drove north to Piha Beach on the west coast. It is regularly featured on TV surf rescue programs.
I then drove to Muriwai also featured on TV but not so pretty.
On Day 12 I visited the Auckland Botanical Gardens.
On two evenings I attended concerts in the Town Hall. The first was an organ recital by Dr Indra Hughes of Bach's the Art of Fugue. I like organ music but Dr Hughes gave a very involved lecture beforehand of which I understood little and the piece played was very long.
Much better was the 2nd night when the Australian conductor Richard Gill led the New Zealand Youth Orchestra playing
LOGAN Zhu Rong Fury!
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No.3
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No.5
It was a marvellous night.
I had also been fortunate when I stayed in Napier.
I purposely left Dunedin the morning after attending a concert by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. They toured the South Island with a Mozart performance
MOZART The Abduction from the Seraglio: Overture
MOZART Sinfonia Concertante
MOZART Symphony No.40 in G minor
At the same time they were touring the North Island with a Beethoven performance
BEETHOVEN The Ruins of Athens Overture
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.2
BEETHOVEN Symphony No.5
and it was in Napier at the art deco theatre opposite my hotel on the night I was staying there.
Therefore I attended 3 marvellous concerts within 2 weeks.
In the afternoon of Day 4 I headed into new territory towards East Cape.
I passed through Wairoa and spent the night in Gisborne.
Day 5 I drove 360 km right around East Cape through Tolaga Bay with the longest wharf in New Zealand.
Then to Tokamaru Bay with a reminder that Spring was upon us.
I visted the delightful Maori Anglican church at Tiki Tiki. This area is largely settled by Maori and was one of the first areas reached by the early Maori when they sailed to New Zealand.
Te Araroa is the most easterly point of New Zealand I am likely to visit. From here a 20 km gravel road leads along the ocean edge to East Cape Lighthouse. The oldest and largest Pohutakawa tree is in the school grounds. I must return in November/December when the Pohutakawa are in full flower.
The scenery was great all the way to my overnight stop in Opotiki.
A retired teacher librarian who loves travelling especially by train and wastes a lot of time on the Internet.
An Anglican who knows God loves me as a gay man.
Moved at the beginning of 2010 from the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia to Dunedin, NZ.
One of the best things I ever did.