Dear Friends

Extraordinary Synod – February 2018

An Extraordinary Session of Synod will be held on Saturday 10th February at St. James’ Cathedral, Townsville, commencing with Morning Prayer at 9.30 a.m.

The purpose of the Synod is to either adopt or assent to ten Canons of General Synod in regard to Safe Ministry to Children as well as Episcopal Standards re Child Protection.

As pointed out earlier, with General Synod Canons we are not able to change them, we either accept or reject them. The booklet that is being prepared will outline the issues each Canon will address.

This is the first time in the life of the Anglican Church of Australia that we have acted in unison; instead of acting as 23 separate Diocese. The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse has highlighted how the Anglican Church of Australia does see itself. The community does see us as one entity.

The Canons are available on our Diocesan webpage at:

The Diocesan Council meets on December 6th and will approve the information that will be forwarded to each member of Synod on or about the 12th December 2017.

Also, I point out there will be no general motions at this Synod. The only motions will be the procedural motions.

There will only be the one mailing for this Synod. I know it is a busy time of the year, but I ask that each member of Synod give serious consideration to this Synod and these Canons.

June Synod 2018
Next year the annual Synod of the Diocese will commence at 10.00 a.m., on Saturday 9th June with Morning Prayer and will conclude on Sunday afternoon. On the Sunday we will worship at the Cathedral at 8.00 a.m. The venue of the Synod itself is still to be confirmed.

This date was chosen because of the following reasons:

Weekend of 15-17 June, GAFCON commences on the Sunday in Jerusalem.
Weekend of 22-24June, GAFCON ends on the Friday in Jerusalem.
Weekend of 29 June to 1 July - the Coming of the Light
Weekend of 06-08 July - V8 Supercars in Townsville and accommodation is very expensive.

Also, a number of Ministry Units have the Annual Show during June, and a number of our Ministry Units cater at the local Show. It is a key fundraising time.

To meet the mailing requirements we will be forwarding the first mailing within the month of the Extraordinary Synod.

Other Dates:
The Diocesan Conference and Retreat Dates are still being finalised. Now that we do not have access to St. Mark’s College, setting the dates was not as easy as it has been in the past.

In the Care of our Common Home: Sister Earth
I thank everyone for their feedback to this statement that Bishop Tim and I issued.

I have mentioned several times before that it is important to keep up with our reading. I encourage clergy to make a habit of reading a Biblical commentary each year. I have suggested the Gospels in the past. This year, I have decided to read and study the Acts of the Apostles. The Epistles are worthy of much study and reflection.

I have been enjoying the autobiography by John Polkinghorne, “From Physicist to Priest”. It is an excellent book as it clearly sets out the relationship between science and Christianity.
One other book I have been reading is about how to plan for your retirement and be happy. Over the years I have heard many people say that it is important to plan for your retirement. On reading this book, I am very aware of the need to plan and be open to new possibilities.

• The Anglicare AGM tomorrow in Cairns.

• The Reverend Scott Hedley and the Hedley family as Scott prepares for surgery on the 30th November.

• For all our Year 12 students who are concluding their school life. For some, this is a great time of expectation and joy. For others, it can be a challenging time in seeking the best way forward for them.

• The various Speech Days and Evenings in the next couple of weeks.

• Bishop Kay Goldsworthy as she prepares to leave Gippsland and be installed as the next Archbishop of Perth and Metropolitan of Western Australia. (Bishop Kay, like us, is holding a special session of Synod to pass the General Synod Canons, but the Gippsland Synod is on the day of her farewell!!

• Bishop Sarah MacNeil has announced her retirement in mid-March, due to ill health.

The Registry Hours over the Christmas/New Year period:

Thursday 21 December Registry closes at 4pm
Wednesday 3 January Registry Reopens at 8am

Please be assured of my continued prayers.
Yours in Christ

The Right Reverend William (Bill) Ray
Bishop of North Queensland

Sexual Abuse contact line: 1800 242 544 or 07 3835 2266

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