The name of the new Bishop for the Anglican Diocese of Canberra/Goulburn should be known after this weekend.
Up to 500 people are expected to converge on Goulburn on Friday and Saturday for an Episcopal Synod for the election of the new bishop.
The person will replace Bishop Stuart Robinson who retired in March after 10 years in the role. He has since taken up an appointment as parish priest at St Michael’s, Vaucluse.
Sub Dean of Goulburn’s Saint Saviour’s Cathedral, Canon Anne Wentzel, said there were five candidates for the Bishop’s position but their identity would only be known to a six-member episcopal election board. It comprises three clergy and three lay people. The Diocese is embarking on a new selection process.
“The candidates will not be there in person but each of them is introduced to the board only through the written material that has been presented and their referees,” she said.
An elimination process follows until two candidates remain. At this stage, a ‘lay house’ comprising three representatives from every parish in the diocese, and a ‘clergy house’ take part in a general vote to choose the Bishop. A majority is needed in both houses.
Even then, the Primate and the Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies must ratify the candidate. The Reverend Wentzel said the new Bishop should be known early next week.
Candidates’ ‘vetting’ has already occurred as part of the process which started with selection of the episcopal board in April.
Trevor Edwards has been Bishop administrator since Bishop Robinson’s departure.
“I think it’s very important that we have someone permanently in the role,” The Reverend Wentzel said.
“It’s been a bit of a break since April...It’s a big role and Canberra/Goulburn is a big diocese, taking in Canberra and the parliament. It’s also a very healthy diocese but is far stretched in the country with small parishes.”
The Synod begins with a service at Saint Saviour’s Cathedral at 7.30pm Thursday officiated by Bishop Edwards.
The event continues at the Goulburn Workers Club on Friday and Saturday. Synod members are required to keep the names of unsuccessful candidates confidential afterwards.
Meantime, the Cathedral will also host a service on Sunday, November 11 to mark the 100th anniversary since the end of World War One. The Reverend Wentzel will officiate, with Archdeacon John Barnes delivering an address. It starts at 10am and ends at 10.59am in time for a minute’s silence.
“At 11am, the entire city will observe a minute’s silence and then the bells will toll (at Saint Saviour’s and Sts Peter and Paul’s Cathedral), followed by the Reveille on Rocky Hill. Hopefully we’ll get a good turn up to the service,” she said.
The Goulburn RSL Sub Branch has asked shop owners and the general community to also pause at 11am. The service at Rocky Hill starts at 10.30am.
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