Dear Members of the Diocesan Family

Administrator - Good Shepherd Cairns:
Mrs Robyn Gaunt has been appointed Administrator of the Good Shepherd Parish, Edge Hill, Cairns. Robyn will share the position with Mrs Avril Smuts who continues her ministry with the Parish. We pray God's blessing on Avril and Robyn’s ministry and assure them and the Parish of our prayers. We also pray for Patrick Williams whom Robyn replaces in the role. Patrick has commenced full time university studies this year.

Administration Assistant:
The Diocese made the decision to work through an Employment Agency to find a replacement for Mrs Tina Price. As a result, a small committee was appointed to conduct interviews. The interviews have been completed and I will be making an announcement next week.

The Reverend Peter and Mrs Sonja Holbrook:
Peter has resigned his licence as a Deacon in the Diocese. Both Peter and Sonya are exploring where God is leading them in terms of their future ministry. We assure them of our prayers and pray that their travels will be in safety.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse:
On Monday, I was named to attend one of the Commission's panels. Yesterday, the Commission announced that they no longer required me and another Bishop was named. Matters before the Royal Commission have been before the Bishops' Conference. A number of people from the Province are required to attend the Royal Commission from the 17th to the 24th of this month. Please keep the Royal Commission in your prayers at the moment.

The National Bishops' Conference:
The Conference is being held at Tweed Heads. The agenda is fairly full. On the Sunday evening and Monday morning the Conference was blessed with the presence of the Primates from the Oceania Region. The Primates had been meeting from Friday to Sunday afternoon. They addressed a number of issues such as Child Safety, Climate Change, Ministry Training and Leadership as well as preparing for the next Primates Gathering later this year.

Archbishop Winston Halapau, Archbishop of Polynesia thanked the Australian Church and everyone who provided support including prayer support, when Fiji was hit by Cyclone Winston on the 20th February, 2016. As you are probably aware, Cyclone Winston was the strongest tropical cyclone to hit landfall in the South Pacific Basin in recorded history.

Some of the other items we have discussed are:

* The Bishops' Protocols
* Viability and structures of the Anglican Church of Australia
* The redrafted Canon concerning Confessions, that will go to General Synod
* Matters before the 2017 General Synod (which will be held later in the year)
* Pastoral Care
* The Appellate Tribunal hearing

In opening the Conference, the Primate, Archbishop Freier, acknowledged that where we are meeting is in a Club funded by poker machines. The Archbishop shared with us that in our country the gambling revenue is in the vicinity of $6 billion.

There are many issues in society that our Church needs to keep before it and gambling is one. I
have been told in Townsville, that during any given day there are "waves" of people who gamble,
tradies in the early morning, then professionals, school mums/dads, older people, school
mums/dads, and people after work.

Many people need help to address this problem. Lifeline and other agencies can help. The
Gamblers Anonymous can be contacted in Queensland either on 0476 655 799 or

I am pleased that some of our parishes host Gamblers Anonymous as well as AA.

Another matter that we addressed is the tragedy of Domestic Violence (DV). Further to my
comments at Synod the statistic in our nation is that eighty females per year die due to DV. With
DV many people suffer and it is important as a Church we reach out and help where we can and
also pray for those who are in the middle of such a sad situation.

Just as an aside, the Conference had time and space for the bishops to be creative. We were
encouraged "to play" and "be creative". I found myself writing three poems, one to each of my three
grandsons. It was a wonderful experience and certainly brought out an aspect of my creative side.

Last weekend the ABM Regional Conference was held in Cairns. It was a positive meeting and I
thank The Reverend Rod Gooden for the preparation and planning he put into this gathering. I also
thank the people of St. John's and St. Margaret's who catered so well.

This coming week Heads of Anglican Missionary Agencies of the Anglican Communion will be
meeting in Sydney and then in Cairns. We assure this gathering of our prayers.

Clergy Over 70 Licenses:
I remind again all clergy over the age of 70 years of the requirement to apply to the Bishop to have
your licence renewed to enable the continuation of your ministry. See Canon 2 - 19.

Anglican Overseas Aid:
Presently, East Africa is facing a famine which has the potential to affect up to 20 million people over
the next six months. Anglican Overseas Aid have launched their ‘East Africa Food Crisis Appeal’
and would appreciate any financial assistance you may be able to offer. Your prayers for the people
of East Africa would also be greatly appreciated. Please find AOA’s flyer attached.

Pray your Lent is proving to be a time of spiritual stimulation and blessing for you.

Yours in Christ

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


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


AOA East Africa Food Crisis Appeal.pdf

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