Dear Members of the Diocesan Family,

Christmas Greetings:
Robin and I assure you of our prayers and love this Christmastide. We pray that you may know the peace of the Christ child, the joy of the shepherds and satisfaction of the Wisemen.
I also attach my Christmas Message which went to the various press outlets. The message was to be no more than 225 words. I have recorded three radio messages. One was to be no longer than sixty seconds and another, no longer than 90 seconds. Such limits force you to be concise!

Words of Wisdom:
Such time demands remind me of the late Archbishop of Melbourne, Sir Frank Woods who said at the Lay Readers Training Day, “Anyone can speak on anything for an hour but it takes skill and discipline to speak on a topic for two minutes”. There is much truth in this statement.

The Bishop who confirmed me, the late Bishop David Garnsey said to a group of clergy. “If you have six services on Easter Day, the sixth service may be your last, but to those attending it is their first.”

Thank you:
I thank everyone who responded to the Archbishop’s November ABM Appeal. I am still to hear of the amount raised.

Christmas Bowl:
All parishes will have received the Christmas Bowl material. I encourage you to be generous.

The Registry Hours over the Christmas New Year Period:

The Registry closes at: 4pm Thursday 21 December
The Registry reopens at: 8am Wednesday 3 January

If there is any emergency please contact me on 0429 489 935. If required I will contact the insurance people.

Blue Cards:
Recently we have received Blue Card approvals at the Registry. However, if we do not know the Ministry Unit these good folk come from, it makes administration difficult.

In the Diocesan Information Document (DID) it clearly states on page 70 of 230:

“The Incumbent Priest, Locum Tenens or appointed person shall notify the Diocesan Registry ( of any Positive Notice Blue Card applications, Link applications or Exemption Card Applications submitted within 7 days of submitting the form to Blue Card Services. This notification would ideally be a copy of the submitted form, but if not, should include the applicant's name, Ministry Unit, and position held”

I ask that each Ministry Unit complies with the process.

The Diocesan Information Document (DID):
The DID along with all policies, appendices and regulations has been updated as at today’s date, and is now available on the website. It was reported that the Diocesan Council recently moved that hard copies of the DID would no longer be printed for each Ministry Unit unless requested. When there is a new policy or update, I will mention this in my Bulletin and refer people to the website:

If people need a hard copy please contact the Registry and we will arrange that for you.

A lot of work by many people has gone into producing the DID. I thank them very much for their labours. It is great to have a resource so readily available.

Final report of Royal Commission into response to child sexual abuse makes recommendations:
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Archbishop Philip Freier, has thanked members of the country’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, for helping the Church to “confront its failings” when it comes to protecting children and responding appropriately to reports of abuse.
He said that the Commission’s case studies involving branches of the Anglican Church – which included the Diocese of Newcastle – “have been shocking and distressing.” He said that the diligent work of the commissioners and their staff “must have been distressing” for them and for survivors. “Once again, I apologise on behalf of the Church to survivors, their families, and others harmed by our failures and by the shameful way we sometimes actively worked against and discouraged those who came to us and reported abuse,” he said in a statement issued as the final report of the Commission was presented to the Federal Parliament.

As a Diocese, we continue to pray for the survivors and for the processes of redress.

Marriage and Same Sex Couples:
I have been asked about what other bishops are saying in regard to same sex marriage. I include in this Bulletin a paper published by Archbishop Glenn Davies.

Once again, wishing you all the best for Christmas and we pray that 2018 will be a year of many positive

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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