Dear Members of the Diocesan Family,

Commissioning of The Reverend Annette Woods:
On Saturday 27th January 2018 at 2.30pm, I will commission Annette as the Missioner Priest of St Alban’s Yarrabah.

This will be a new era for St. Alban’s and we assure Annette of our prayers. This appointment is half time as Annette will continue as Chaplain at the Cairns Hospital.

The readings for the day will be those for the Conversion of St. Paul and I invite clergy to robe. The liturgical colour is white.

Mr Drew Dangar has undertaken a marvelous ministry in the recent past, not only getting projects up and running but working hard to ensure the finances are on a sure footing. Thank you Drew. I also thank those who have provided ministry in the past.

Synod - Saturday 10th February 2018:
This is an important Synod as it will let the people of North Queensland know that the Anglican Diocese of North Queensland continues to address the issues for child safety in our Ministry Units and that the Diocese takes this matter seriously.

I realise that for some there is considerable travel required for what may be four hours of Synod plus meal times. I thank you dear folk in advance for your commitment to ensuring you will be there. However, the Synod is more than assenting or adopting General Synod Canons. It is also about worship, catching up with people and sharing our insights on what is an important area of our ministry.

I do remind all Synods people that the Synod can only proceed if there is a quorum. You may recall that a couple of years ago we did not have a quorum in the House of Clergy one Sunday morning. There have been a number of applications for Leave of Absence which I have granted. Would those who will be present please let Shelley know for catering purposes by Friday 2nd February. The Registry seeks to be responsible in terms of its financial stewardship.

On another matter, the complete report of the Royal Commission arrived at the Registry last Friday. I have read the Executive Summary and it was an easy read, but a sad read. I expected the Report to be somewhat “legalistic” in style, but I have been pleasantly surprised. The main report may be different from the Executive Summary. I hope to start reading the main report in the next couple of days. The complete report is on the web as well. I must confess I do find it easier to read the hard copy.

The Reverend Canon Wayne Connolly:
Wayne has been a Canon of Saint James Cathedral for the past ten years. In this Diocese a Canon can only serve two five year terms at the maximum. Wayne has completed ten years. He was my appointment and I thank Wayne for his ministry as Canon. His insights have been valuable and he has made an important contribution to the life of the Chapter.

Also Wayne and Valmai have been ministering at Kowanyama for well over a decade now. They will leave this ministry later this year. They have provided a most faithful ministry amidst some great challenges at times.

Please pray for a replacement for Wayne and Valmai, as well as the appointment of a clergy person to replace Wayne and Valmai, the Diocesan Executive is exploring, with the local Council, the possibility of appointing a youth worker to address a number of issues not only in the Kowanyama community but also at Pormpuraaw. I ask for your prayers as we discern the will of God in this matter.

His Honour, The Reverend Gregory Lynham:
Greg has accepted my invitation to be the new Canon of Saint James Cathedral. It is the Stall of St John. Greg was the Registrar before he was appointed a Judge of the District Court. Greg will bring a range of skills to the Chapter and we assure Greg of our prayers.

Domestic Violence:
The Diocese has addressed this serious issue from time to time at Synod, within Ministry Units and other organisations connected with the Diocese.

Please find attached a leaflet from Mothers’ Union. Some time ago Mothers Union hosted a morning where a Policewoman who works in this field led a most informative session.

While the attached leaflet is generic, the telephone numbers and other information is relevant in the Diocese.

Please pray for those who reach out to people in need and it is important that each of us seek to support those who are suffering. I encourage Ministry Units to advertise and promote the various support groups as well as educational programmes.
AMUA 16 Days its not ok.pdf

Human Trafficking:
Sadly this is another world wide social ill. I ask that you include in your prayers those who are seeking to address this matter.

Back in 1833, the British Parliament abolished slavery. We look back and say how right, but the tragedy today is that slavery, particularly of women and children is in greater numbers today than in 1833. There are about 20 million people who are trafficked and 80% of them are women and children.

There is quite a deal of information on the web. Please avail yourself.

Australia Day:
We rejoice with those who are being made Australian citizens on Friday. People will be honoured in our local communities and at the national level as we thank them for their contribution to our society. I was asked recently what I thought about the date of Australia Day. I am in favour of exploring an alternative date.

Please pray for those who are attending the retreat. I ask for your prayers for me as I lead the retreat.

Reef and Beef:
The first edition for 2018 will only be one double sided page. I thank The Reverend Dr Kenneth Lay for his ministry. It is greatly appreciated but I do ask that you support “Reef and Beef” as it is an important avenue of communication in the Diocese. It is not easy as editor when you think articles are being contributed and they do not turn up.

Mission to Seafarers – Gladstone:
Please see the attached flyer from the MtS in Gladstone regarding positions vacant. Please contact them directly if you would like further information.
MTS Gladstone.pdf

Wishing you every blessing as you settle in to 2018.
Yours in Christ

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


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