Diocese of Melbourne
Coat of arms
|Archdeaconries||Box Hill, Dandenong, Frankston, Geelong, Kew, La Trobe, Maroondah, Melbourne, Port Philip & Bayside & Kingston North, Stonnington & Glen Eira, and The Yarra|
|Cathedral||St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne|
|Suffragans||Paul Barker, Jumbunna Episcopate|
Kate Prowd, Oodthenong Episcopate
Genieve Blackwell, Marmingatha Episcopate
Brad Billings, Theological Education & Wellbeing
The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne is the metropolitan diocese of the Province of Victoria in the Anglican Church of Australia. The diocese was founded from the Diocese of Australia by letters patent of 25 June 1847 and includes the cities of Melbourne and Geelong and also some more rural areas. The cathedral church is St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. The ordinary of the diocese is the Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, who was translated from the Anglican Diocese of The Northern Territory, and who was the Anglican Primate of Australia from 2014 to 2020.
The Diocese of Melbourne is divided into areas of episcopal care in which assistant bishops exercise a pastoral role on behalf of the Archbishop. These areas are divided into archdeaconries, with further subdivision into area deaneries.
Following consultation with the Wurundjeri people of Melbourne, local Indigenous names have been used for the areas of episcopal care. The areas are:
Marmingatha means "being with the divine or supreme being"; Oodthenong means "gathering"; and Jumbunna means "speaking out" or "proclamation". Monomeeth means "rightness, wellness and goodness". Together, they comprise the Woi Wurrung equivalent of the diocesan vision of Making the Word of God fully known through "gathering in the divine presence to speak out and proclaim".
The existence of such differing traditions within the diocese is sometimes a cause of tensions. The difficulty with which an archbishop was elected in 2006 provided a recent example.
The diocese has two theological colleges, both in the suburb of Parkville, which prepare men and women for ordination and other forms of ministry. Trinity College Theological School, founded in 1878, is part of Trinity College, a residential college within the University of Melbourne and is more Liberal and Anglo-Catholic in tradition. Ridley Melbourne was founded in 1910 in the Evangelical tradition. A founding member of the Melbourne College of Divinity (now the University of Divinity) in 1910, Trinity was also a partner in the ecumenical United Faculty of Theology until its disbanding at the end of 2014. From 1 January 2015 it has been a college of the University of Divinity. Ridley is affiliated with the Australian College of Theology.
The Diocese of Melbourne has been affected by issues that have been debated in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The theological diversity of the diocese means that there is sometimes disagreement over more contentious matters. In addition, it is frequently perceived that there is a significant tension between the theologically broad Melbourne diocese and the far more conservative Sydney diocese.
The diocese has ordained women to the diaconate since 1986 and to the priesthood since 1992. The September 2007 decision of the Appellate Tribunal opening the way for the consecration of women to the episcopate was welcomed by the present archbishop, Philip Freier. General Synod approved a motion in October 2007 which welcomed the "clarity" of the decision. Melbourne's first woman to become a bishop, Barbara Darling, was consecrated at St Paul's Cathedral on 31 May 2008. The ordination of women to be bishops is opposed by some within the diocese, particularly conservative Evangelicals and some Anglo-Catholics, necessitating the provision of alternative episcopal oversight.
The diocese officially subscribes to the traditional Anglican stance on homosexuality. Most conservatives and Evangelicals remain opposed to the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of non-celibate gay and lesbian clergy.
However, the diocese also contains a number of liberal parishes and prominent laypeople, such as Muriel Porter, who have been very vocal in their support for changes in the church's teaching on human sexuality.
In November 2007, an all-female committee from the Diocese of Melbourne made a submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission outlining its position in relation to abortion. The submission stated that "the Anglican Church is for life" and acknowledged "diversity of ... views" within the diocese. However it also declared that the diocese "supports the provision of safe and affordable abortions with appropriate safeguards for women who, for whatever reasons, request them". The underlying ethical view concerning embryonic life is that "while the embryo/foetus is fully human from the time of conception, it accrues moral significance and value as it develops ... we believe the moral significance increases with the age and development of the foetus. The significance increases gradually over time, in parallel with its physical development. As a pregnancy advances, more powerful moral reasons are required to allow the destruction of the embryo/foetus." The submission was announced in The Melbourne Anglican, in an article entitled "Decriminalise abortion, say Anglican women". This is seen to be the first official approval of abortion by Australian Anglicans.
|Bishops of Melbourne|
|1847||1876||Charles Perry||Declined to return after a visit to the United Kingdom.|
|1876||1886||James Moorhouse||Translated to Manchester.|
|1887||1901||Field Flowers Goe|
|1902||1905||Lowther Clarke||Became Archbishop of Melbourne in 1905.|
|Archbishops of Melbourne|
|1905||1920||Lowther Clarke||Bishop of Melbourne until 1905.|
|1921||1929||Harrington Lees||Died in office.|
|1929||1941||Frederick Head||Died in office.|
|1942||1957||Joseph Booth||Previously coadjutor bishop in Melbourne (Bishop of Geelong) since 1934.|
|1957||1977||Sir Frank Woods||Translated from Middleton; also Primate of Australia from 1971; knighted in 1972.|
|1977||1983||Bob Dann||Previously coadjutor bishop in Melbourne since 1969.|
|1984||1989||David Penman||Previously coadjutor bishop in Melbourne since 1982; died in office.|
|1989||1999||Keith Rayner||Previously Bishop of Wangaratta, then Archbishop of Adelaide; also Primate of Australia from 1989.|
|2000||2005||Peter Watson||Previously Bishop in Parramatta and then of the Southern Region (both in Sydney diocese).|
|2006||present||Philip Freier||Translated from the Northern Territory; also Primate of Australia from 2014 to 2020.|
|1934||1942||Joseph Booth||Bishop of Geelong, translated to the diocesan see of Melbourne.|
|1946||1960||John McKie||Bishop of Geelong and Archdeacon of Melbourne; became Assistant Bishop of Coventry|
|1960||1963||Donald Redding||Previously Bishop of Bunbury.|
|1962||1969||Geoffrey Sambell||Translated to Perth|
|1963||1970||Felix Arnott||translated to Brisbane|
|1969||1977||Bob Dann||Translated to the diocesan see of Melbourne.|
|1971||1982||Ged Muston||Translated to North West Australia.|
|1982||1984||David Penman||Translated to the diocesan see of Melbourne.|
|1978||1988||David Shand||Previously Bishop of St Arnaud; translated between regions.
Bishop of the Southern Region (1978 - 1985) then Bishop in Geelong (1985 - 1988)
|1985||1989||Peter Hollingworth||Bishop in the Inner City, then translated to Brisbane|
|1985||1993||Robert Butterss||Robert Leopold Butterss, consecrated 24 February 1985|
|1985||2007||John Wilson||Bishop of the Southern Region|
|1989||1995||John Bayton||Bishop of the Western Region|
|1994||2001||John Stewart||Bishop of the Eastern Region|
|1994||2002||Andrew Curnow||Bishop of the Northern Region, then translated to Bendigo.|
|1995||2001||Andrew St. John||cons. 22 July 1995; Bishop of the Western Region, then Rector at the Church of the Transfiguration, New York |
|2001||2009||Stephen Hale||Bishop of the Eastern Region|
|2002||2017||Paul White||Bishop of the Western Region (2002 - 2007), Southern Region (2007 - 2015), Jumbunna Episcopate (2015 - 2016), Growth Areas Ministry (2016 - 2017) |
|2003||2018||Philip Huggins||Bishop of the Northern Region (2003 - 2007), North West Region (2003 - 2015), Oodthenong Episcopate (2015 - 2018)|
|2008||2015||Barbara Darling||Bishop for Diocesan Ministries (2008 - 2009), Eastern Region (2009 - 2015)|
|2015||present||Genieve Blackwell||Previously an Assistant Bishop in Canberra and Goulburn; translated between regions
Bishop of the Marmingatha Episcopate
|2015||present||John Harrower||Previously Bishop of Tasmania (2000 - 2015)|
Assistant to the Archbishop of Melbourne in the exercise of his leadership responsibilities as Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia
|2016||present||Bradly Billings||Assistant Bishop for Theological Education and Wellbeing|
|2016||present||Paul Barker||Bishop of the Jumbunna Episcopate|
|2016||present||Lindsay Urwin||Bishop for Schools|
|2018||present||Kate Prowd||Bishop of the Oodthenong Episcopate|
In 1866, there were four archdeaconries: Hussey Burgh Macartney was Archdeacon of Melbourne and Dean of the Cathedral; Theodore Carlos Benoni Stretch of Sale; Thomas Henry Braim was Archdeacon of Portland; and Archibald Crawford of Castlemaine.