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Installation of new Archbishop — a strong voice for social justice


History will be made on Saturday at St John’s Anglican Cathedral when the 10th Archbishop of Brisbane will be Installed before a packed congregation of eminent faith and community leaders, First Nations elders, school children, and members of the broader Anglican community

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For the first time in nearly 22 years, the Anglican Church in Queensland will have a new Archbishop. Archbishop-elect Jeremy Greaves will replace Archbishop Phillip Aspinall who resigned in February.

At 10.30 am on Saturday, Archbishop-elect Jeremy will be Installed as Archbishop of Brisbane and Metropolitan of the Province of Queensland in proceedings steeped in tradition and acknowledging the challenges and opportunities in the modern Anglican Church.

Archbishop-elect Jeremy has been Bishop for the Northern Region of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland for the last seven years. Before being made a bishop, he served as a priest in Queensland for four years after ministering in the Northern Territory and South Australia. The Archbishop-elect was trained and ordained in Adelaide and celebrated 25 years of ministry as a priest in February this year. He is a Theology graduate of Flinders University.

Ahead of Saturday’s Installation, Archbishop-elect Jeremy commented on the enormous privilege, as well as the challenges, of his new role.

“I am humbled to have been chosen as the next Archbishop of Brisbane and am mindful of the challenges ahead for the Diocese and for the wider Church,” Bishop Jeremy said.

“When so many people are facing difficulty — whether it is the hardship endured by our First Nations peoples, the plight of refugees finding their feet in a new country, those seeking acceptance of their sexuality or those who feel the effects of loneliness — the Church should offer hope and a place of welcome and safety.

“While in recent times, the relevance of the Church is often brought into question, I believe we have a story to tell that, after 2000 years, can still transform peoples’ lives and transform the world.

“The gospel of Jesus’ life, ministry, teaching, death and resurrection remains good news today, as it has always been, and we need to find ways of sharing that good news so that it can be heard afresh in this season in the life of the Church.”

Among the many visiting bishops and archbishops at Saturday’s service will be the Archbishop of Melanesia, the Most Rev’d Leonard Dawea. Archbishop Leonard’s attendance is a sign of the strong relationship between the Church in Queensland and in the wider Pacific. Archbishop Leonard’s attendance has particular significance because Bishop W H Baddeley, who was Bishop of Melanesia between 1932 and 1947, was the grandfather of Archbishop-elect Jeremy. His great-grandfather was Bishop Arthur Nutter Thomas, who served as Bishop of Adelaide between 1906 and 1940.

Archbishop-elect Jeremy has a strong background in social justice having worked closely with refugees and First Nations community members for decades, particularly during his time in the Northern Territory.

As Chair of the Anglican Schools Commission for six years he has created a safe and welcoming place for all students. During national debate about gender diversity in schools, he commented:

“Within the Anglican Church there is a wide spectrum of understanding about human sexuality and gender. For some this is a sensitive topic. However, this does not negate the absolute necessity to create an inclusive school environment that enables all people to feel safe and to flourish.”

In a break with tradition, during Saturday’s formalities the Archbishop-elect will be welcomed at the entrance of the Cathedral by two Anglican school children, highlighting Bishop Jeremy’s heart for young people and their important contribution to the Church.

During his time as Dean of Darwin Cathedral, the Archbishop-elect actively supported refugees held in immigration detention and also assisted those released into the community. He also worked alongside other non-government agencies to care for First Nations people who found a safe place to sleep in the Darwin Cathedral grounds.

Next year the new Archbishop will travel to the Torres Strait Islands with Saibai elder and 2021 Queensland Senior Australian of the Year Aunty Dr Rose Elu to see first-hand the impacts of climate change on the homes, sacred sites and livelihoods of Torres Strait Island peoples.

Aunty Dr Rose said she is proud to have been asked to join those leading the Archbishop-elect from the Cathedral entrance to the sanctuary area around the altar on Saturday.

“Archbishop-elect Jeremy has a deep sense of the cultures and protocols of First Nations peoples in Australia, including in the Torres Strait,” Aunty Rose said.

“He knows us and has demonstrated that he is our friend.

“His commitment to our people and vision in his ministry will make him an outstanding Archbishop.”

At a time when there has been growing disagreement across the Anglican Church around Australia and internationally, Archbishop-elect Jeremy has been a strong advocate for “comprehensive” Anglicanism, in particular his pastoral approach to those holding different views.

“People need places to gather in supportive community, and the Church can provide a time and place where people from divergent backgrounds and views can come together. This fellowship should be at the heart of everything we do,” he said.

Bishop Cameron Venables has served as Bishop Administrator since February. He will step down from this role on Saturday and continue his responsibilities as Bishop for the Western Region.

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