The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of NSW
In his recent and final Presidential address to the third ordinary session of the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Sydney, Archbishop Glenn Davies remarked that his primary responsibility was to be a guardian of “the faith that was delivered once for all to the saints” (Jude 3).
The Australian Church Record wishes to thank Glenn Davies for faithfully serving in this, and myriad other ways – especially through the proclamation of the gospel and prayer for gospel ministry – over the past seven years.
Throughout his tenure Archbishop Davies has exhibited his deep concern for all people. Benefitting from his years in parish ministry (Curate at St Stephen’s Willoughby, 1981-2; Rector at St Luke’s Miranda, 1995-2001), Glenn has preached the gospel throughout the churches of Sydney, Australia, and the world, and has sought to see many enter into eternal life through the Lord Jesus Christ.
This has been evident, not only in the churches themselves, but increasingly so in his annual Presidential addresses to the Diocesan Synod of Sydney, and his regular Easter and Christmas addresses. Glenn has also been sensitive to the temporal needs of all kinds of people, and throughout his archiepiscopacy has called for compassion towards Syrian refugees, the protection of Iraqi Christians, and for special attention for children in detention centres.
Archbishop Davies’ experience in New Testament research and teaching has positively impacted his ministry in many ways. Having served as Lecturer and Registrar of Moore Theological College (1983- 1995), Glenn has displayed a great appreciation for the College (often describing it as the ‘Jewel in the crown of the Diocese’), and had the privilege of dedicating the new Teaching Centre to the glory of God at its opening ceremony in 2017.
Glenn’s scholarly eye for detail is renowned and is observable not only to those who attend meetings with him, but also to ordination candidates whose theological convictions are carefully examined – the latter point attesting to Glenn’s desire to see confessionally Anglican and genuinely biblical leadership across the Diocese. While the word ‘churchman’ has gone somewhat out of vogue, Archbishop Davies has provided a good example of what this term means, for he has been a strong encouragement and support to the Church of God. He has enabled the New Churches for New Communities initiative to flourish, and many men and women have come to faith through these new ministries.
He has consecrated several bishops, which has included the re-introduction of episcopal ministry in the under-resourced George’s River region through Peter Lin, and the refreshing of episcopal ministry focused upon international relations through Malcolm Richards. Glenn has been both an irenic and determined figure in the national church, with the ability to relate warmly and collaborate across diverse strands of churchmanship while strongly advocating orthodox and evangelical Anglican convictions. The latter has been clearly seen in his 2019 Presidential address which called for those who wish to change the doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia (especially its teaching on marriage) to leave us. It has also been demonstrated with his efforts in the GAFCON movement, most notably through his involvement in the consecration of Andy Lines (AMiE) and Jay Behan (CCAANZ).
Lastly, the ACR thanks Archbishop Davies for his courage in the public proclamation of scriptural truth. He was an outspoken advocate for biblical marriage during the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate, has been a determined voice for religious freedom as the censorship of biblical Christianity has increased, and came to the defence of the defenceless during the recent controversy over abortion legislation in NSW. Glenn’s determination to take a strong and public position on these important moral matters has encouraged numerous clergy and laypersons to similarly speak out and stand up for the teaching of the Bible. His willingness to follow the sacrificial example of our Lord Jesus has inspired many others to do likewise.
Therefore, the ACR gives thanks to God for the archiepiscopal contribution of Glenn Davies. Indeed, the ACR rejoices in the wisdom of our God, whose ways are higher than our ways (Isa 55:8-9), and his sovereign provision of a godly and gospel-hearted leader for a time such as this. We pray that the Lord will strengthen Archbishop Davies for the final months of his episcopal ministry, and trust that the Lord will bless and keep both Archbishop and Mrs Davies in the coming years.
ACR Journal: This article was originally published in the ACR’s Journal for Summer 2019.