Election time in Sydney

Paul Levy

Sydney Anglicans are voting in a new Archbishop later in 2013. The election is in August, but the campaigns have started already. A 4-month build up and the campaigns are in full swing! It seems there are really only two major contenders. 

The first is a man called Glenn Davies, who seems a decent fella. You can see his CV here. He's been a minister, lecturer, published author, and Bishop. Not that I know much about Archbishops, but he would seem the right sort age for a guy that you'd want. Plus, he went to Westminster seminary, so you've got to be thinking: are Sydney diocese about to elect a closet Presbyterian? The rumour is he's about to be endorsed by Australian cultural giants such as Paul Hogan, the Australian guy off House, Harold from Neighbours and Dani Minogue.

The other contender is called Rick Smith who has more video endorsements of people saying he's fantastic than Barack Obama. Rick Smith has planted more churches and led more Christianity Explored Courses than any other person in Australia and his church sounds the busiest in the land. Also, Rick shut down some banks in his time when he was a manager. Sydney loves the homogeneous unit principle and Rick has certainly embraced that. He hasn't put his CV up on the website, which I find interesting. I would have thought rather than lots of video endorsements, your CV should be out in the open. (I'm a total hypocrite; I have a chronically poor academic record and wouldn't let my CV see the light of day for all the tea in China. In fact, I don't even have a CV). The reason I gently mock the 'Why Rick?' campaign is that it's too much about the personality of the guy and I suspect the media campaign will have an influence. On the positive side Rick has really been blessed in turning a church round and growing it from the ground up, his staff speak well of him which speaks volumes.

I don't have a dog in this fight and know neither man, but it's a fascinating look at how they do things Down Under. Sydney Anglicans are the giants of activism in Christendom today; just listening to them on their annual preaching tours to give us Brits a kickin' makes one exhausted. Thank goodness the election is on the other side of the world. I am really hoping there is a televised debate though.

Despite all the jokes and inflicting the Briefing on the rest of the world, the Sydney diocese is an enormous power for good in the main and we owe them a great deal. The influence of many of their leaders has had an enormous impact on churches being planted and built up and armies of workers being sent into the harvest field here. The appointment of their Archbishop is an important one and both these men seem godly, sincere, humble leaders so they are worthy of our prayers. Literally may the best man win.