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Canon Peter Jensen elected Archbishop of Sydney

Posted on: June 5, 2001 12:26 PM
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[Anglican Media Sydney] Canon Peter Jensen, principal of Moore Theological College, has been invited to be Archbishop of Sydney.

The final decision was decisive, and the announcement of Canon Jensen's appointment was greeted with a standing ovation from the Synod.

Bishop Paul Barnett, Administrator of the Diocese and President of the Election Synod, said he was 'surprised' that the Election Synod took less time than expected.

"There were five very good candidates, any of whom would have done the job with distinction," said Bishop Barnett.

"The final outcome was very clear. Canon Jensen was strongly supported by both the clergy and the laity of the Synod, and will enjoy the confidence and love of all people of the Diocese of Sydney," he said.

A majority in both the House of Clergy (169 in favour to 89 against) and House of Laity (259 in favour to 188 against) voted to put Dr Jensen's name on the Final List.

Neither the House of Clergy or House of Laity voted to allow Bishop Robert Forsyth's name to proceed to the Final List. The vote in the House of Clergy was 101 in favour of Bishop Forsyth's name proceeding and 157 against. In the House of Laity the vote was 206 in favour and 243 against.

After this first vote was announced, a motion was put that the Synod to invite Dr Jensen to be Archbishop of Sydney. The House of Clergy voted 214 in favour to 25 against, while the House of Laity voted 336 in favour to 80 against.

Following the approval of the final motion and as the Synod stood to applaud, Bishop Barnett contacted Canon Jensen via mobile phone to inform him of the result. Moments later he also contacted Bishop Forsyth to inform him of the Synod's decision.

The Rev Dr Glenn Davies, rector of St Luke's, Miranda, moved that Dr Jensen's name be added to the Final List. Dr Karin Sowada from St Matthias', Centennial Park, was the Seconder.

After the election of Dr Jensen, Dr Davies said: "I was honoured to promote Peter Jensen and it will be an honour for Sydney Diocese to have him as Archbishop.

"The whole election campaign has been carefully and prayerfully prepared for by all members of Synod. We were well served by godly men as nominees for Archbishop of Sydney, which show the character and strength of the Diocese."

Some in the Synod put the result down to a series of powerful speeches delivered in favour of Dr Jensen during tonight's proceedings, including that of the main speaker, Dr Davies.

"The nature of the debate and the result demonstrates that people were listening carefully and prayerfully as Bishop Benn had encouraged us to do in the sermon in St Andrew's Cathedral. Under God's good hand, we prayed for an outcome that would serve the needs of the Diocese and the glory of Christ. I believe we have been blessed with that outcome," Dr Davies said.

The Revd David Crain, rector of Leichhardt parish moved that Bishop Forsyth's name be added to the Final List. Mr Warwick Olsen, from St Paul's, Carlingford, was the Seconder.