A Queensland bishop with extensive experience in the Anglican Church of Australia and who is a specialist in education, theological education and ministry formation was elected bishop of the extensive Diocese of North Queensland at a special diocesan synod held on 9th February. The diocese itself presents many challenges, not only because of its size, but because it also includes the islands north of Australia in the Torres Strait as well as aboriginal communities on the mainland.
Bishop Noble will succeed the present diocesan Bishop Clyde Wood when he retires on 31st March. He will have two assistant bishops. They are Bishop James Leftwich the new National Aboriginal Bishop who is based in Townsville, and the Rev Saibo Mabo who was recently elected by Torres Strait Islanders to be their bishop.
John Noble was consecrated bishop on 29th June 1993. He was Northern Regional Bishop in the Diocese of Brisbane for six years and then was appointed Director of Ministries Development and Theological Education in 1999 following a review of Brisbane's St Francis' Theological College and theological education in Brisbane diocese.
After his ordination in 1968 John Noble served as an Assistant Curate in two parishes before he returned to full time university studies in Arts and Education. He then worked in secondary education with the Queensland Education Department while maintaining non-stipendiary parish ministry, which included a time as Honorary Assistant at St Ambrose North Mackay in the Diocese of North Queensland.
He then served as school chaplain at two prestigious Anglican schools, first St Peter's College, Adelaide followed by the chaplaincy ministry at St Paul's School Bald Hills. Returning to parish ministry he was Rector of Dalby on the Darling Downs of Queensland and then Sunnybank, a lively Brisbane parish.
In 1989 he joined the staff of St Francis College where he was Lecturer in Mission and Mission Studies.
Bishop Noble has held a number of responsibilities in the Anglican Church of Australia. At the last General Synod in July 2001 he was elected a member of the Standing Committee of General Synod and previously he had been Chairman of the General Synod Youth Commission and more recently the General Synod Ministry Commission. He is the National Episcopal Advisor to the Anglican Cursillo Movement of which he is an enthusiastic supporter. In the diocese of Brisbane he has oversight of youth ministry, and is Chairman of the Evangelism Committee and the Catechumenal Process.
Bishop John has been married to Lorene for 32 years. Mrs Noble is a teacher and has been on the staff of the Redeemer Lutheran College, Rochedale for 16 years. She is the widely respected head of the Remedial and Resource Department in both Senior and Primary Departments of the School and has led a busy professional life. In her professional career she has taught in a wide range of situations at every level of education from Primary to University, Private and Government, Anglican, Roman Catholic and Lutheran.. However she anticipates leaving teaching and is looking forward to being involved with Bishop John in his ministry and visits to the various regions of North Queensland.
"We are both looking forward to this new sphere of ministry with great anticipation," Bishop Noble said.
"I have a strong and positive sense of God's calling to the Diocese of North Queensland. It is a diocese that is situated in a part of Australia that brings the challenges of both diversity and diversity. Yet the challenge is exciting and exhilarating as we look forward to this ministry in the name of Jesus Christ," he said.
Bishop Noble said that he is aware of the relationships that have existed between the diocese of North Queensland and dioceses in other Provinces who confront the challenge of ministry over extensive and isolated regions, such as, for example Alaska. He looks forward to continuing and developing this networking.
Bishop John anticipates commencing his diocesan ministry possibly in early June though the time is not yet definitely set.
Article from: Anglican Media Sydney