While on retreat in the first week of June, I received a phone call from the Bishop’s election board of the Diocese of Bathurst, asking whether I would agree to be considered for the role of the next bishop of Bathurst. Susan and I felt that we should at least allow my name to go forward and by the end of June, I had submitted a response to the Diocesan profile.
At the end of July, the board requested an interview. Susan and I travelled to Dubbo then Bathurst on 16-17th August. The Diocese has been through challenging times, but in our conversation with the board, we could sense their desire to see change in the diocese – a change marked by sharing the good news of Jesus with others. They longed for a new bishop to come and lead and inspire such change. We felt soon after our visit, that if asked, we must go and partner with them in the work of the gospel.
Following a fortnight of prayer and consideration, the board met again on Friday 30th August and as a result of that meeting, invited me to be their next bishop. With dependence on our great God, I accepted. I am very humbled and a little overwhelmed.
Our great sadness is of course, leaving you. You are so dear and special to Susan and me and we give thanks to God for a remarkable 10 years here. Sadly, yet understandably, the associate minister ‘in the wings’, now feels that he cannot take up the role, while the parish is without a senior minister.
All the details about when I finish here, and when I begin there are yet to be finalised. Information about how a new minister is appointed here, is here on our website. For now, we ask for your prayer, even as we pray for you.
The Rev’d Mark Calder, minister