Bishop to head new church planting group

Russell Powell

June 25, 2009

Bishop to head new church planting group


Archbishop Dr Peter Jensen has announced the appointment of Bishop Alan Stewart to spearhead a major diocesan church planting initiative.

Dr Jensen says “Connect09 has challenged us to move from maintenance to mission. The fact that I have released Bishop Stewart from his valuable ministry in Wollongong is an indication of how high church planting is on our mission agenda.”

The announcement, made at a church planting conference at Moore College, is the first of its kind in Australia.

In announcing the appointment, Archbishop Jensen recalled his words to the Synod in 2008 “As we have prayed for our city and its region this year, there has been what seems like a remarkable spiritual movement summoning young men into church planting. Is this an answer to our prayers?”

Dr Jensen said “I have come to the conclusion that Bishop Stewart is the best one to lead this vital work as Director of the Department of Evangelism (Evangelism Ministries). The board of EM has warmly recommended his name to me and foreshadowed discussions within the board on the reshaping of EM and a new name to reflect a new emphasis on church planting.”

“Al Stewart bring expertise, energy and firm leadership to this vital task.”

“I recognise that Al has served for only a short time as Bishop of Wollongong and his leaving the region will no doubt come as a surprise and a disappointment to many. Nevertheless I believe that others will be able to build on the good work he has done in the Wollongong region.”

An announcement on Bishop Stewart’s successor is expected by the end of the year.

Bishop Stewart says he looks forward to his new role with enthusiasm. 

“I am absolutely committee to inspiring, recruiting, equipping and placing young men with a passion for church planting and reaching the lost. There is so much discussion and enthusiasm for church planting at the moment that I’m pleased the Archbishop has given me the opportunity and freedom to strike while the iron is hot.”

“We must reach all of our diocese, people of all backgrounds and in all locations.”

Bishop Stewart, who is 50, will officially take up his position in February 2010 upon the retirement of Rev. Jim Ramsay as Director of Evangelism Ministries.

For more information call Archbishop's Media Adviser, Russell Powell on 0411 692 499

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