New Archbishop enjoins ‘prayer for this city’
Sydney's new Archbishop Glenn Davies has encouraged a congregation of dignitaries, church leaders and ordinary Anglicans to pray for Sydney.
Elected a little over two weeks ago, Dr Davies was inaugurated as Archbishop on Friday 23 rd August at St Andrew's Cathedral in a service which began, according to tradition, with the Archbishop-elect knocking loudly on the closed doors of the cathedral.
As the doors opened, the Archbishop-elect walked into the centre aisle and declared "I, Glenn Naunton Davies, by the providence of God elected Archbishop of Sydney, come to take my place in the Cathedral Church of St Andrew. I ask for your prayers that I may be a shepherd who will walk in God’s ways and with loving care watch over his people; for the honour and glory of Christ our Lord, who has purchased us with his blood."
He was then invited to take his seat (cathedra means chair or seat of the Archbishop).
After making the solemn promises of office before a capacity crowd including 34 bishops, Governor Professor Marie Bashir and Premier Barry O'Farrell, the new Archbishop returned to the theme of prayer in his first sermon in office.
Referring first to the church leaders and large contingent of bishops, Dr Davies said "Tonight it is wonderful to have my fellow bishops from around the country from every State and Territory and from overseas and my word to you tonight is - maintain the apostolic Word, preach Christ crucified, maintain the faith. Don't be diverted from the word of God in all its richness and fullness and may that be your compass in all that you do". As well as Anglican leaders, Catholic Cardinal George Pell and the leaders of other protestant denominations as well as Eastern Orthodox bishops were present.
In a humorous aside, Dr Davies referred to a letter from his 5 year old granddaughter, which said:
Dear Papa, congratulations that you got chose to be the head Bible Teacher of all the churches in Sydney. We pray for you to get better and better with saying stuff that you need to. We miss you. Love Abbie
"She too, knows the importance of prayer!" the Archbishop said.
Turning to the politicians and dignitaries present, Dr Davies said "We pray for you in our churches regularly, and we love to do it. It's an instruction from the New Testament. Paul speaks of praying for all those who govern us. We pray for you regularly and we pray that you would govern well, that you would lead us well......and our desire is that you would do so in a way which would honour Christ."
"We pray for our city. Just as Jeremiah encouraged the exiles to pray, we pray for this great city of Sydney and the whole Diocese beyond. We pray that eternal life might be known by all people and we pray for you." Dr Davies told the congregation.
The new Archbishop's final message was to "the clergy and lay people of our great diocese. Join me in prayer, continue to pray that together we would make known the love of Christ and we would do so by our love for one another. That whatever difficulties we might have as a large diocese, that the love we have would be so redolent, would be so obvious, it would be so magnetic that people would long to see what is different about us. How is it that they have such a love for one another? That love of course is borne by the spirit of God and is an answer to Jesus' prayers" the Archbishop said.
Photos: Ramon Williams, Worldwide Photos