Sydney remembers its ‘˜Moses’

It is the end of an era.

Yesterday, Sydney Anglicans were left in no doubt about the legacy of one of their greatest leaders " one that helped lead them from the wilderness of the inter-war years. 

The official Diocesan Thanksgiving Service for the life of Sir Marcus Loane, saw St Andrew's Cathedral filled with many whose lives had been deeply impacted by his wide-ranging ministry.

Archbishop of Sydney from 1966 to 1982 and Anglican Primate of Australia from 1978 to 1982, Sir Marcus died last month aged 97.

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who spoke emotively of the impact of Sir Marcus on his own ministry, likened his death to “a mighty oak [that] had come down in a forest” and as if “our Moses has left us”.

The reference to Moses, Dr Jensen explained, lay in the fact that Sir Marcus' ministry spanned 75 years “that brought change and renewal” and took the Diocese of Sydney back to its evangelical roots.

"He was a major part of that revival," said Dr Jensen.

Dr Jensen was visibly moved by recounting both the legacy of Sir Marcus on the Diocese as well as the personal advice he received from the great leader at his own consecration as Archbishop.

Sir Marcus' legacy was summed up by Dr Jensen under four headings: a man of "the Bible'; of "the Reformation'; of the "Evangelical revival'; and of "Mission'.

The Rev Dr John Woodhouse, Principal of Moore College, expounded the New Testament reading Hebrews 11:23 to 12:2 to answer the question, ‘What constitutes greatness in the human life?’.

Dr Woodhouse concluded that: "to many of us Sir Marcus is like Moses. He is amongst the cloud of witnesses who by faith point us to Jesus".

The Rev Edward Loane and the Rev Peter Tong also gave thanks for the life of their own grandfather.

Perhaps appropriate given the description of Sir Marcus' as Sydney's Moses, the two-hour service was marked by some grand and epic choral displays.

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Phillip Freier, was amongst a number of bishops from around Australia who attended.


Photos courtesy of Ramon Williams




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