9th March 2020
To the staff, wardens, parish council and congregation
This week I notified the Archbishop of my resignation as rector of St Georges Anglican Church, Paddington, effective 26 April 2020. On 27 April I will return to a full-time academic role at St Marks/CSU where I can enable the Church to be better equipped with suitably qualified pastoral supervisors. The Broughton family will continue to reside in Sydney and I will commute to Canberra during semester, as I have been doing for the past 6 years. The Reverend Phillip Bradford has agreed to Bishop Michael Stead’s invitation to be Acting rector and will begin on April 10 (Good Friday) making my last Sunday April 5 (Palm Sunday).
Why I am resigning now, and so soon after my 2019 secondment? As a result of my consultation work involving pastoral supervision on behalf of the national Anglican Church in 2019, the number of people enrolled in pastoral supervision training has more than doubled in 2020 to more than 60 graduate students and I remain at the forefront of teaching pastoral supervision in partnership with a range of theological colleges. It became clear by the beginning of the academic semester that I was not going to be able to devote myself effectively to the parish and, while taking another secondment was briefly considered, in consultation with Bishop Michael Stead I determined that resignation was the best way forward.
When I first met with the parish nominators in 2013 they identified, as the highest priority, the need to connect with local families. I am grateful for the progress we have made through the pastoral presence of Jess and Byron Smith, the creative energy of Phil Wilcox and the gentle care of Jaimie Laverty. A committed team of SRE teachers, Something New volunteers and various people who have served the children and families’ of the local neighbourhood, as well as the couples from the congregation who had babies born and baptised at St Georges, all made sacrifices to become a truly intergenerational church. Yet the unfinished business of consolidating these connections, building on these good foundations, and embracing young families in the life of the parish remains. I encourage the parish to wonder about its life a generation from now as it discerns the way forward.
Conversations around the rectory kitchen table since 2014 have birthed some creative ministries that reflect the church’s commitment to an intelligent and compassionate Christian faith: Common Grace, PEACEtalks and ClimateWise are just three of the more visible expressions of this. I am most proud of the way we have embodied women in leadership and preaching: with Jess Smith occupying a key leadership role and more than 20 different women welcomed to the Paddington pulpit.
Please continue to pray for Phillip and Rosemary, Jess and Byron, Jaimie and Francis, Barbara and David as they cope with additional demands during the interregnum.
The Rev Dr Geoff Broughton.
Signed Letter here – Paddington resignation parish