Text of the response by the Eighth Dean of Grafton to the community welcome at the conclusion of the installation and commissioning liturgy at Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton on Friday, 2 February 2018.
Thank you for the generous welcome extended on behalf of various communities represented here tonight.
Thank you to each of you for being here this evening to make this such a special celebration.
Thank you for the exceptional care and support to me and to Eve and our family since my cancer diagnosis first disturbed our plans to hold this event in September. It has been a richer and more blessed journey these past few months because of your care and support.
Thank you as well to the search committee, chaired by Bishop Sarah, which has invited me to engage in this new ministry opportunity.
Twelve months ago today exactly, I arrived back in Australia with no firm sense of what ministry I would undertake after my time in Jerusalem. It seems that God still had plans for this Lismore boy who has now returned home to the beaches, the rainforests, the timbered ranges and the generous river valleys of his birth. It is good to be home. It is good to be here.
As a Cathedral Parish we are first of all a community of people called together as followers of Jesus. Tonight we reaffirm our commitment to learn and to practise what Jesus has taught us about living as a colony of God’s Kingdom here in this place and at this time.
As a Cathedral we serve the wider diocesan community. I invite the prayers of each ministry unit across the Diocese, as we seek to discern how best to make the spiritual and cultural resources of this place more available to you in your own context.
As a Cathedral we seek to be a place of pilgrimage and prayer for all people of faith, for people of all faiths, and those who do not claim any faith. Our doors are open, our hearts are open, and our minds are open to insights and challenges emerging from our ever expanding knowledge, our evolving social contexts, and the impact of new technologies.
As a Cathedral we are a place where the civic community gathers to celebrate our shared life as a city. Here we mark times of tragedy and loss, and here we affirm our unique local character and our many successes as a city.
Finally, as a Cathedral we are a place that affirms hope. As a traditional place of asylum and sanctuary, we speak truth to power, and we speak peace-shalom-salaam to those without hope or power.
Thank you for sharing the journey that begins this evening …