Norfolk Island is often on the mind the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. Dr. Glenn Davies.
It might lie 1,412kms off the coast of Australia, but Norfolk Island’s Church of England is often in the mind of the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. Dr. Glenn Davies.
Glenn with his wife Di will visit Norfolk Island this week for the first time in his capacity as Archbishop of Sydney. In the past 200 odd years, the Church of England has come under various bishops. including the Bishops of London, Calcutta, Madras, Tasmania, Melanesia, New Zealand and finally the Archbishop of Sydney. Upon his appointment as Archbishop Sydney, the Most Rev. Dr. Glenn Davies acquired another and distinct office – that of the Bishop of Norfolk Island. This special relationship, though in some aspects delegated to one of his assistant bishops, makes the church on Norfolk Island his particular responsibility.
An Archbishop does many things, but Glenn’s main task is to be a man of prayer, a preacher and a pastor. He seeks to encourage the ministers of his diocese in their task of proclaiming Jesus so that people might become his disciples and grow in the obedience that comes from faith. Given his special relationship to Norfolk we are delighted to host him this week as he seeks to do those things with us.
The Church of England on Norfolk Island is probably the only institution that has been present on the island through both penal settlements, through the Pitcairn era and right up to the present day. Indeed, first divine service was conducted by Lieutenant King at 11am on the 9th of March, 1788 – in his tent!
During the period of the Melanesian Mission (1866-1920), there were two separate Churches of England on the Island. Then, as now, the two churches were All Saints Kingston (the Island Church) and the St. Barnabas Chapel (built for the Melanesian mission). When the mission relocated to the Solomon Islands in 1920, the Bishop Patteson Memorial Chapel became part of the Church of England on Norfolk Island and a new Rectory was built on the old mission grounds. Henry Fulton was the first full time Chaplain on the island from 1801 to 1806, however the island’s longest serving Chaplain was Rev. George Hunn Nobbs, who arrived aboard the Morayshire on the 8th of June in 1856. He was Norfolk Island’s pastor until his death in 1884. Today, Rev. David Fell serves our community as the Church of England Chaplain.
Opportunities to meet Glenn and Di Davies include: A ladies morning tea (to be held at the Parish Centre from 10am on Wednesday the 7th of June. All welcome). Bounty Day (where Glenn and Di will be lunching with the community in the compound). A public lecture on the “History of the Melanesian Mission” (to be held at “Christian’s Cave” and presented by visiting Archaeologist and Melanesian Mission expert Tom Sapienza on Friday 9th of June. The lecture will start at 6pm and entry is by donation). Glenn will also be preaching and presiding at our Sunday services. Holy Communion will be held as usual at St. Barnabas Chapel from 8.30am and our Evening Prayer service will be at All Saints Kingston (a service 4.30pm and followed by a sing-along of Pitcairn Hymns and Norfolk Island favourites).