Australia Ethics Media Politics Prayer

Letter From Australia 12 – National Prayer and a Godly Archbishop

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am writing this en route to Hobart. It’s been a busy week – Canberra on Sunday and Monday, Melbourne on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sydney for the past three days and now heading to our Executive meeting in Tasmania – my first time in David Meredith’s ancestor’s homeland. I was asked to name one famous Tazzie…and I struggled so Meredith had to do!

The National Prayer Breakfast – Canberra

But let’s return to Canberra. After a good night with Ian Powell at St Matthews Anglican, we got up early and headed to the Parliament for the National Prayer breakfast. There were 400 guests including many politicians. The Governer General of New South Wales, David Hurlley, gave an excellent address in which he mentioned amongst other

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Outside Parliament House

things, the significance of reading Martyn Lloyd-Jones.   Then the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, spoke openly and warmly of his faith in Christ. Finally the leader of the opposition spoke in more general terms about his appreciation of the faith community and prayer.   I sat beside a Senator who told me that she thought Australia’s problem was that it was in effect, not Christian enough. I found the whole thing quite breathtaking. Can you imagine the same thing happening in the UK – Nicola Sturgeon encouraging us to read John Knox? Boris Johnson speaking of the need for humility and faith in Christ? Jeremy Corbyn reminding us of the need for faith and prayer? It’s a different world!   Incidentally kudos to Leon Hirbar and the City Bible Forum team for organizing the whole event.

Bigger Questions and Younger Workers – Melbourne

On Tuesday I was in Melbourne – speaking at a Bigger Questions lunchtime event in a pub. It was recorded and will be broadcast later (I’ll put up a link when it happens).   In the evening, in the same pub, we had a packed ‘young workers’ event.   I am impressed Screenshot 2019-10-20 23.10.59with the ‘Life at Work’ programme led by Andrew Laird and look forward to seeing more of it. One thing I have noticed is the changing demographic. When I attend ‘board room’ meetings the vastt majority of the audience are white, older men. This young workers event the majority were Chinese and female.   Sharon who leads the young workers is a fine example of female Christian leadership.

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Melbourne is really a wonderful city. At first I was not that impressed but it has grown on me a lot.  There is a buzz about it and I can see why it is regularly in the top five cities to live in the world (along with Sydney!) – it’s a privilege to be able to visit, work and share the Gospel there.

Christian Media – Australia

Screenshot 2019-10-20 23.16.26The following day I met with a number of Christian media CEO’s and content producers. Again this was not my natural environment but I found it stimulating and encouraging. In fact once I overcame my preconceptions and prejudices I realized the enormous potential of Christian radio and the significance of this meeting. It is an astonishing statistic that 25% of Australians listen to Christian radio.

The Godly Archbishop – Sydney

Coming back to Sydney also showed another example of the difference between the situation here and in the UK – the Archbishops.   The Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davieshas been outstanding and clear in his Christian witness – in the face of fierce opposition.  If only we had more church leaders like him!

Old Friends – Scotland

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We also had our first visitors from home, John and Marjory Mackay. It was lovely to be with them at our favourite restaurant in Crows Nest – Turka.  It’s great to show friends from home our new home….hopefully they will be the first of many….


See you next week…


Letter from Australia 11 – The Best Things in Life are…?


  1. “I was asked to name one famous Tazzie…and I struggled so Meredith had to do!”

    Errol Flynn and Princess Mary of Denmark (Mary Donaldson) are the two names most international guests would recognise!

    Seriously., I hope the conference went well and that you have a chance to meet the senior Anglican clergy in Hobart, too, during your time there. They are honest, hardworking, humble Calvinists and GAFCON supporters.

    “Coming back to Sydney also showed another example of the difference between the situation here and in the UK – the Archbishops.”

    If only all the archbishops, bishops and deans in Australia were like that.

    Instead we have the ambitious, liberal agenda pushes like Aspinall and Greaves and their underlings like the unethical Dean Jeanette Jamieson on the Sunshine Coast and he hypocritical Dean Peter Catt at the Cathedral in Brisbane constantly pushing the gay agenda. 🙁

  2. David. Great to see you’re enjoying your time downunder and making every opportunity count for the gospel of grace. Love your reflection on Melbourne. Next time call me for a coffee and meet up with us from Presbyterian Church (remember your roots?).

    By the way, you realise that David Hurley is our Governor-General too … not just for NSW?

    John Wilson (PCV)

      1. Enjoy Tazzie. On my first visit to Oz I had to fly there as the boat was out of action. It was also the time of the terrible suffering in East Timor. But it’s a great little place. Tazzie, I mean 😊 I’ve never been to East Timor.

  3. Sad news this morning:

    Sydney will need all the prayers it can receive.

    Archbishop Davies and the Sydney Anglicans remind me of Abraham’s prayer to God about Sodom – if only 50, 40 or 10 righteous men remain in the city, God’s judgement on it will be restrained. I hope and pray Glenn Davies and his staff stand firm with the pressure, media criticism and attacks they are weathering, even from heretical figures in other sectors of the Anglican Church of Australia, particularly from the ultra-liberal areas of Gosford and the Diocese of Brisbane and that they can continue to hold firm and preach the Gospel faithfully in this upcoming new storm. If the gays come to their city, perhaps it is an opportunity to witness to them and, through Gid’s grace, some might repent and be saved. Far better than going to Brisbane where the church will just endorse their sins and lead them further down the wide path to destruction.

  4. Thanks for posting about this one. I was on the edge because I usually don’t like celeb memoirs but this one sounds great and thought provoking. The reality is that there are a lot of us brown skinned women who grow up isolated and I am happy to read about the experience others had in similar situations.

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