The EC Interviews Bishop Glenn Davies
Little did the organisers of the 2022 Conference of the Protestant Reformation Society know when they invited the Rt Revd Dr Glenn Davies, former Archbishop of the Diocese of Sydney, that he would be at the centre of a huge controversy within the Anglican Church of Australia.
Davies spent eight years as Archbishop of one of the most dynamic dioceses within the Anglican Communion. He retired last year but was recently made Bishop of the Diocese of the Southern Cross.
Davies said, “The Diocese of the Southern Cross is an extra-provincial diocese covering all Australia that was organised to serve as a life-boat for orthodox clergy and congregations under revisionist bishops. It is not part of the Anglican Church of Australia but is sponsored and recognised by GAFCON and its provinces.”
He said membership was open “to any clergyman or parish that could no longer in good conscience serve under bishops that have taken unbiblical stances in regard to sexual morality” with the presenting factor mostly being the blessing of same-sex marriages. A slight majority (10-12) of diocesan bishops within the Anglican Church of Australia recently refused to support the traditional and biblical view on such issues.
Known as a theologian and pastor, Davies trained at both Moore College in Sydney as well as Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Both schools are routinely considered to be among the most rigorous theological academic institutions in the world. Unlike many liberal bishops, Davies has considerable pastoral experience.
Possessed of a positive, kind, and sunny disposition, Davies is also very direct. At the 2019 Synod in Sydney Diocese, to the dismay of the liberals, he told revisionists to go and form their own church rather than try and change the doctrine of the Anglican Church of Australia. He is a churchman who knows what he believes and to whom he owes his allegiance.
When asked about his work with the Diocese of the Southern Cross, Davies summed it up this way. “We exist to allow a safe place for people with biblical views to find an ecclesiastical home. When twelve parishes have joined the diocese, I will call an organising Synod and they will elect their own bishop and I will return to the retirement my wife longs for.”
He said there were many congregations in dioceses with liberal bishops who had been contacting him to start exploration of the idea of joining the Diocese of the Southern Cross.
Davies said that a couple of years ago, he and a number of other bishops and laymen could see the direction the liberals were travelling, which is why they set up the Diocese of the Southern Cross as an entity outside the Anglican Church of Australia. This situation allows him and his successor to minister to congregations without being bothered by first obtaining permission from the revisionist bishops within the official structures.
Davies remains upbeat about the future of Anglican Christianity around the world. He would not be surprised if the Global South Fellowship of Anglicans and the GAFCON provinces merge to become one organisation superseding the current Canterbury-centric Anglican Communion.