History

The whole of the area which is now the Northern Territory came within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Carpentaria from the turn of the 20th century. Ministry to the towns of Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs was carried out by the Bush Brothers. The Aboriginal refuge missions at Roper River (Ngukurr), Groote Eylandt (Angurugu and Umbakumba), Oenpelli (Gunbalanya) and Rose River (Numbulwar) were founded and staffed by the Church Missionary Society until “self determination” in the 1960s-70s.

The Diocese of the Northern Territory remains part of the Province of Queensland. It covers an area of approximately 1,346,200 square kilometres and has a total population of approximately 220,000. About 30% of the population is indigenous and 13% signified attachment to the Anglican Church in the last published census figures.

Bishops of the Diocese:

Bishop Ken Mason

Bishop Kenneth Mason was installed as the first Bishop of the Northern Territory on 1st March 1968.

His installation took place in the old Christ Church, Darwin, which became the Cathedral for the new Diocese. Cyclone Tracy destroyed this building on Christmas Day 1974. Only the entrance porch of the Cathedral remained and this is now incorporated in the ‘new’ Christ Church Cathedral, which was consecrated on 13 March 1977 in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

When Bishop Mason was installed the diocese consisted of four parishes and the CMS missions in Arnhem Land.Bishop Mason resigned as Bishop in 1983 on being appointed Chairman of the Australian Board of Missions. He now lives in retirement in Sydney.

Bishop Clyde Wood

Bishop Clyde Wood, who had been the Dean of the Cathedral since February 1974, was elected to be the second bishop of the Northern Territory. He was installed on 18 October 1983.

Bishop Wood’s episcopate saw the emergence of an indigenous Aboriginal church in Arnhem Land, which took the place of the former missions. Bishop Wood ordained Aboriginal clergy for each of the six Aboriginal parishes in Arnhem Land.

Bishop Wood resigned in 1991 in order to become an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Brisbane with responsibility for that Diocese’s Western Region. In 1996 he became the Bishop of North Queensland.

On retirement in 2002 he returned to the Northern Territory, but has never stopped working. On the resignation of Bishop Greg Thompson in November 2013 Bishop Wood took up the duties of Administrator of the Diocese.

Bishop Richard Appleby

Bishop Richard Appleby, who had been Auxiliary Bishop of Newcastle since 1983, was elected the third Bishop of the Northern Territory and was installed and recognised in Christ Church Cathedral on 29 February 1992.

Bishop Appleby’s episcopate was notable for the growth of parish ministry across a number of the regions of the diocese; for the large numbers of adults who were baptised and confirmed at Groote Eylandt, and for the construction of St Paul’s Church in Katherine after the Australia Day flood of 1998.

Bishop Appleby resigned in 1999 following his appointment as Bishop of the Northern Region in the Diocese of Brisbane. He retired in 2006 and now lives in Newcastle.

Bishop Philip Freier

Bishop Philip Freier was consecrated in St John’s Cathedral Brisbane on 22 July and was installed as the fourth Bishop of the Northern Territory in Christ Church Cathedral on 13 August 1999.

Bishop Freier oversaw the amalgamation of Anglicare Top End and Anglicare Central Australia to form Anglicare NT.

The Church of the Good Shepherd at Fred’s Pass was consecrated in 1999 and both the Anglican churches at Tennant Creek and Katherine entered into a mutual ministry agreement with the Lutheran Church.

During his episcopate, the Cursillo movement in the Diocese broke new ground with joint men’s and women’s Cursillo attracting a number of Indigenous Cursillistas. Bishop Freier’s ministry to, and support of Aboriginal clergy and remote communities, was especially enhanced by ordinations and services in local language and customs.

Bishop Freier resigned from the Diocese in December 2006 to take up his current position as Archbishop of Melbourne.

Bishop Greg Thompson

Bishop Greg Thompson was consecrated and installed as the fifth Bishop of the Nothern Territory on 31st May 2007. During his episcopate he initiated the Diocesan Strategic Plan and actively encouraged local ministry in small and remote communities.

During this time there has been a number of Aboriginal leaders including our first woman priest, Rev’d Yulki Nunggumajbarr.

The emergence of a Ministry Resource Unit to coordinate and develop ministry training and support has seen the practises of diocesan-wide conferences, workshops and continuing education for ministry.  It has included the introduction of the Bishops’ Award Programme to support mentoring for ministry and training across the Diocese.

There was also a renewal of church infrastructure and buildings including St. Mary’s, Alice Springs, The Lodge, Alice Springs, St Paul’s, Katherine Rectory, Christ Church Cathedral, ministry accommodation, Ngukurr, St Barnabas’, Minyerri, and The Church of the Holy Spirit, Numbulwa, and the development of partnerships with churches in East Asia.

Bishop Greg Thompson completed his ministry in the Northern Territory on 10th November 2013 and is to be installed and enthroned as the 13th Bishop of Newcastle, New South Wales, on 2nd February 2014.

Bishop Greg Anderson.

Dr. Greg Anderson was elected as the sixth Bishop of the Northern Territory in June 2014 and was installed at Christ Church Cathedral in Darwin on Saturday 29th November 2014.

Bishop Anderson has had extensive ministry experience in the Northern Territory.

From 2007 to his election, he was Head of the Department of Mission at Moore Theological College in Sydney.