Top Centre Issue 22.2

Dear friends of the Anglican Diocese of the Northern Territory, please enjoy reading the latest edition of “Top Centre”

Top Centre Magazine 22.2

Top Centre Issue 22.1

Dear friends of the Anglican Diocese of the Northern Territory, please enjoy reading the latest edition of “Top Centre”, this time jam packed including articles our new clerics Rev’d Steve Walker (Rector, Parish of Fred’s Pass) and Rev’d Jesse Morrison (Assistant Minister, Parish of Nightcliff) and new missionary in the Parish of Ngukurr Zoe Creelman.

Top Centre Magazine 22.1

Prayer Cycle 2021

Please find our latest Prayer Cycle below:

Prayer Cycle ADNT 2021

We covet your prayers for the work of the Gospel in the Diocese of the Northern Territory. Please keep praying that God will raise up the next generation of leaders in all the parishes here in the Northern Territory, for additional resources for our urban and remote parishes and that we will use the resources that God has given wisely.

March 2020 – Update on NT Anglican Church Services

Update from Bp Greg Anderson:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The coronavirus situation continues to change rapidly, with the federal government announcing on March 18th that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are suspended. After conversation with other denominational leaders and in the light of news from other parts of the Anglican world, I am announcing that Anglican churches in the Northern Territory will suspend their Sunday services from March 23rd. Individual parishes may suspend their services earlier than this.

This decision is designed to express our love for our neighbour – we want to do all we can to minimise the risk of the virus spreading quickly in our community, with all of the bad consequences of that, including likely deaths. This decision goes beyond the General Synod guidelines which were issued today, and available at However, it is prudent for a number of reasons. Our church communities contain some of the most vulnerable people, and many health workers. We don’t want them to get sick. To suspend services altogether is easier and simpler than trying to communicate a message about who should and shouldn’t come to church, or turning away any who come because they haven’t heard the message and are at high risk. We are in step with others: by the end of the month, ten of the Anglican dioceses in Australia will have suspended all their services, as also have several churches in the remaining dioceses. I don’t want to pre-empt announcements to be made by others, but I know that other major denominations in the Territory will be announcing in the next couple of days that they are suspending services, and some have already done so. Overseas, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have announced the suspension of services in the Church of England. A similar strategy was adopted a century ago during the ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic of 1919.

This decision prompts a number of opportunities: to centre our pastoral care through small groups that might meet together through technology; or through one-to-one visiting, to connect with other churches through their own live-streaming of services, and phone calls and emails to replace Sunday church conversations. Rectors can make decisions (in keeping with our prayer book rules) about having home communions with small groups.

I know it is not within the capacity of all our churches to livestream a service that people can tune in to at home, but I understand that at least St Peter’s Nightcliff is planning to do this.

Easter will be on us soon, and we will continue to monitor the advice about gatherings and what others are doing with regard to Easter services.

Please pray for God’s mercy on our communities, that we will be spared the disaster that has hit some countries, and also that we will understand that we are in God’s hands now and for eternity through the saving work of Christ.

Many blessings,

Be a Witness to the Resurrection

Jesus’ resurrection is what Easter is all about, but another dimension that keeps surfacing in the New Testament accounts of Easter – and actually long after Easter – is the disciples’ witness to the resurrection. We see this dimension built in to the Easter accounts themselves – in John 20, for example, Mary Magdalene meets Jesus in the garden, and after she realises who he is and he speaks to her, she goes and tells the disciples ‘I have seen the Lord’. In Matthew 20:8, the women who have seen Jesus run to tell the disciples their eyewitness testimony – in a society where women did not typically run. In Luke 24, when the two disciples have met Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and have finally seen who he is, they return to Jerusalem straight away to tell the others about what has happened to them and that Jesus is alive.

Later, when the disciples meet to choose a Twelfth Man to replace Judas Iscariot, one of the key items of the job description is that this one will be a witness to the resurrection. As the book of Acts unfolds, we see the Spirit-empowered church putting into action Jesus’ command to be his witnesses.

Witnessing to the resurrection of Jesus remains central to the task of the church. Unlike the apostles, we have not seen Jesus alive ourselves, but we rely on their testimony, and pass the story on in our own generation – in our own neighbourhoods and to the ends of the earth. We can acknowledge that the resurrection is a hard event to believe – but it was just as hard to believe in the apostles’ time as it is in ours. The apostles didn’t try to argue for the resurrection, they simply witnessed to it. What they argued for was what the resurrection proved about Jesus: that he is the king in God’s kingdom and therefore, that he rescues us, rules the world, and is to be loved, worshipped and obeyed.

I had the opportunity of sharing the story of Jesus’ resurrection with a young Aboriginal man a couple of weeks ago. He came from Minyerri, but divides his time between Mataranka, Minyerri, Katherine and Darwin. He didn’t really know any stories about Jesus. The news of Jesus rising from the dead is still news that people around us don’t know. Many do not even know that this is what the Easter festival is about. For us, Easter is at the heart of our faith, and the heart of our witness. Jesus is risen – he is risen indeed.

Bishop Greg Anderson


Presidential charge to the Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory

Bishop Greg Anderson’s Charge to the Synod of the Diocese, Friday May 5th, 2017.

Welcome to the 34th Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory. It is a great opportunity for us to meet as representatives from Anglican churches across the Territory, with all of our geographical, social, language and cultural differences, yet fundamentally united as brothers and sisters, because in Christ God has rescued us and brought us into one family. Synod in the Northern Territory is a much more complicated matter than in some other parts of the Anglican Church of Australia. Many people have to travel long distances to be here. We have challenges of accommodation. We have challenges of communication. We have challenges of providing food. I am very grateful to all those who have put in an enormous effort into preparing for this synod. In particular, our Registrar, Leeanne Zamagias, has spent many weeks in gathering and putting together the synod papers and in organising logistics, assisted by Jai Chandler in the diocesan office. Our Ministry Development Officer, Kate Beer, as well as being involved in organising logistics for synod, has worked hard with Keith Joseph and Bruce Chapman on the new Professional Standards Ordinance which will be considering tomorrow. [Read more…]

Bishop Greg’s Easter Message 2017

“So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.”

Bishop Greg Anderson

I guess we are so used to the outline of the Easter story that we easily lose the details that ring so true-to-life. There’s an example in that sentence I just read out. Running is not a common activity in the New Testament, because first-century Palestine was not really a running culture. In particular, women were not runners. But the Easter story, not just in Matthew’s account, but in John’s as well, features quite a lot of running. These women run to tell the disciples the news they have just heard from the angel, that Jesus is no longer dead in the tomb but has risen.

[Read more…]

Bishop Greg’s Easter Message 2016

Bishop Greg Anderson - photo courtesy Anglicane NTPolitical commentator Mungo MacCallum recently described Malcolm Turnbull’s performance in the top job as ‘a hugely disappointing resurrection’.

Maybe it is good that the word resurrection still has some place in today’s media. But the first resurrection sets the benchmark. All other so-called resurrections, including the PM’s, are inevitably hugely disappointing. They all, in the end, run out.

What Christians believe about the first resurrection, the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the first Easter Day, is different.

Jesus appeared to his disciples, alive in his body, on the third day after his well-documented death.

This was not just a temporary return to life that would in the end run out. It was a breakthrough into a new and transformed kind of life, which provides hope for the whole world.

Our bodily life in the present world will in the end run out, but Jesus’ resurrection points forward to a future where death itself is defeated and life no longer ends.

Christians believe that the first Easter turns a corner onto the straight where we see clearly into the distance. What we see is a world where crises have been fixed, relationships restored, the environment healed and life is all good.

To be part of that future we align ourselves with Jesus.

Our present life has many potentials for difficulty, but Easter is like an anchor that gives us a mooring point of confidence. It injects the future into the present in a way that is anything but disappointing.

Bishop Greg Anderson

Bishop Greg’s Christmas Message 2015

Perhaps “the age of entitlement is over”, but most of us believe we have a right to certain things. Usually we call them human rights. Humans should expect to be free from oppression and slavery, to be paid for our work, to be able to have leisure, to express our views peacefully. Of course many people in our world lack these basic goods, and we should do all that we can to make sure that they are indeed universal.

But the Christmas message gives a whole new angle on rights. The Gospel of John says that ‘grace’ came through Jesus Christ. In other words, what Jesus brings to the world is not something that the world had a right to. Grace means kindness that is not deserved. When we give gifts at Christmas we might echo that grace – except that we feel awkward when somebody gives to us and we don’t give back to them! The grace that comes through Jesus has many sides. Most fundamentally, Jesus is God-with-us, showing God has not left us alone, but does what is needed to bring blessing to the world, even though we do not deserve it. Jesus also comes to us as fully human. He knows us from the inside. He models the love, humility, wisdom and courage that we want all people to display. Jesus himself taught that his reason for being was to find the lost and to bring people life in all its fullness.

We are challenged to respond to this grace in two ways.

First, we simply accept it, thankfully. This matches the structure of our Christian faith – we simply trust God’s promises to us through Jesus Christ, rather than having to be some kind of spiritual super-achievers to earn our way into friendship with God.

Second, we remember that as we received grace, so we should show grace to others. That means doing good to others whether they deserve it or not. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for demonstrating what God’s goodness is like, whether we do this on the individual level, or in partnership with others such as our congregations.

Christmas is a time of celebration. The grace that came in Jesus is a great thing to celebrate and to pass around.

(Photo courtesy Anglicare NT.)

Presidential charge to the Synod of the Diocese of the Northern Territory

Bishop Greg Anderson’s Charge to the Synod of the Diocese, Friday April 17th, 2015.

Bishop Greg's Synod Charge April 2015

Welcome to Synod. This is the 33rd time that people of the Diocese of the Northern Territory have come together for this kind of meeting since 1968, when we began as a diocese.

We meet like this because we are a fellowship of churches that belong together and that work together.

We belong together for at least four reasons.  [Read more…]