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Archbishop of Canterbury helps Adelaide celebrate 175 years

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was the guest of honour at the Adelaide Diocese’s 175th Anniversary dinner, held at the Entertainment Centre on Saturday evening 8 October. You can download the full text of the archbishop’s address here.

Archbishop Justin Welby and his wife Caroline joined more than 700 Adelaide Anglicans at a dinner in the Entertainment Centre to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the diocese. They are visiting many Australian dioceses over the course of a two-week visit to Australia.

The Archbishop addressing the dinner to celebrate the Diocese’s 175th birthday

They arrived in Adelaide from Perth on Friday where they were welcomed with a reception at Government Hose hosted by South Australian Governor Frances Adamson AC.

In his time in Adelaide, the Archbishop visited Anglicare SA’s Youth 180 Independent Living and Support Residential Programmed its Exceptional Needs Aged Care in Brompton.

He also visited the Community Garden at the parish of Modbury where he planted a tree. On Sunday he preached at a service at St Peter’s Cathedral before heading to Melbourne and the next stage of his tour.

Archbishop Geoff Smith welcomes guests to the dinner

At the dinner, the Archbishop paid tribute to the vision and faith of the pioneers of the Adelaide Diocese.

“Your first bishop…Augustus Short, was a man of remarkable vision, extraordinary vision,” he said.

“He saw the vision of a country that he couldn’t possibly have imagined, because there wouldn’t have been the pictures. there wouldn’t have been the ways of finding out about it. But he sensed the call of God, and he may have been short by name but he was not short by imagination.”

The Archbishop said that, although it is easy to be depressed and scandalised by our day to day problems and global conflicts such as that in Ukraine, as Christians there was no cause for fear.

“The heart of what we have to do is to be aware of the world around us, to be aware of our history, the 175 years and what it has produced,” he said.

“To be aware of where God is needing us in the future, because that the heart of faith is not a series of rules about good behavior, is not a moral code, although they’re both of huge importance. But is a relationship with God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, who lived as a human being, died on a cross, was raised from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and sends the Holy Spirit of God to be with us today, to give us wisdom, direction and strength.”

The Archbishop spent time meeting people from the Diocese

He said God called the Adelaide Diocese into being through putting a seed of imagination into Augustus Short’s mind.

“God calls this diocese today in our present world to continue with that radical imagination that says, ‘We need not worry about the future, but we will tackle the present, lay and ordained, everyone from the youngest to the oldest, because God has a call and a mission for everyone without any exception’.

“God will cause this diocese to be filled with ever greater life when we are open to his call, faithful in our action, and obedient in our hearts. But for that to happen, we have to draw close to God every person, to the God who doesn’t say to us, ‘When you are good enough, you can get close to me’.

Many of the 700 dinner guests had an opportunity to meet and chat with the Archbishop

The Archbishop first arrived in Perth and, along with Adelaide, will visit Melbourne, Sydney, and regional centres including he flood stricken Lismore district where he will meet Anglicare relief workers and flood victims.

Archbishop Welby is scheduled to meet Anglicans delivering diverse ministries and services including First Nations groups to discuss issues of reconciliation and multicultural ministries including refugee groups. He is travelling to Thursday island and will will ordain two Aboriginal women as priests during a visit to the community of Yarrabah, near Cairns.