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Bishop of Plymouth to lead Australian diocese: The Church of England Newspaper, July 7, 2013 p 5. » July 10, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper.
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The Suffragan Bishop of Plymouth in the diocese of Exeter has been named Bishop of The Murray in the Anglican Church of Australia. On 28 June 2013 the diocese released a press statement saying the July 2012 election of the Rt. Rev. John Ford had been confirmed by the Archbishop of Adelaide and the Bishop of Willochra.

On 24 Sept 2010, Bishop Ford’s predecessor, the Rt. Rev Ross Davies resigned as Bishop of The Murray one day before a tribunal met to hear nine counts of misconduct laid against him by the Archbishop of Adelaide and Bishop of Willochra.

After two days of hearings, the tribunal found the former bishop guilty of misconduct in absentia and recommended he be removed from the episcopate.

Bishop Davies was adjudged to have subverted the Professional Standards processes by failing to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct made against his archdeacon.  The tribunal found he had displayed a lack of commitment to the Anglican Church and acted at times in an abusive manner “inconsistent with his pastoral role as a Bishop of the Diocese.”

He was also found guilty of having improperly influenced the composition of diocesan council in order to gain financial advantage “at the expense of the interests of the Diocese.”

Archbishop Philip Aspinall deposed Bishop Davies having June 2011 the former bishop was received into the Roman Catholic Church.

A special meeting of the Diocesan Synod in February 2012 was unable to elect a new bishop, and a  Bishop’s Election Committee was formed to make the selection. Their choice was forwarded to the Metropolitan of the province of South Australia in July 2012, but the announcement of the election was only made public this week after it was confirmed.

Bishop Ford told the diocese: “That I will love them, pray for them and serve them to the best of my ability.”

“I am aware that recent history in the diocese has been less than ideal for the mission of the local church and I ask the whole people of God in the Diocese of The Murray to join together in prayer for me that I might minister amongst you as a true shepherd and guide, faithfully proclaiming the gospel of God and that we might share joyfully in our common calling to be disciples of Our Lord and therefore rejoice in our vocation to worship, prayer and service,” he said.

Bishop Ford will be installed as the fourth Bishop of The Murray in Murray Bridge on 6 Dec 2013.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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