BATHURST'S Anglican bishop will use his first address to the church's annual synod on Saturday to call for a recognition of the past's mistakes as a way of repairing the church's reputation into the future.
Bishop Mark Calder will call on the Anglican Church to face up to shameful incidents of sexual abuse by church leaders and poor financial decisions that have damaged the church's standing in the community.
In a 45-minute speech, Bishop Calder will ask church leaders to "name the past", "face the present" and "explore the future".
"There is significant baggage that we must deal with before we can move forward, including mistrust, unresolved conflict, a damaged 'brand' and lack of financial resources to try anything new," Bishop Calder will tell the synod.
"If we continue doing the same things the way we always have, we cannot expect any different outcome. We cannot expect to grow or reach those generations we are currently missing by doing more of the same.
"Looking to the future, church leaders must help renew the church through prayer, through becoming more outward-looking, through seeking new clergy, through more contemporary church services and through everyone becoming more confident in sharing the great news of forgiveness Jesus Christ lived, died and rose to make possible."
The synod this year will meet electronically via Zoom for the first time in the diocese's history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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